Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flipping a Large Class

Professor of Columbia University Brent Stockwell flipped a large class successfully. The biochemistry class with 180 students was rearranged to create a more productive and enjoyable academic experience.

Professor Satchwell made ​​weekly slide shows and screen recordings that he uploaded to YouTube, embedded in the LMS, and required students to watch. He also created quizzes that were linked to the videos and counted toward the final grade. The audiovisual presentation, videos and assessments certainly did the job of bringing students prepared for class.

During class Stockwell divided the class into groups of five and had activities such as difficult problem solving. He used "Socratic" (a voting enabled service through mobile phones and tablets) to ask questions and receive answers anonymous. The polls gave him freedom to review materials or continue with the next topic.

Although the large lecture hall is not configured for group work, Stockwell was able to capture the attention of students and engage them. By creating a "bank of problems" in collaboration with other teachers of biochemistry, Stockwell is solving the shortage of thought-provoking problems he faced during the first year of the launch of its flipped class.

This successful experience in flipping a large class is a clear example of how to use digital tools to implement a new educational methodology.

large lecture hall class
Large Lecture Hall Class

Friday, September 26, 2014

Notes and Annotation on the iPad (Part Four)


This app stores single pages, it does not create notebooks.

There are two menus toolbars. The first one appears on the left side after a finger swipe. This toolbar disappears after you make your selection. 
The short menu has options to toggle between finger and stylus mode, and there is a "pin" option in the bottom to keep the toolbar visible.

When the pen menu is expanded there are options for different styles and sizes. The color pallet has options for color, outlined strokes and opacity (highlighter).

With the fountain pen option the app uses font recognition, this allow the characters to be more clear.

The zoom enlarges the area so you can type in more detail. Other options are undo and redo, add a page, delete the current page, remove the page, select a background, export, and help.

If you slide your finger up and down on the right edge of the page, you will create a new page or advance to the next page. Similarly, if the finger slides bottom up, the previous page is revealed.

Export through email as pdf or image with the option of transparent background, save as an image or Print.

The help menu is a mini-tutorial of how to use the app.

Pen and the word inkredible

Friday, September 19, 2014

Notes and Annotation on the iPad (Part Three)


This app is optimized for the retina display Ipad HD. You can create notebooks for different subjects or topics and access them in the homepage. Pages within a book can be displayed using the left and right, or use the icon on the top left to take a bird eye of all the pages within a notebook. 

The app has two menus, one on top of the notebook and one inside.
The outside menu contains the trash, paper background option, picture/camera import options, export and search. 

The inside menu has choices for pen, eraser, scissors, and undo/redo action arrows. The pen has 3 sizes and 10 color options, there is no highlight.

Penultimate synchs with a fine point stylus pen called Jot using bluetooth.

Export pages via AirDrop, Message, or Mail, Print or open in iBooks, Knovio, CloudOn, bContext, iTunes U, Chrome, Evernotes, Google Drive, and other annotation and sketching apps.

pen over notebook

Friday, September 12, 2014

Notes and Annotation on the iPad (Part Two)

Notes HD

This app allows you to create notebooks for different topics or events. To create a notebook click the plus sign in the upper left corner of the home screen; four options appear to create a new event: New, copy from iTunes, copy from Dropbox or copy from Drive.

The wrist protection activates automatically, however you have to turn off Multitasking Gestures in the iPad settings. There are two options for positioning the wrist also located in settings under Notes HD.

The application provides quick zoom to amplify the specific areas of the page. Keyboard text is available as in-app purchase.

The drawing tools menu pops from the button of the page. The few selections unlocked in the free version are a single size pen, eraser, and color swatches; other options are in-app purchases. 

The advance options are on the top of the tool box. White dots appear for every action, sliding the "clock" icon do and undo steps.

Pages can be shared in pdf or image formats. Files can be mailed, copied, printed, saved to iTunes, Dropbox or Google Drive.

fountain pen
Notes HD

Friday, September 5, 2014

Notes and Annotation on the iPad (Part One)


image of a pen and the word INKredible
INKredible logo

I tested this app with the Jot Script , the JOY, and the Apex Fine Point Active styluses. I like this app because the stylus is responsive and glides easily on the screen. Also, the app is able to draw "periods" or "dots" which is fundamental for any math related notes, and not standard on notes or annotation apps.
INKredible has a button with the option to use the fingers or the stylus for writing. When you click the stylus option the app gives a wrist guard that allow you to rest the wrist on the screen without creating drawing artifacts. This is a nice feature, but did not worked constantly for me.

The menu bar is on the left side, you may slide the stylus from left to right to reveal it or pin it down permanently on the screen.

They recommend to go to the iPad setting and disable Gestures to improve the stylus option and be able to rest your hand on the screen.

I have no favorite stylus for this app, the three pens worked fine and in similar fashion. The only consideration is the battery. The rechargeable Apex may loose power sooner than the Jot and the JOY. 

At the time of this entry INKredible does not have the capability to import pdf or pictures.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ad-hoc Drawing Tool Compatible with Adobe Captivate

I am searching for a solution to write math equations during a live presentation in Adobe Connect. Users of Connect had shared a variety of information.

My initial consideration is the two ways you can draw in Adobe Connect. First, Connect has a whiteboard option that let you draw with the mouse or mouse enabled devices inside one of the pods (window) of the interface; I find difficult to control the mouse for writing, therefore I need to test a pen-like instrument. The second option is to "share the screen" inside Connect, with this option a different program is used and Connect displays the full screen image on the viewing pod.  This means that I may be able to use a different program and either a stylus pen, or a Wacom tablet to write with. 

The use of a tablet as a writing board is more common since the touch screens appeared. Some people had used the ThinkPad W700 (Win8) with its included stylus, and the Samsung Note 8 with VirtualTablet app. In either case they experienced poor pen response when using the whiteboard in Connect. I have not come in contact with anyone that had used the iPad with Connect yet.

I had found just a few recent comments and suggestions for using annotations tools with Connect. In older posts (2010 - 2013) most people mentioned the use of tablets such as the Bamboo Wacom. However, there were complains of broken strokes and display delays.

I will be exploring the use of the iPad as a writing pad. I am researching to see how can I connect the the iPad with Connect. Our University deployed iPads to all our faculty members. I need to learn about and test apps that have good reviews for precise writing and effective connection.

Adobe Connect can be used on tablets that supports Flash. iPads do not support Flash, perhaps I could use learn how to integrate an iPad into an online meeting or webinar. I think if I use a tablet I can take advantage of the touch screen to annotate with a stylus.

There is lots to explore, I will keep looking for others that had used or are thinking about using annotating devices and apps in Connect. I need to exchange ideas. 

logo three silhouettes in front of a screen
Adobe Connect Logo

blue and black stylus pen
Stylus pen

black tablet with a stylus pen
Bamboo Wacom Tablet with Stylus

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Personalized Learning

This infographic from, compares traditional learning with one-on-one learning and explains how the latter benefit learners.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Where Good Ideas Come From

Ever thought about where ideas come from? In this infonimation Steven Johnson share his five years investigation. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PowerPoint to Captivate

Captivate 6 can import all the original effects from the PowerPoint presentation.

When using Captivate on a PC, when you open the program make sure you right click on top of the application icon and select run as Administrator. This step allows the use of advanced features of Captivate otherwise not available.

This project was edited with Camtasia 8 using Windows 7; it was published directly from Captivate into Youtube.

This presentation has graphics, animations, voice over, close captions, and background music.
The file size for this presentation is 4Mb.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PowerPoint to Camtasia

There are two ways to add PowerPoint slides into Camtasia:

• Record the PowerPoint presentation using the screen recording option to create a video that is continuous. Using this method, if you want to change the length of individual slides you have to cut the entire video and edit the part that needs to be changed.

• Or, save the slides as pictures in PowerPoint and import them into Camtasia. Using this method brings separate clips to the media bin and you could resized them individually

In this presentation the slides are imported independently. By doing this, you will are able to modify, save, import and replace just the slide affected by changes.

This project was created using Camtasia 2 for Macintosh. 
It was published directly from Camtasia to Youtube.
This project has pictures, graphics, voice over, close caption, and background music. This file does not have any animation imported from PowerPoint.

The file size is 4Mb.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Captivate and Camtasia


Camtasia records continuously until the stop button is clicked. If you forget to stop recording, Camtasia will record for several hours creating a file that is several megabits in size.

Camtasia can record video and audio isolated, or audio and video at the same time. You can also activate the webcam and record yourself.

Record panel in Catmtasia


Option to Stop Recording or Pause Recording

Option to Delete, Start Over, Resume or Complete the  recording

After the video is processed, it shows in the Media bin

Captivate records movements by saving snapshots based on the mouse movements and clicks. If you leave the computer idling and comeback a few hours later, Captivate will not record anything. This type of sequential slides saving is convenient when you edit because if you do not want any specific movement, all you have to do is delete the slide.

Recording button in Captivate

After you push record, Captivate asks where do you want the recording to be placed

In this window you get to decided the settings for the recording

in Macs, you may enable "Access for Assistive Devices" to enhance accessibility

When you stop recording, a bunch of slides show in the Filmstrip column


Captivate captures the mouse separately. Therefore, if you need to modify the position of the mouse, you can move it and the flow of the final video will not be affected.
Camtasia does not capture the mouse separately. If you edit a piece of the video, chances are that the mouse will end up jumping creating distraction for the viewer.

Captivate is an slide based editing. Each slide has its own timeline, and you can place elements on different layers within the slide. Each slide is independent and you can expand or shorten the slide as needed to accommodate written information, voice over, interactions, etc. 

Captivate Slide Layers

Camtasia uses a video based editing. The timeline contain every single element used on the presentation. The elements work as clips and can be cut as needed. If you need to elongate any part of the video, it is possible but time consuming (you may need to cut a few static frames and copy and duplicate them in sequence to cover the area). 

Camtasia Tracks

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Captivate and Camtasia Interfaces


Captivate interface is similar to PowerPoint. In Captivate you have the deck of slides on the left column and the stage in the middle area. Each slide has an individual timeline that works independently. You add all the elements you need into the same "stage" area. If you need more time per slide, you have to stretch the slide to accommodate the information.

Left column "toolbar". Center upper Applications bar, center middle "control panel", center middle underneath control panel "stage", center lower part "timeline". Right column "panels"
Captivate Interface


Camtasia reassembles the workflow of a movie editor such as iMovie or Vegas. This program assembles projects as a continuous video. You add element such as text, graphics, and audio to the same timeline in different tracks as necessary. Each element you add occupies an specific space in the timeline. You may add or stretch elements in the timeline as needed. 

Picture of Camtasia interface with labels pointing at the different parts. Left up menus, left middle clip bin, left lower tracks. Right up canvas, right middle task tabs, left lower timeline
Camtasia Interface

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Captivate - Camtasia - Snagit

Logos for Captivate, Camtasia and Snagit
Captivate, Camtasia and Snagit logos

The following chart will give you essential information regarding Captivate, Camtasia and Snagit. At this point in time the functionality of the two screencast programs Adobe Captivate and TechSmith Camtasia are very similar. It is up to the user to decide what program to use. 
The PC and Mac versions of Camtasia are very different from each other. So far Camtasia Mac slags behind the PC counterpart.

Every faculty and staff member of Cal State Fullerton can obtain a free copy of the programs mentioned before.

Here is how:
For your Laptop — walk-in to ATC - PLS-237
For your Desktop — call xt. 7777
For Home use go here

Please be aware that Captivate is only available for campus use, therefore it needs to be installed by IT or ATC staff members

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 8

About your Presentation

The videos should be the foundation for high order thinking, analysis, and application skills; they should be stepping stones towards the goals of the class.

Title the modules.

Have clear objectives for each section.

Provide examples.

Provide links to videos, websites, blogs, etc.

Provide links to reading.

Create short assessments to let students self check understanding.

Provide review options for wrong answers.

Help students process the information while watching the video by providing a note taking guide in the form of a pdf attachment.

Effective videos are 15 minutes maximum

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 7

On the Day of the Recording

picture of script with notes on the side           picture of a Flash drive
Picture of a script page with different colors notes and a flash drive
Bring your outline or script. It will be very useful especially if the subject matter is long or complicated
Bring your slide presentation
Stick to your script
Write down your actions on the script step by step to guide yourself
Practice your lines, make an effort to speak clearly to engage your audience.
Record a couple of times until you feel the lines come naturally.
Varying your tone will make your speech more engaging

Things to avoid
The sound of paper shuffling
Narration that contains “umm”s and “ahh”s
Repetitive statements
Long pauses
Hesitation during the recording
Working in a hurry

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 6

Recording your Voice

Professor in the Media Room using the equipment

Talking in front of a microphone is different from talking in front of an audience. Be aware of your “ahs” and the “mms” when you talk, try to avoid them as much as you can. You will be able to do some editing after you record, however errors in the middle of words (like stuttering) are hard to fix. 

Repeat as many times as you need to
Control your speech speed

Although you may record as many takes as you want, it is recommended that you limit the number of takes to avoid getting confused when you do your final edit.

Practice, practice before you start your final recording.

Do a 3-minute continues voice test record.  Save and listen. Repeat two or three times. You will learn to control your speech after you do this exercise.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 5

The Script

picture of script with notes on the side
Picture of a script page with different colors notes

It is greatly recommended that you have a script. A script will help you focus on the main points that you want to cover, and it will keep you from getting off the subject.

You may write notes on your script that refer to the visuals you need. You also may be able to redo audio more easily and establish where to add links and assessment. 

By having a script you can ensure your content directly refer to the relevant information in your module.

With a script you can decide where to use graphics, link to external resources, use videos o simply use text.

The script makes close captioning less time consuming. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 4

Preparing your Content

To prepare for your screencast know what you want to do. Consult with the Instructional Designer to select the methodology that is more effective for your lesson, and to learn about the tools available.

Have a plan of action

Diagram of connecting concepts inside a module and connecting modules inside a lesson
Have a solid, well-developed lesson plan. 
Pay great attention to the structure of your lesson. 
Write clear goals with sequential level of understanding building on each other. 
Create a navigation strategy. 
Divide your lesson in modules that explain individual concepts and provide plenty of opportunities for understanding.  
Make individual presentations to demonstrate step by step processes. 
Make each module part of the specific lesson, and each lesson part of the whole class. 

Students should be able to move on after 
they achieve an objective or master a concept

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 3

What to Include in the Video Presentation

Professor in front of computer recording video lecture
Professor preparing the video lecture

Introduce yourself in the video. Show your personality, if you make jokes during a face to face lecture, do your jokes in front of the microphone. Tell students your expectations and ambitions for the video lecture.
Teach students how to watch the videos. Provide a rubric for notes, explain where to find the rubric, and how to take notes. Encourage students to concentrate on the video lesson and shut down other distractions such as other websites, music, or video games. Let students know that they can watch and rewind the video as many times as necessary and that they can take notes at their own pace.
Provide the name of the lesson and explain the structure. Introduce your topic. Provide ample examples, include links and videos that are relevant to the content.
Include quizzes in the presentations for self evaluation of understanding; provide multiple opportunities to review and pass the quiz. The idea is that the students get the concept and be prepared to participate in other faces of the class such as the face to face meetings.

Create a Blog for students to get in contact with each other and to ask and answer questions related to the class. Make it clear that the blog is for specific-lesson-questions and that they should keep it short and sweet. Assign a student assistant to monitor the blog and to to consult with you regarding deleting or hiding entries not directly related to class.

Require students to bring the notes to class and offer points for completion

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 2

Selecting One Screencast Application 

Captivate logo
Camtasia Studio logo

By learning one specific application, you will have more time to concentrate on the content of your lesson.

Once you are familiar with one of the applications, create a standard set of option for your screencasts that include: Screen size and cursor options. Be aware of the different sizes and resolutions.

Use the same settings for 
the Slide Presentation and the Screencast Program
Be aware of the recording area.  
Practice mouse movements, clicks, and navigation. 
Take your time with mouse movements. Slower moves look better.
Stop over an area to emphasize, hover for a second before moving away.

Have patience, you may need to do a few takes before a comfortable flow of actions is achieved.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Media Room Best Practices 1

Media Room Video Guide

Media Room equipment

Before you start your session make yourself familiar with the equipment.
Learn valuable information regarding the equipment and software used in this room by accessing the Media Room guide via Internet 

on your laptop or tablet

If you are using an iPad use this website

If you get a message telling you that the connection to the server is lost,
click CANCEL to start the presentation

 Keep this video handy in case you need extra help when you use 
 the Media Room 

Use the designated Media Room Account on the computer:

For Mac, log in by typing Recording Account in the NAME Box; be aware of the spacing between the words.
The Password is Mediaroom298 all one word with a capital M.

For PC, log in by typing ATCLECCAP-W7\Recording Account in the NAME Box, be aware of the spacing between the words.
The Password is Mediaroom298 all one word with a capital M.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Media Room

The Academic Technology Center ATC, is please to announce the opening of the Media Room. Using state of the art audio and lighting equipment, the mini studio is located at Pollack Library South 298A. You will find two computers in the room one Mac and one PC. Both computers are loaded with Camtasia Studio, Adobe Captivate, Snagit, and Microsoft Office. 

The Media Room is available 
Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and 
Fridays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Claudia Acosta, ATC Instructional Design and Technology specialist is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm to answer your questions and to guide you in the use of the equipment and software in the Media Room. Please contact Claudia at extension 3547 or at the ATC PLS-237.

Picture of the Media Room, desk, mac, pc, mic, lights, backdrop
Media Room

Picture of the Yeti microphone in between the PC and the Mac
Yeti Microphone

Picture of the Plantronics headphones being plugged into the Mac USB connector
Plantronics Headphones

Picture of the Mac and PC set up in the Media Room
Teacher showing the Computers (Mac and PC)