Where Did the Session Summaries Go?

We are using our CTEI Mentoring Moodle shell whenever we have session summaries. This keeps the material on an internal to HFC server and allows us to easily password protect things. This can be important when we have an external speaker willing to allow us to record, but not willing to let us post publically.

We have some other information there as well. Please join me on a 90 second tour of the most popular features.

Adding People to Invites

This video (Microsoft Stream- login with HFC credentials) shows how to use the web based email client to forward a meeting invite to someone knew without sending the invitation to everyone.

I had asked for people who wanted to attend a monthly walk-on committee meeting. I did not want to keep a list of who responded and send them an email at a later date because those folks might wonder what is happening and I am not organized enough to do that carefully. I also did not want to resent the invite 10 times to the folks already on the committee. My solution is in the video.

Zoom, Lava, Philosophers, and x’s

I attended a professional development session run by Doug Shaw, Ph. D. on January 14. The session was titled OK, Zoomer. The session consists of several ways you can use and stretch the use of Zoom features to make classes more interesting and interactive.

Each technique in itself is not surprising, but there is probably a few ideas that would be new to anyone. To give you the flavor without giving away the whole session, here are two that tie together that I am using. “The enter key is lava” can be used to have students type a response but not feel they are in a race with other students. Students may not press enter until the teacher says to press enter.

Another technique is to have a few backgrounds ready to key certain activities. I use the green and red check background to let students know they are voting, the Socrates background to let them know we are using Socrative and the lava background for… well you know.

This shows me with the lava background and my other backgrounds: socrates, green check/ red x, HFC logo, and neutral
My common backgrounds

It was 90 minutes well spent. Shaw asks for a donation for attending and recommends $10 to $30 depending on your ability to pay. As of this morning nothing new is scheduled but there is a link where you can be alerted to new sessions.

Google JamBoard

I guess the Google Jamboard whiteboard app has been around for 4 years. I think it is tied to a hardware product that you could use with Jamboard that was also (for clarity?) called Jamboard. Basically it is an alternative to using a Googlesheet or Googledoc to collaborate. I learned about it in a professional development session about something else.

You can open a Jamboard by going to jamboard.google.com when logged into your google account. Select the orange plus to create a new Jamboard. You can share view or edit links with participants in a class or meeting. Make sure to change the settings to anyone with the link can edit for maximum participation. Or, if you know everyone’s Google handle you can invite them individually.

In a jamboard you can post, edit, and rearrange sticky notes. This could be helpful for brainstorming and creating commonalities. You can write with various markers in assorted colors. You can erase. You can import a photo. You can add text. You have access to a laser pointer in case you are sharing this in Zoom, Teams, or another teleconferencing product.

A picture of sticky notes and visual art from a musician in JamBoard
A picture of sticky notes and visual art from a musician in Jamboard

I have used it to help brainstorm and gather ideas for Local 1650 social events and to take notes on a CTEI Session called Teamwork Tuesdays this week (view only link). I am not sure if I am using it so much because it is new and the infatuation will wear off. I do however see uses for this that shared spreadsheets and documents might be harder to replicate. You can rearrange and group the notes easily and visually for instance. You could then use text or a pen to label the larger category. You could use it to vote (somewhat openly).

I suspect many of you already knew about this one. The rest of you might want to check it out.

Email to Task or Meeting via Dragging on the Web Client

You can make a meeting or task on the Outlook webclient by just dragging and dropping the email provided you are in the My Day view. My Day is on the top left of your screen and looks like a calendar with a check mark on it. Select that. Drag your email to the appropriate spot and complete the dialog that appears.

Be careful about creating an “Event”. This makes a meeting and not an appointment so you might need to remove the other email recipients and add yourself as the only meeting attendee to avoid sending this to everyone on the original email. Of course you can leave them if you want to meet with everyone on the email.

This video shows some of the steps.

G: Drive : Boomer :: FILR : Millenial

Don’t worry about Generation X. No one does.

The G: Drive was (and is) the name given to a portion of a shared network drive at HFC. It gets its name from the fact that when you log into a computer on campus it usually maps to the part of the shared drive to the drive name G:. In contrast the portion of the shared drive that just has your files is called H:. A bonus explanation at the end of the article explains what a K: drive is.

You can get at those remotely. The easiest way is to use FILR. Using FILR the G: and H: drives will look like they are on your local computer.

This shows some of the file system of a computer including a file called filr displaying g: drive contents
FILR looks like it is running locally.

To get FILR:

  1. Go to the Portal at my.hfcc.edu
  2. Select the blue bar that reads ALL HFC WEB APPLICATION SYSTEMS
  3. Select “Filr Network Drive Access (H: and K: drive) – access your files and files on the shared K drive.”
  4. Download and install the FILR WINDOWS CLIENT. There is a tiny link to “Other Client Downloads” that mentions OS X, but I have not tried it. If you install this on a Mac I wish you well.
A picture of the landing screen at HFCC after you click H or K drive. It shows where to download FILR

Everytime you log into the computer it will ask for a password. If you give it you are connected to the files. You can safely ignore it if you do not think you need G: or H: drive access.

So, what was a K: drive, you ask? The H: and K: drives used to be separate then they got merged. One was for classroom computer desktops (K:) and one was for office computer desktops (H:). Networks were strange back in the day. Now go ask your grandparents about FTP clients.

You Otter Use Captioning Software

Phew. The bad pun is out of the way. Soon, the college will have otter.ai available as a live captioning service for Zoom. It can create live captions for your videos. This does not describe the initial set up. You will get information about that via email.

This shows how I set up a the captioning to work at the start of a session. As usual there are probably better ways. For instance, there must be a way to find the two needed menus when a screen share is happening . . . right?

Anyway, here is the video. It is in Microsoft Stream and will require you to login with your HFC credentials to see it.

Using Screencast-O-Matic and a Document Camera

I bought an IPEVO V4K document camera on he advice of a colleague. It costs about $100 but seems to have the features of a cameras from more prominent names like Elmo at the $200 price range. I started to experiment with it today.

My second video is the one I uploaded. I ran the software (IPEVO Visualizer) you can download from IPEVO to display your camera feed on screen. I captured that display using Screencast-O-Matic. In the video you will see I had some trouble staying in the frame I selected to record. (You will also see I had some trouble using the blade guard on my new hair clippers.) I had an earlier attempt at a different problem where I did not select my headphone mic and instead used the built in mic on the document camera so it caught all the background noise in my house. So those are two things to watch out for if you use this system to capture videos.

In post production I added the problem as an overlay and I added details about three parts of the problem.

I think if I practice this over the next couple weeks this would be a good way to answer students questions I receive via email or to create some examples of problems for students.

Thanks to Sam Bazzi for referring me to Screencast-O-Matic and to Linda Brandt for telling me about he IPEVO V4K.

Here is the video:

Screencast-O-Matic is the Bomb

“The bomb” is good for those of you generationally challenged.

We had a demonstration of this product this morning in the math department. (Thanks, Sam.) I then went and made a couple videos.

To just record the video is free. To get access to the editing tools costs money but it is as low as $1 per month.

To record a video you touch the button for making a video, select a screen region, and press record. When you are done you press pause and then done.

When you edit you can add overlays, cut sections, speed up sections, and more. I jazzed up a video below to give you a sense of what you can do. Their captions are really close to accurate. I could very quickly edit those to match what I said.

You can store files with them or store them locally. I went with the local storage. I could later upload this to my favorite streaming service in case it were a particularly long video.