November 21

“All Aboard” Digital Skills In Higher Education Interactive Map

All Aboard is a project funded by Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, which aims to identify the wide range of skills and knowledge that students, and all those who work in higher education, will need to feel confident and creative when learning, working and exploring the digital world.

Even though it is Ireland’s national project, as an open source this can be used widely and as a quick reference to the skills faculty and students need and resources they can use. They also wish to collaborate ans seek input and ideas from others who use technology in teaching and learning.

Their goal is to elaborate on:

Digital Skills: Drafting a ‘National Digital Skills Framework’  which is rich, dynamic and community-owned.

Resource Development: Developing and disseminating training materials for self-study; group work; integration into existing programs, graduate attribute profiles; or to support facilitators and trainers.

Digital Badges: Piloting and implementing the use of Digital Badges as a means of recognizing achievement and motivating learners and organizations.

Participation: Running a number of events at local and national levels, supporting those who want to feel empowered by appropriate and creative technology use in teaching, learning and related work.

Click here to get to the interactive map below.



October 12

Free Open Online Course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching & Learning

This four week long open course ( – Join here) offers different paths of engagement with digital media. You will be using free tools to create, implement, and assess digital media for teaching and learning.

The course started this Monday, October 10, and will be running until November 6. It requires about 2-3 hours of work per week. There is also a possibility of getting a certificate from ISTE Teacher Education Network. The course is designed by faculty and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education. They also lead a Google+ Learning Community (for which a gmail account is needed).

The course is very easy to navigate and has set learning objectives and the schedule. If you were wondering how to engage digital media in your course, this can be a great start!photo-credit-to-designing-digital-media-course-website-welcome-page-screenshot


September 20

Inserting Media in D2L Brightspace’s HTML Editor

There are plenty of options when you work in your course to create a file and edit it in the HTML editor. When you go to a specific content module you have created in your course, for example Week 1 (under Materials > Content > “Week 1”) you get the Upload /Create button. By clicking on it you get several options, where the second option is commonly used to upload your syllabi or any other file, and then the third option is Create a File. Once you click on Create a file you get a window, as shown below,  that is the HTML editor with myriads of editing options that make it easy to work in right from D2l Brightspace. The first tool, called “Insert Stuff” (marked red on the picture below) is how you insert media to your new file. Further below is a list of inserting media options with descriptions.

html-editorInsert a media file from your computer

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Select a944_htmleditor_mycomputer My Computer to browse and select a file from your computer.
  3. After you select a file, click Choose Destination to select and create a storage location for the file.
  4. Click Upload.
  5. Click Insert.

Insert a media file from your course offering files

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click a944_course_offering_file_icon.gif Course Offering Files to browse and select a file from your computer.
  3. Select your file from the file directory and click a946_upload Upload to upload a file to the directory. You can also select a file type from the Media Type drop-down list and click Apply to filter your directory search.
  4. After you choose a file, click Next.
  5. Type a Link Text and an Alternate Text.
  6. Click Insert.

Insert a media file from Learning Repository

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click a946_lor_navbar_icon Learning Repository to browse available learning object repositories for objects and assets.
  3. Select your file from the repository and click Next.
  4. Enter a Link Text and an Alternate Text. If you text is decorative, you can select the This is decorative checkbox to avoid entering alternative text. Select Start playing automatically if you want your media file to play as soon as the content item opens.
  5. Click Insert.

Create and insert from My Media

Note: St. Cloud State D2L Brightspace has the My Media integration with Kaltura Mediaspace. Once you click on it, you are able to Add New Webcam Recording or Upload Media from your Mediaspace library.

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click My Media. Click Add New > Webcam Recording.
  3. Click Allow if the Flash player prompts you to allow camera and microphone access.
  4. Click Record and record your video. Click Stop when you finish recording.
  5. You can click Play to preview your video notes.
  6. If you want to re-record, click Clear. If you are satisfied with your recording, click Next.
  7. Enter a Title and an Description of your videos.
  8. Click Next.
  9. You can preview the video notes before you insert it.
  10. Click Insert.

Insert a YouTube video

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click a946_htmleditor_insertstuff_youtube YouTube to browse and select a video you want to insert.
  3. Click Next. You can preview the YouTube video from the YouTube Properties page.
  4. Click Insert.

Insert a URL link

  1. Click the a859_htmleditor_insert_stuff.jpg Insert Stuff icon.
  2. Click a946_htmleditor_insertstuff_insertlink Insert Link to insert the URL for an online media file.
  3. Enter the URL in the URL field and click Next.
  4. Click Insert.

Enter Embed Code

  1. Paste the embed code you have previously copied from your Mediaspace Kaltura.
  2. Click next then insert.

Films on Demand

  1. Click on Films on Demand and Search by Keyword
  2. Once you have found the movie you wanted, click Embed
  3. Finally, click Insert.
May 4

Top Digital Trends for Higher Ed in 2016

miller-digital-classroomKarine Joly, a University Business editor, reported on what she thinks are the top six trends when it comes to digital media in Higher Education. Her post lists the trends and describes their current use. Would you consider integrating some of these in your classroom?

  1. Podcasting
    Traditional players like NPR, as well as newcomers like Gimlet Media and the Panoply Network, have launched high-quality podcast series reaching millions of listeners and earning digital advertising dollars—including some from higher ed budgets.
  2.  ‘Just for me’ marketing
    Connected technologies enable more and more personalization on digital channels. As a result, the new generation of students, parents and alums expect personalized and adaptive solutions to their college needs and wants. The popularity of platforms like SnapChat among college students is a testament of this craving for more personalized communications.
  3. Online videos
    Online videos can be set to autoplay to push advertising or promote branded content. They can also be counted as “viewed”—and billed—after only a few seconds for social media platforms.That’s why online videos have experienced amazing success on Facebook while the reach of traditional text-based updates or even pictures have been throttled by Facebook’s profit-driven news feed algorithm.
  4. Digital Assistants
    As smartphones become indispensable for many people, personalized digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now are facilitating more human-device interactions. These voice-activated digital assistants are expected to play an increasing role in driving people to your web content.
  5. Virtual Reality
    With its immersive and experiential proposition, virtual reality could help reduce the physical distance between users and a range of experiences: a lecture, a lab, a trip or even a campus visit. Schools such as UC Berkeley, Rochester Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech have created labs and research units to explore these applications.Regis University in Denver partnered with the agency Primacy to create a virtual reality tour of its campus. Broad adoption may be some years away, but early adopters might want make a move now.
November 9

Free online course: Designing Digital Media for Teaching and Learning

A team of students and a teacher at the UMassAmherst College of Education have created a 4 week long open online course on digital media in education. The course has its own website and a Google + community.

I have enrolled in this course in just a few easy steps, and its open access to anyone. Today, Week 2 started, but the course has Week 1 materials available and the only firm deadline for completing the assignments is the end of the course, December 7th, 2015.

The activities are there to help “explore, evaluate, and choose digital media tools for use in your own classroom.” I would recommend it both to beginner and advanced users of digital media. It suggests and teaches many useful tools, so this could be a good starting point if you have thought about using digital media in your classroom.

photo credit to Designing Digital Media course website, welcome page screenshot