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Fall 2022 EdTech & TCDC Book Club : Remembering and Forgetting in the Age of Technology by Michelle Miller (2022)

How important is memorization to learning? Are our devices making us dumber? How can technology be used strategically in our classrooms?

This fall, EdTech and TCDC are co-hosting a book club on Dr. Michelle D. Miller’s Remembering and Forgetting in the Age of Technology: Teaching, Learning, and the Science of Memory in a Wired World (2022). Join facilitators Mirabelle Tinio and Alex Samur as they explore how the digital devices our students bring to in-person and virtual classrooms impact learning.

In her latest book, Dr. Miller, a psychology professor, explains the role of memory and attention in how we learn. Her book also helps guide instructors in discussing technology with their students and using it in the classroom. Her research is relevant to anyone who is concerned about how the time we spend on our devices may affect our memory.

The weekly online (Zoom) book club begins on Tuesday, Sept. 20 (4:30-5:30pm) and runs until Oct. 25. Find the chapter breakdown below. During our first gathering, we will meet participants and start discussing Chapter 1. We would also like to spend some time co-creating the format of the book club with participants. We are just as happy to have a free-flowing discussion as we are to organize talks around guiding questions.

Sign-up here.

Accessing the book:The eBook version of Remembering and Forgetting will be available to borrow from the Langara library in early September.

Weekly chapter breakdown:

  • Week 1 (Sept. 20) – Intro: Machines, Memory, and Learning
  • Week 2 (Sept. 27) – Chapter 1: What Technology Does to Us (and for Us): Taking a Critical Look at Common Narratives
  • Week 3 (Oct. 4) – Chapter 2: Why We Remember, Why We Forget
  • Week 4 (Oct. 11) – Chapter 3: Enhancing Memory and Why It Matters (Even though Google Exists)
  • Week 5 (Oct. 18) – Chapter 4: Memory Requires Attention
  • Week 6 (Oct. 25) – Chapter 5: The Devices We Can’t Put Down: Smartphones, Laptops, Memory, and Learning
  • Conclusion: How Memory Can Thrive in a Technology-Saturated Future
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New MediaSpace Feature

New content added to Kaltura MediaSpace will be automatically captioned, whether uploaded via the Langara MediaSpace website at https://mediaspace.langara.ca, or via My Tools > My Media in Brightspace. These captions are machine-generated and should be available within 30 minutes of uploading your file. All media, including screen recordings, file uploads, web recordings, and most YouTube imports, will have captions added when uploaded to Kaltura. These are closed captions that can be deactivated by the media owner and when available, toggled on and off by the viewer. Existing media—uploaded before August 15th, 2022—will not have captions automatically added.

Machine-generated closed captions are less than 85% accurate and will not meet the requirements of students with closed captioning accommodations. Students requiring an accommodation will contact Accessibility Services, who will inform you directly. If you have a student that requires closed captions, edit your captions to ensure they are accurate or contact Langara’s Assistive Technologist to request assistance with human-edited closed captions. 

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PebblePad Briefs: Interactive Curriculum Materials

Langara’s pilot of the ePortfolio learning platform, PebblePad, is now in its second year. This will be the first in a series highlighting some of the platform’s features. Whether you’re already using PebblePad or considering using it at some point in the future, our hope is that the PebblePad Briefs extend your understanding of the platform’s capabilities.

Our first “Brief” is going to focus on what components you can include in learning materials.  Although ePortfolio (electronic/digital portfolio) technology is a tool for students to showcase their work, that’s not all PebblePad can do. In fact, it’s also a great platform to build scaffolded learning activities.

When building learning resources in PebblePad, content can be multimodal and responses can be dynamic. A learning activity, for example, might have text for students to read, a podcast for them to listen to, and a video for them to watch.  You could then add interactive fields for the students to respond to this content by checking their comprehension, rating their response, reflecting on what they’ve learned, or planning their next steps – all on the same page (or in a separate tab or resource if you’d prefer).

Content types that can be added to a learning resource include:

  • text
  • image
  • audio
  • video
  • links to other resources

Interactive response fields that can be added for students to actively engage in learning can include:

  • text fields (single or multi-line)
  • radio buttons (one answer only), checkboxes (multiple answers possible) or drop-downs
  • ratings (binary, Likert, numeric)
  • fillable tables
  • rubrics
  • add evidence buttons (allows comment or file upload)
  • date pickers
  • signature fields

Those at Langara already using PebblePad have provided feedback that the templates look great and, even more importantly, students find them easy to use.

It’s also easy to share these learning resources with your students… but we’ll leave that for another PebblePad Brief.

If you have questions about PebblePad or any other learning technology that EdTech supports, we can be contacted at edtech@langara.ca

PebblePad template with text and video in the top half and questions for students to answer in the bottom half

PebblePad Interactive Worksheet

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Guest Post by Lisa Gedak (KPU): Book clubs for professional learning: You won’t readgret it!

EdTech organized two hybrid and online book clubs the last fall and spring semesters. Lisa Gedak, a book club participant and Teaching & Learning Strategist at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, wrote an article describing her experience and the merits of cross-institutional professional book clubs. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your post! Stay tuned for the next EdTech Book Club in the fall!

Book clubs for professional learning: You won’t readgret it!

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Zoom – Live Transcripts

Zoom’s Live Transcript ""

Langara recently enabled a new Zoom feature – Live Transcript. Live Transcript provides machine-generated live speech-to-text transcription of a Zoom meeting. This feature is enabled by the host after a meeting is started. Participants only see the Live Transcript option if the host enables it.

Turning on Live Transcript during a meeting

  1. Begin your meeting 
  2. At the bottom of the screen, select Live Transcript. If you don’t see it, you might need to maximize the window. 
  3. Click Enable Auto-Transcription. The button will turn blue, indicating that live transcription is on. 

""

Once enabled, the Live Transcript button includes a tiny arrow on the top right corner. Clicking on it gives participants the option to view the transcript.  

""

The transcript is updated live as participants speak. At the end of the meeting the host and participants will be prompted to save the entire transcript. 

Limitations

  • The captions and transcript are machine-generated and do not meet accommodation standards for students requiring captions. 
  • The meeting host must start Live Transcription before participants can view the transcript. Any conversation that occurs prior to enabling the feature will not be transcribed.  
  • Live Transcripts are not available in Breakout Rooms. 
  • Live Transcripts only supports English. 

 

 

 

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Discontinuing LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser

As the spring semester winds down, you may now be shifting your focus to final exams and wondering if LockDown Browser will be available for the upcoming exam period. After over six months of troubleshooting, it has become clear that, unfortunately, LockDown Browser is no longer compatible with Langara’s computing infrastructure.

While this announcement may disappoint some faculty members, please know that this decision was not taken lightly. There were several key issues that contributed to our decision:

  • Random Freezing on Citrix Computers

    Since LockDown Browser was most frequently used during midterm and final exams, the fact that it might freeze up a Citrix computer during these critical and stressful times made it an unreliable solution—for both instructors and students. Furthermore, the conditions under which Citrix computers froze were quite random. This made it challenging to identify the specific circumstances / scenarios that might trigger these freezes. And given the prevalence of Citrix computers across Langara’s campus, EdTech and IT needed to ensure a solution that would work with all of Langara’s computers.

  • Only an Older Version Worked on Citrix Computers

    In trying to find a solution, EdTech discovered that only an older version (from Summer 2021) worked on the Citrix computers and this older version is no longer supported by Respondus, LockDown Browser’s parent company. Taking into consideration future support and compatibility issues, this was not a viable solution.

  • Reduced Use of LockDown Browser Post-Pandemic

    During the pandemic, many instructors revamped their online exams and quizzes to address academic integrity in new, innovative, and creative ways. As a result, fewer faculty required LockDown Browser after our return to campus.

That said, we are committed to supporting our faculty and instructional staff. So, if you are still concerned about academic integrity, please feel free to read our article, Designing Online Exams / Quizzes, and/or contact us. We are more than happy to help you explore and implement alternative online exam / quiz options!

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Turnitin and Student Privacy

Turnitin is a text matching tool that compares students’ written work with a database of student papers, web pages, and academic publications. The two main uses for Turnitin are: 1) for formative or low-stakes assessment of paraphrasing or citation; and 2) for prevention and identification of plagiarism.

Privacy Concerns

When an assignment is submitted to Turnitin for a text matching report, the student’s work is saved on a U.S. server as part of Turnitin’s database of more than 1 billion student papers. This raises privacy concerns that include:

  • Students’ inability to remove their work from the database
  • The indefinite length of time that papers are stored
  • Access to the content of the papers, especially personal data or sensitive content, including potential security breaches of the server

How to Use Turnitin While Protecting Student Privacy

To mitigate these privacy concerns, we recommend the following guidelines for all instructors using Turnitin:

  1. Be clear and transparent that you will be using Turnitin. Even if a course outline includes a statement indicating that Turnitin will be used in a course, we recommend not relying on that statement alone. Ideally, instructors should also explain to students that their papers will be stored on the company’s database in the U.S. and ask for their consent. If they don’t provide consent, have an alternate plan. For example, to increase confidence that the students are doing their own work you can require them to submit multiple drafts of their assignments and to annotate their reference lists.
  2. Decide whether or not students’ work needs to be saved on Turnitin’s database. The default is for all papers to be saved, but this can be changed. Not saving papers to the database means that those papers can’t be used to generate future similarity reports, but it does remove the privacy concerns. (Note: Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at Langara recommends that students’ papers be saved to help identify plagiarism.)
  3. Coach students to remove identifying details. If the students’ submissions will be added to Turnitin’s database, make sure you get them to remove any personal information from their assignment, including their name, student number, address, etc. Meta-data that is embedded should also be removed (e.g. in track changes or file properties). If you’re having them submit to an assignment folder on Brightspace, their name will be with their submission so it shouldn’t be a problem if it’s not on the paper itself.
  4. Think carefully about running a similarity report for an individual student without their knowledge. Ethical use of Turnitin occurs when it is transparently and equally used for all students. Running a report only on a specific student’s work without their knowledge or consent is not transparent or equal.
  5. Consider whether or not the assignment is appropriate for Turnitin. If the students need to include personal or sensitive information in the assignment, Turnitin should probably not be used. If you do decide to use it, the students’ papers should not be stored in the database.
  6. If contacted by another institution, be cautious about revealing student information. If at some point in the future there is a match to one of your student’s papers in Turnitin’s database, Turnitin does not give the other institution access to the text of the paper but will provide the instructor at the other institution with your email. If you are contacted about a match, consider carefully before forwarding the paper or any identifying details about the student to the other institution. If you do want to forward the paper, you should obtain the student’s consent.

Helping Students Make Turnitin Work for Them

If you’re using Turnitin, it’s highly recommended that you adjust the settings to allow the students to see their similarity reports. You may need to teach students how to interpret the reports if they haven’t learned how to do so from a previous course. Turnitin’s website has resources if you need them (https://help.turnitin.com/feedback-studio/turnitin-website/student/student-category.htm#TheSimilarityReport) and you can also point your students to the Turnitin link on Langara’s Help with Student Learning Tools iweb (https://iweb.langara.ca/lts/brightspace/turnitin/). Finally, remember that these reports won’t be helpful to a student if they’re not given the chance to revise and resubmit after they see the report. In Brightspace, we recommend that instructors set up two separate assignment folders with Turnitin enabled: one for their draft and one for the final submission.

Have questions?

If you need support with Turnitin, please contact edtech@langara.ca

References

Vanacker, B. (2011). Returning students’ right to access, choice and notice: a proposed code of ethics for instructors using Turnitin. Ethics & Information Technology, 13(4), 327-338.

Zaza, C., & McKenzie, A. (2018). Turnitin® Use at a Canadian University. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2018.2.4

Zimmerman, T.A. (2018). Twenty years of Turnitin: In an age of big data, even bigger questions remain. The 2017 CCCC Intellectual Property Annual. Retrieved from https://prod-ncte-cdn.azureedge.net/nctefiles/groups/cccc/committees/ip/2017/zimmerman2017.pdf

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Spring 2022 Ed Tech Book Club

Spring, 2022 Book Club

The Spring, 2022 Book Club selection

This spring, the EdTech Book Club will be reading Should robots replace teachers? AI and the Future of Education by Neil Selwyn (2019).
The author shares his research on AI and robotics in education. By exploring how AI is being used to develop teacher-bots, ‘intelligent tutors,’ and pedagogical agents, among other EdTech tools, he shines a light on issues around the politics and ethics of automated teaching. He clarifies what AI can do to benefit education and what it cannot do. He also warns instructors about the dangers of AI in education and advocates for critical discussions among teachers, learners, AI developers, and communities.

We invite you to join us in weekly discussions inspired by this book and other topics related to Educational Technology.

Mode: Online through Zoom with the potential for an in-person option pending COVID-19 prevention protocols.

Time / Location: Tuesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Duration: 6 weeks

Dates: February 1st – March 15th (No gathering on Tuesday, Feb 22nd during Spring Break)

The first four (4) registrants will receive a free copy of the book.

Sign Up Here

For a lighthearted song to get you in the mood for reading this book, we will leave you with a song by the Flight of the Conchords which describes the distant future: Video on YouTube

Fall, 2020 Book Club

Last fall, the EdTech Book Club read The Manifesto for Teaching Online by Bayne, et al. (2020). Participants met weekly, either via Zoom and/or in-person, to discuss the book and create our very own Manifesto. Here are some of the highlights according to a few book clubbers:

“I really enjoyed the mix of people from other educational institutions taking part in the conversation, I enjoyed that different participants had the opportunity to facilitate, bringing in the author to take part in the conversation was a great idea! The book content was interesting, engaging and allowed for a broad conversation on a range of topics.”

“Being able to connect with colleagues, and learn about tools and techniques through them, such as H5P. Also, tea and chocolate.”

“Having Jen [one of the authors of The Manifesto] come in for a meeting was really great […]. It was great to hear how things are done at other institutions. “

“Having it open to colleagues from other institutions was very helpful, so keep advertising it to the public. Being hybrid was also good, because it allows more people to participate and allows for an “after-party” session, for less structured discussion.”

After 9 weeks of rich discussions, we created the following Manifesto:

 

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Padlet, What is It, and How It Will Improve Student Engagement?

Decorative

Have you worked within a discussion board and wished it was more engaging? Hoped for a platform that had a visually appealing user experience? Have you longed for an intuitive space that allowed intuitive posting across all devices? Padlet may be the tool you are looking for.

Padlet is a digital notice board that allows users to post media, documents and links and collaborate with a “wall” based environment. An online platform that describes itself as “somewhere between a doc and a full-fledged website builder”, Padlet allows open dialogue from all users, instructors or students.

The interactive nature of Padlet is generally described as easy to use and engaging. Users can collaborate on real-time, shared boards by adding and editing posts. Users can add rich multimedia, such as images, links, and documents. Posts can be arranged in various formats to best suit the content, including whiteboards, grids, timelines, and maps. Padlet offers a range of interactive features such as anonymous contributions, comments, and reactions.

An example of how a Padlet wall can be organized.

 

Padlet is a highly versatile tool, limited only by our imagination. Some of the benefits of using Padlet to improve student engagement include:

  • Allows brainstorming and live question bank.
  • Ease of collaboration and organization.
  • Create a gallery of student work.
  • Get feedback from students with exit tickets.
  • Anonymous posting allows for inclusive participation and can empower students to share ideas.
  • Makes learning visible to the instructor and the students.
  • Allows the instructor to adjust their level of instruction to fit with students’ current level of learning.
  • Responses remain on the Padlet board for future reference while being shared in real-time with the whole class.
  • The Padlet walls can be embedded into the Langara learning management system (Brightspace).

Screenshot of a Padlet wall embedded within a Brightspace course.

Padlet can be used to:

  • Assess
  • Collaborate
  • Communicate
  • Create
  • Engage
  • Reflect

We will explore specific features of Padlet in future posts. If you are interested in triallingPadlet, please email EdTech to request a license. Afterwards, visit the Langara Padlet login page to login with your Langara account. This tool is centrally supported by Langara EdTech, and detailed help is available on our EdTech website or through the Padlet Help website.

Primary photograph by Keira Burton from Pexels used under Pexels License.

References and Additional Reading

Edwards, L. (2020, October 19). What is Padlet and how does it work for education? Retrieved January 11, 2022, from Tech Teaching website.

Meyer, K. A. (2014). Student engagement in online learning: What works and why. In Student Engagement Online: What Works and Why (pp. 1–14). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. DOI link.

Norman, M. (2017). Synchronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students. Faculty Focus. Faculty Focus website.

Padlet Features. (n.d.). Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://padlet.com/features.

Simon, E. (2018). 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions. EDUCAUSE Review. EduCause website.

Stake, J. (2021, January 22). Padlet For teachers: The best tips, tricks, and ideas for your classroom. We Are Teachers. We Are Teachers website.

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PebblePad ePortfolio Pilot at Langara

What is PebblePad*?

Langara is currently in the pilot phase of implementing the online portfolio platform, PebblePad. Digital portfolios, or ePortfolios, are powerful tools for learning, assessment, and career development because they enable users to document their skills, learning, and creativity, as well as reflect on what/how/why they learn. Using PebblePad, students can create portfolios, blogs, basic webpages, online collections of files, formal and informal reflections, action plans, and more.

Why Use PebblePad?

PebblePad is student-owned. Once a student takes a course using PebblePad, they will be issued a PebblePad account that they will have for their entire time at Langara and beyond.  This makes it a great tool for them to make connections across their learning journey, and it can support the transition to further studies or employment.

Research indicates that using digital portfolios like PebblePad within courses and programs also seems to advance student retention and success (Eynon, Gambino, & Török, 2014). Proponents theorize that ePortfolios are beneficial because they support learning in the following ways:

  • learning can be made visible, including through reflection activities
  • connections can be made across and between academic (course, program), extracurricular (work experience, volunteering), and personal (family, community life) learning
  • personal, academic, and professional identity construction can be supported
  • social pedagogies can be employed, supporting group work, peer feedback, mentorship, etc.
  • competencies – within and outside of formal academic courses – can be documented and assessed

How Might it Be Used Within a Course or Formal Learning Experience?

Instructors interested in using PebblePad have many options in terms of assignment type. Classic portfolio assignments are often used for students to document and showcase their creative work, or to create individual or group presentations.  This type of assignment empowers students to design and collate content ranging from text and hyperlinks, to images and video. In addition to portfolios, instructors can also create more guided learning activities by building templates, workbooks, and other resources for students to complete and share for assessment. We hope to be able to share some Langara examples soon, but in the meantime you can go to the PebblePad Community Learner Showcase to explore some of the work being done at other institutions.

Want to Learn More?

If you are interested in learning the basics of PebblePad, a workshop series is starting the first week of November that will run for 7 weeks (there is a morning or afternoon option — please don’t sign up for both):

Mondays: 4:00-4:30 Sign Up | PebblePad (Afternoon Series)

Thursdays: 9:30-10:00 Sign Up | PebblePad (Morning Series)

If you are unable to attend these synchronous sessions, a self-directed asynchronous option will also be made available concurrently.  If you would like to do the asynchronous option, please email edtech@langara.ca for more information.

 

*PebblePad is now the preferred ePortfolio technology of BCNET.

References

Blake Yancey, K. (Ed.). (2019). ePortfolio as Curriculum: Models and Practices for Developing Students’ ePortfolio Literacy. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., & Gambino, L.M. (2017). High-Impact ePortfolio Practice: A Catalyst for Student, Faculty, and Institutional Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Eynon, B., Gambino, L. M., & Török, J. (2014). What difference can ePortfolio make? A field report from the Connect to Learning Project. International Journal of ePortfolio, 4(1), 95-114. https://www.theijep.com/pdf/IJEP127.pdf

Penny Light, T., Chen, H., & Ittelson, J. (2011). Documenting learning with ePortfolios: A guide for college instructors. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Watson, C. E., Kuh, G. D., Rhodes, T., Light, T. P., & Chen, H. L. (2016). Editorial: ePortfolios – The Eleventh High Impact Practice. International Journal of EPortfolio6(2), 65–69.

Yeo, N., & Rowley, J. (2020). ‘Putting on a Show’ Non-Placement WIL in the Performing Arts: Documenting Professional Rehearsal and Performance Using Eportfolio Reflections. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(4).

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