Tips and Tricks

Useful Teaching Websites, Blogs, and Tools (all links)

Links for Pedagogy and Technology

Share ideas with your colleagues on MUir's forum pages

Miscellaneous Tips

The document camera is your friend!

What is a document camera? It's an overhead projector that works without transparencies and projects through the digital projector in your smart classroom. You can use it to show and/or workshop student writing on the spot; to focus attention on an image, a passage of literature, or a three-dimensional object; to project an image of anything you can take a picture of. Let's get rid of the overhead projector for good!

Use the classroom computer to project DVDs

Most of the TVs are outmoded and have very small screens; avoid these problems by projecting your DVD through the computer in your smart classroom. If you've got a VHS, you can request E-Learning Services to create a one-time instructional DVD copy for use in the classroom.

Request training from ITS

ITS offers a variety of seminars and workshops, but sometimes it's simplest to give them a call and ask for one-on-one instruction.

Get a new pair of eyes on your classroom and learn from your colleagues

Have someone from CTE sit down with you and give feedback on your teaching. Sit in on a colleague's class meeting and see what s/he does; have a colleague sit in with you. What have your colleagues been doing with technology in the classroom? What interesting projects have they been assigning? How can you use the library effectively? Check back here for brief overviews of things that worked in the classroom.

Use online forms to request rooms and equipment delivery

The more often we use the electronic forms, the more we'll get and the better response time will be! Many forms can be dynamically submitted online, and others are available in PDF form (which means you'll have to print them out and send through campus mail).

Giving appropriate feedback is essential!

If we don't take the time to inform the right person when something doesn't go according to plan, or when you haven't been able to get the support you've needed, the problem will never go away. Often, we don't know when something doesn't work or when faculty don't know how to do/get done X, Y, or Z. Use the "smart classroom" feedback form to get the word to the right people. If you need to give feedback to the library, they have an online suggestion box; or, you can talk to your liaison and other faculty sitting on relevant committees.

Steamline your course website

Avoid preparing the same Bb materials every term by using the content collection feature. Simply upload materials to your content collection and add a link to them from your course Bb site. You can also archive past courses and reuse them! Learn how by contacting ITS. You can also create free educational wikis and blogs for your course materials, which you won't have to archive and re-create every.

Make use of area libraries, museums, and other cultural attractions

Did you know that your students can physically go to and check books out from WRLC libraries? Did you know that you can request a WRLC library to let you use space in their facilities for class meetings? Visit area special collections, or encourage your students to get a Library of Congress reader's card! Fieldtrips can be difficult to plan, but if you offer alternative assignments, you can have your students go to an area museum for their coursework.

Avoid handout fatigue by creating a coursepack for your students

Single educational copies can be made for your students under current copyright law, as long as you don't use the same copies for consecutive classes.

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