POT Newsletter #50 (November 2013)

It’s our 50th newsletter!

What workshops would you like?

The Program for Online Teaching offers on-campus workshops (during flex week and the regular semester) on the pedagogy of teaching online and using educational technologies in the classroom.

We’ve got a quick little text box at the POT website (http://mccpot.org/wp) – please let us know what workshops you would like us to offer in Spring.

Getting flex credit for POT

Did you know that you can get flex hours for most things related to POT? Most are pre-approved as Category II activities, such as participation in the POT Cert Class. We also have Category I workshops and Cateogories II and III activities. Keep reading for more!

Moodle workshop Friday, December 13 at 2:00

Moodle is the MiraCosta-sponsored alternative to Blackboard. Based on a social constructivist pedagogy, Moodle offers an “opt-in” system, where you add what features you want to your class. Support is provided by an outside vendor to which MiraCosta subscribes. All the tools are there: assignments, gradebook, embedded media, linking out to other stuff. Moodle is laid out more like a syllabus, week by week, and many faculty find it easier to use. Both the Moodle-curious and experienced Moodlers are invited to this workshop.

Sign up at flex (http://www.miracosta.edu/flex) after December 1.

Online Education: POT Certificate Class (Spring Semester) starts February 1.

The POT Certificate Class’ first semester (Online Pedagogy) is winding down at the class website (http://bit.ly/potcert13).

The second semester, which can be taken separately for an Online Education badge, is free, faculty-taught, and focuses on online media tools, networked educating, and online educational theory. While it’s not the “how to teach online” semester, the Online Education section provides 12 weeks of guided readings and viewings, plus a great but smaller-sized community of educators from MiraCosta and other colleges around the world. We start February 1.

A textbook is required but we have copies of it in the PDP office, and an e-text of it at the library’s website.

As a MiraCosta College faculty member, you may claim flex credit for the reading, creating and blogging involved in the class. The POT Cert Class is a pre-approved Category II activity. Participants and certificate students may claim credit at the end of the year by putting the URL of their blog in the “Location” field on the Category II form at http://www. miracosta.edu/flex, and uploading a pdf or screenshot of the main page of their blog. Both full-time and associate faculty are welcome in this program. At 4-5 hours per week, possible participation may total a large portion of the flex contract for full-time faculty.

Come by the website at http://bit.ly/potcert13 and, if it looks interesting to you, just fill out the blue link: Register for Spring.

Tech we’re playing with (free, of course)

Plotagon – this is a downloadable free program for making animated videos using text-to-speech. Select your avatars and location, and type in the conversation. The program converts the text to speech, and the avatars can talk to each other using selected “moods” (happy, angry, serious, etc.). https://plotagon.com/.

Present.me – this online service allows you to have a presentation with one side of the screen showing a video of your talking, and the other showing your slides. https://present.me/

Togethertube is a way to watch Youtube videos with a group. No need for registration or login and everyone can text chat during the movie.

New at the POT website

Mike Bogle’s excellent Moodle 2 video tutorials

Moodle tools guide (organized according to teaching use)

Newly recommended videos at YouTube

Creating a custom map with Google Maps (http://mccpot.org/wp/2013/11/creating-a-custom-map-with-google-maps/)

Giving students audio comments in Google Docs (by Jennifer Roberts) http://youtu.be/Llv1Nh4Om0c

Tip of the Newsletter: Showing a clip from a YouTube video

When you choose Share -> Embed on a YouTube video to show to your students a video inside Blackboard or Moodle, YouTube give you code that looks like this:

 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/vhAH53HZhxI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

But what if you want to show just a portion of that video? If you want to show just an excerpt, you can use a service like Splicd, where you enter the YouTube video’s URL and the start and stop times and it gives you the code. It looks like this:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120"></param>
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed>
<div style="text-align: right; margin-top: 3px; width: 425px; height: 344px;">
<a href="http://splicd.com" style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-size: 13px; text-decoration: none; font-family: Helvetica,sans-serif;">powered by <span style="color: rgb(200, 91, 0);">Splicd.com</span></a></div>

What is Splicd doing?

First, it’s taking credit in its own URL. 🙂 But it’s also adding the start and end times:


You can do this yourself. Just add these to YouTube’s simpler code:

 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

POT will be offering a workshop about YouTube in spring – stay tuned!

Help wanted!

POT is seeking volunteers to facilitate cool workshops, help teach the POT Cert class, assist with the website, and undertake other (flex-eligible) tasks. Have you been teaching online for a year or more, and are willing to share what you do with others? Do you have experience with an unusual tool or technique? Or maybe you just have a little time to comment on other people’s posts in the POT Cert class as they work their way through?  Contact Lisa and volunteer for Spring!

Happy online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced teaching,




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