Never heard of PortaPortal? Though its name is sometimes confused with a port-a-potty; they actually have very little in common except they both store a lot of “crap”. Unlike the port-a-potty (’nuff said), PortaPortal is a server based digital bookmarking tool that stores a ton of crap—digital crap, that is—into a very organized menu; thus keeping your favorite website references at your fingertips. Because PortaPortal is digital it can be accessed from any browser, any computer. Better yet, you can even share it with others—both students and colleagues. I especially find it helpful when I am searching a topic on the Internet. I keep my portal open and as I find a great resource, I enter the link (and it sure beats keeping track of a hundred different sticky notes!) To learn more about this free resource (and an inexpensive option, if like me, you want to ditch the banner adds) read on…
I often use Microsoft’s Snipping Tool to make grading with rubrics easier and quicker. With your rubric and a few key strokes, you can grade clearly and efficiently. See the accompanying short Camtasia video for specifics. I apologize for the gravelly voice and background hum.
6, 7, 8, or more classes
24 or 32 students in each class
potentially 256 separate email identities landing in your in-box
How to organize them and know who belongs to what class?
Luckily, the Outlook email system allows for easy organization of student emails. Rather than having these separate emails in your inbox, you can direct Outlook to sort these emails into the proper class folder. This will save you time and allow you to address specific classes and students quickly.
Mind maps are a neat activity that can be used for lots of different applications, and there are lots of free versions of the software available online. The one above was made for a Teaching Methods class. Try making one with your class or have the learners make one for a class project or group discussion topic.
Put your heads together!
When students take an online course, they don’t have the benefit of meeting with the instructor, or even other students, in person. Because of this disconnect, it’s easy to see how students can feel left behind or alienated. Would you like some ideas on how to help motivate online learners?