Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Emerging Technologies Workshop at Sloan-C

Hi Everyone-

I am at the Sloan-C conference on Online Learning in Orlando this week. I am attending all sorts of fascinating presentations and workshops and I want to pass at least some of the information on to you. Today I am at a workshop on emerging technologies....

Adding Audio

Adobe Acrobat lets you embed little tiny audio files in pdf files. So you can read your student's papers and comment via audio on their work. This of course requires that you own Acrobat Pro, which he thought was around $60.

The speaker's (Phil Ice) research suggests it saves about 60% of overall grading time. He also had research suggesting learning outcomes were significantly improved. The other reason to add audio comments on student work was some research quoted that showed learning improved when two senses were involved in the learning process (audio and visual). I will try to track that down as well.

Another way to do this is to record your grading session in Elluminate (we have a license or Elluminate V-Room is the free version) or in Adobe Connect (Connect Now is the free version). This also works well, but is a little bit more challenging for students to manage.
I think you could also do this in Voice Thread, but haven't tried that yet. (, also has a free version).

Collaborative Documents

Adobe's new product is Buzzword. If you have used Googledocs this is significantly snazzier. If you want to send me your email address (to I will add you to a document so you can see how it works with sharing turned on. (Side note -- there are two paths to collaboration -- wikis and web-based document management systems. They may be going to the same place, but are taking different routes. Wikis are very simple to use and have built in discussion tabs and version tracking. Buzzword concentrates on giving you the ability to build a document that you might print -- easy to add images for example. We have a wiki available for your use also -- or

Other Powerpoint Type Presentations

Slide Rocket is an online powerpoint presentation with a free version. You can find it at

Keynote - Terry Anderson of Athabasca University

Athabasca is Canada's online university. Here are the slides up on Slideshare already -

Tonight Terry included some research on the efficacy of distance learning, synchronous versus asynchronous models, and the relative importance of different types of interaction (student/student, student/teacher, and student/content). Student/student turns out to be very important and it might be true that if you get one type right you might be able to sluff a bit on the other two.

Oh and slide 6 gives you the reason eLearnng is so popular right now. Completely wortyh the entire presentation just for that slide.

More tomorrow -- it's dinner time here.

Lisa Cheney-Steen


Lisa Cheney-Steen said...

From Sharon Tayor (Thanks!)


Thanks for the info. Glad you’re enjoying the Sloan-C symposium in Orlando.

As you know, I work with Sloan C. Am familiar with Ice’s (et al.’s) work on embedding voice into PDF files. Here’s his study on the topic, in case you also want to pass it along to CCCO faculty:

Ice, P., Raegan, C., Phillips, P., & Wells, J. (2007, July). Using asynchronous audio feedback to enhance teaching presence and students’ sense of community. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(2). Retrieved November 6, 2008, from,%20Curtis,%20hilips,%20&%20Wells%20(2007).htm

Lisa Cheney-Steen said...

And from Padma a question and response on accessibility and bandwidth:

I think that is always an issue, although most pc's are equipped to handle audio files. Listen to your students should they complain. :^) I did use Voicethread with students last spring to good reviews -- I had a couple of students who wanted to do a presentation instead of a paper and thought it was easy to use. As far as I know everyone who tried to listen and watch could.


Lisa Cheney-Steen
Co-Executive Director for Learning Technology
Colorado Community College System

From: Ramakrishna Polepeddi
Subject: RE: [Faculty] [CCCOnline Faculty News] Emerging Technologies Workshop at Sloan-C

Thanks for sharing all these exciting developments in reaching out to students.
My one question would be - how prepared and updated should the recipient
computers or the student computers be to receive this kind of technology.

I ask this because often times my college-bound son will send me an exciting link
and as one of my computers is not equipped with 2008 technology updates, I
cannot open the files.

Thanks once again for sharing-


Lisa Cheney-Steen said...

And last someone asked for more information on Buzzword. I don't really have much -- you can google Buzzword or I believe the website is Once you set up a user ID and password you are good to go there.

Remember to back-up anything you really can't afford to lose -- Adobe has a pretty good track record and probably isn't going anywhere soon, but sometimes it's worth being cautious. (Not that I ever really do back-up whatever I put into the cloud, but this might be a do as I suggest, not as I do situation. :^))