Tutorials, Workshops, and More!

Category: Educational Technology (Page 1 of 2)

Digital Detox Reblog (and lots of food for thought around Microsoft for education)

I needed to reblog this post, because:

  1. I love Dr. Brenna Clarke Grey’s posts about anything
  2. because if you haven’t already started following the Digital Detox, you need to, and
  3. because of the discussions in our unit and institution around making Microsoft Teams more available for students, and integrating it within our LMS.

To be honest, I still think it’s a good idea to build access for students into our Teams (and to also integrate it with our LSM) as we are struggling, as other institutions are, with finding good tools to support online student to student engagement and collaboration. But…well, read for yourself:

Digital Detox #4: Habits, Data, and Things That Go Bump in the Night: Microsoft for Education


Re-Introduction to the Open Edtech Collaborative (OpenETC)

Today I am beginning a series of posts about the Open EdTech Collaborative (OpenETC). I’ve posted about OpenETC before, but as people settle into what is turning into a new realm for teaching and learning at post-secondary institutions in B.C. (not just pandemic panic, but the realization that teaching and learning online is viable and worth the investment in time, training, and resources) you should know that the OpenETC offers services and tools that can help you enhance your courses, as well as open them to the world. So, in this first post, I am going to re-introduce you to the OpenETC.

To lift the excellent description from their main site, the OpenETC is “a community of educators, technologists, and designers sharing their expertise to foster and support open infrastructure for the BC post-secondary sector. No contracts or agreements are required to join us, just a willingness and ability to actively participate in our collective endeavor to:

  • encourage technological autonomy and provide ways for students, faculty and institutions to own and control their own data.
  • lower the barrier to participation on the open web for BC faculty and students.
  • provide a more sustainable ed tech infrastructure to BC higher education that gives institutions more control over their tools.  Institutions are currently at the mercy of vendor pricing, upgrade cycles, and exit strategies.  This puts institutions at a certain degree of risk when there are changes to any of the variables beyond their control.  Open-source approaches reduce the risk to institutions in this regard.
  • assist BC faculty in evaluating and making informed pedagogical decisions around open-source teaching and learning applications.”

If you are associated with a post secondary institution in BC (faculty, staff, student), you can sign up for an Open ETC account and try out the tools they support, like WordPress, Sandstorm (a collection of open source applications) or Mattermost (an open-source messaging platform), which are hosted on BC servers, and thus FIPPA compliant. Make sure to review their Code of Conduct and Terms of Use (collaboratively created by the OpenETC community) before joining, and if you would like to become a more active member of the OpenETC community, you can join their Mattermost channel.

I’ll be talking more about their tools, as well as about the folks and institutions that support them, in subsequent posts. And just so you know, this blog, as well as our Camosun Tutorials site, is on the OpenETC WordPress instance!

If you work at Camosun College and want to know more about OpenETC and its tools (in particular, WordPress as we are beginning to point faculty to the OpenETC WordPress instance for their blogs and websites), contact Emily Schudel, instructional designer, eLearning (as well as an institutional lead for OpenETC) (schudele@camosun.ca).

A Quick Introduction to H5P

Last week the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) ran a Cooking with H5P webinar which gave participants a great overview of how H5P works, and how to get started exploring it on your own. I encourage you to check out the recording.

What is H5P?

H5P (HTML-5-Package; https://h5p.org/) is plugin tool that enables faculty, instructional designers, etc. to develop creative, dynamic and responsive web-based content, activities, and assessments without having to have advanced technical expertise. H5P is an open-source tool, which means faculty can share their H5P objects with anyone – or adapt H5P objects developed by someone else – without being limited to a specific proprietary tool or platform.

Some of the benefits of H5P include:

  • Increased student engagement. H5P allows you to develop a variety of responsive and interactive objects, including image Hotspots, Branching Scenarios, Flashcards, Dialog Cards, Interactive Video, and Speak the Words
  • Opportunities for students to develop their own interactive objects. H5P provides students the opportunity to create their own H5P objects for sharing back as assessments or as learning objects for their fellow students.
  • Open tool, open licenses. H5P objects can be Creative Commons-licenced, supporting the 5 Rs of Open Education Resources (OER) Reuse, Retain, Revise, Remix, Redistribute.. You can access templates, and adapt & reuse freely shared, CC-licenced H5P objects and resources from institutions world-wide, including from a wide network of users right here in British Columbia.
  • Accessibility compliance. H5P is dedicated to ensuring that all its objects meet, or are on track to meet, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). A complete list of content-type accessibility is kept up-to-date by H5P.com at Content Type Recommendations.

H5P Resources


If you don’t already know about Educause, you need to check it out.

Educause is “a non-profit association and the largest community of technology, academic, industry, and campus leaders advancing higher education through the use of IT.” And you can find all kinds of resources, research, and connections at the Educause website.

For example, last December Educause published a 2019 Study of Faculty and Information Technology. While the data comes from 119 US institutions, much of the information collected is likely also reflective of trends in Canada.

I encourage you to take a look around the Educause site and let us know if you have any questions or want to find out more about any of the issues discussed there.

The Educational Technology Users Group’s (ETUG) First Webinar!

This Friday, ETUG is running its first ever webinar: Include-Ed.   It will be an exciting, jam-packed day of presentations and discussions with some amazing presenters from around B.C., so don’t miss it.  Come for the day, or stay for whatever sessions you can – it’s all online, so you can join from anywhere.  We look forward to seeing you there!

[Fall Workshop 2019] Include-Ed Webinar Schedule


ETUG Fall Workshops – save the dates

For today’s post, a quick reblog.

The Educational Technology User Group Fall workshop will be in two parts this year: Friday, October 18th face to face in Vancouver at SFU Harbourside, and virtually on Friday, November 1st! Mark the dates now – more information and registration will be coming up soon.

Find out more at the ETUG website:


Want to know more about ETUG and how you can get more involved?  Contact Emily Schudel, Chair of the Stewardship Committee for ETUG, at schudele@camosun.ca

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Video/Audio Class Conferencing Online

If you have been paying attention to the workshop announcements for May/June, you may have noticed the following:

BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra: Information sessions

  • Lansdowne: Wednesday, June 5, 10:00-11:00am, LLC151
  • Interurban: Friday, May 17, 10:30-11:30am, LACC235

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a synchronous classroom tool that is coming to Camosun. This means that faculty now have an online tool with audio, video, chat, polling, and whiteboard/desktop sharing capabilities to support their teaching in real-time. Kaltura can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool, or can be integrated into a D2L course, and it works on computers and mobile devices (yes, even phones!)

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra rooms include a collaborative whiteboard tool that allows you to interact with students in real time, breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, and the ability to display desktop applications and web resources such as multimedia. In addition, an interactive recording can be created for each session allowing students the opportunity to review material at a later date.

Some specific activities which work well in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra are:

  • Facilitating live, online discussions around specific topics using video and audio, which can then be recorded so students can go back and review at any time
  • Showing students how to use different kinds of technologies through desktop sharing, and presenting polls at intervals to check comprehension
  • Breaking your class into smaller groups for discussions, then bringing them back to the main room for a debrief
  • Giving students space to do online class presentations using PowerPoint or a virtual whiteboard
  • Providing online office hours, or online space for student group work

More information about how you will be able to access Blackboard Collaborate Ultra will be coming in late April, and hands-on sessions will be offered in the spring. Go to https://decamosun.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/elearning-spring-workshops-open-for-registration/ to find out more.

If you have any questions about how and when you can have access to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, or if you would like a demo or to talk to someone about how you might use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, contact desupport@camosun.ca to arrange for a meeting with Bob Preston, or one of our instructional designers.

Introducing Lynda.com!

In case you didn’t know, Camosun has purchased a licence for Lynda.com that all faculty, staff, and students at Camosun have access to through the Library.

What is Lynda.com? Well, to quote the Research Guide on Lynda.com (https://camosun.ca.libguides.com/lynda), “Lynda.com is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. There are over 4000 engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.”

Some cool things about how you can use Lynda:

  • You have access to the site 24/7 from on and off campus, and from a variety of devices.
  • Lynda not only has videos on how to use various software, it also offers courses on time management, teaching techniques, managing stress, communication strategies, etc.
  • You can embed Lynda videos into your D2L course. Click the Faculty/Teaching tab on the main Lynda.com guide (https://camosun.ca.libguides.com/lynda/teaching) and scroll down to find the Integrating Lynda Videos into D2L section on the right-hand side.

One thing to remember: if you are using Lynda to help you learn how to use some of the software we support in eLearning, such as D2L, Kaltura, WordPress, or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, be aware that the way the softwares are configured at Camosun may differ from how they are presented in Lynda. If you have any questions about this after viewing Lynda videos on any of these tools, please contact desupport@camosun.ca and ask to talk to Bob Preston or an instructional designer for clarification.

If you have questions about or need help with Lynda.com, click on the Need More Help tab (https://camosun.ca.libguides.com/lynda/help).

Social Media Use in Education – Workshop Synopsis

Last May I ran some workshops related to social media and the use of online tools in teaching and learning. This month I am going to present a series of posts related to these workshops. This first post is a synopsis of the Social Media Use in Education workshop, which was promoted with the following blurb:  “Interested in integrating social media into your classroom?  This workshop will examine various social media tools used in the teaching and learning and discuss best practices.  In addition, participants will have the opportunity to share strategies on how social media can be incorporated into their own courses.”

Before beginning the discussions around what social media is and why you would use it to support your teaching, I wanted to find out what the participants knew about social media so I could start the conversation from where they were at. The two questions I asked to kick things off were:

  • What big question do you bring to this workshop?
  • What do you know about social media?

We decided social media is about:

  • Sharing and exchanging
  • Communicating, interacting, and collaborating
  • Networking
  • Managing relationships
  • Keeping in touch
  • Curating/collecting resources
  • Modifying resources
  • Bringing “the real world” into the classroom

Knowing this, we then discussed why faculty might want to integrate social media applications into their teaching. Some of the aspects social media brings to the table include:

  • Collecting and evaluating resources
  • Sharing works with small groups, the whole class, professionals in the field, etc.
  • Developing new resources through collaboration and teamwork
  • Transferring “control” to the students (fostering a sense of ownership over the course content)
  • Fostering peer-to-peer learning and critiquing
  • Supporting the development of transferable skills
  • Learning about community and social engagement
  • Opening the door to experts from outside of the classroom to see the students’ work
  • Bringing the world into the classroom

To give the participants some more specific ideas of what all this means, I showed some specific examples of social media tools:


Image sharing

Video sharing

Organizing and sharing information – Curation

Collaborative tools/Wikis


But of course, we also needed to talk about specific ways that these tools can be used to support teaching and learning.  The following websites all have great examples of social media use in education:



Image and Video sharing



Use of Collaborative tool like Google docs and Wikis in education

Of course, as with integrating any educational technology into your teaching, there are many considerations that need to be kept in mind as you investigate various online tools. For example:

  • Privacy – is the tool in compliance with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and does it comply with Camosun’s privacy policy?
  • Accessibility – is the tool accessible to a range of abilities, devices, etc.?
  • Copyright and Intellectual property – who owns the content once it has been placed into the tool/environment in question?
  • Support – is there technical and training support available for you and for your students? Is there a cost? Who will pay for it?
  • Choice and evaluation – make sure to choose the right tool for the task/learning outcome, and evaluate the tools before committing to them.
  • Ask others – is anyone else at the college using this tool? What is their experience?
  • Plan, plan, plan, then design, pilot, revise. Start with one activity and one tool, then debrief – if things don’t work, maybe it wasn’t the tool – revise and try it again
  • Provide clear instructions to your students and be prepared to give them an alternate activity if privacy is an issue, or if they have technical challenges (i.e., what is Plan B?)

So, what kinds of things are the workshop participants going to try? Well, some of them are going to think a little more about why, or if, they want to introduce social media into their teaching at all, but at the very least will be talking more with their students about things they should be considering when engaging with social media themselves. As for specific tool use, a couple of the participants will be exploring Instagram Stories in their courses (Instagram stories are…). In addition, Etherpad and blogging struck a note with a couple of faculty, which is exciting since Camosun now has a WordPress instance of its own that students will be able to use after May of this year.  If you have used social media tools to support your teaching, I would love to hear from you.  Feel free to post your experiences in the Comments, or send me an email at schudele@camosun.ca.

Since I first ran this workshop, the face of social media has changed – tools come and go all the time.  This makes it a new workshop every year, so if you haven’t taken it before, or even if you have, I can guarantee you will learn something new when I run it again this spring!

Additional Resources

Some New EdTech Tools Coming to eLearning!

Some of you may have heard rumours that some new edtech tools are coming to Camosun via eLearning this term.  It is indeed true!  We are currently piloting our streaming media platform, Kaltura, and setting up our new instance of WordPress and our updated Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (our synchronous class delivery platform).

Want to know more?  Come to one of our information sessions this term!  Descriptions are below, and you can register at https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/GDWH7WY

Introduction to Kaltura (Streaming Media at Camosun): Information Session

Monday, March 4th, 3:00-4:00 pm LLC151 (Lansdowne)

Kaltura is a streaming media tool that is coming to Camosun. This means faculty and students will now have a place to create, edit, and house their course-related videos. Kaltura also integrates with D2L. Come find out more about what Kaltura is, what it can do, and how you can use it for your courses, as well as when it will be available at this information session!

Introduction to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Information Session

Monday, March 11th, 3:00-4:00 pm LLC151  (Lansdowne)

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a synchronous classroom tool that is coming to Camosun. This means that faculty now have an online tool with audio, video, chat, and whiteboard/desktop sharing capabilities to support their teaching in real-time. Come find out more about Blackboard Collaborate and how it can be used, as well as when it will be available, at this information session.

Using WordPress for Student Blogs: Information Session

Thursday, March 14th, 3:00-4:00 pm LLC151  (Lansdowne)

WordPress is a blogging and website creation tool which is now available in the Canadian cloud, meaning that if you would like your students to build blogs and websites as part of their learning, we can now offer a solution which will be in compliance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Come find out more about how to set up a site for yourself, and what you need to know to get your students started.


« Older posts