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Showing posts from August, 2011


Ever wonder where good ideas come from? Author and speaker Steven Johnson explains in this short excerpt that has been made into an animated video. Steven Johnson was also one of the keynote speakers at BbWorld 2011 where he spoke on the same topic. Here is the link: (4:07)

Social Media Giveaways - Be Careful!

A giveaway at your social media or website is a great way to attract interest and participation from your readers, but they can inadvertently cause you to violate a law. Sweepstakes require you employ the rules of chance, without special consideration for anyone person or group. Contests require some measure of merit, however small, but must eliminate the element of chance. Lotteries require a "consideration" given or paid by entrants, and are prohibited in some states.
Asking participants to seek and find an item on a website, or give information about their preferences or identity could be considered a "consideration", the same as buying a lottery ticket could. So your "contest" or "sweepstake" could innocently become an illegal lottery. This Social Media Examiner article offers a checklist of items to include in your contest or giveaway rules to avoid some legal pitfalls. Some are "no purchase necessary", number of prizes and h…

BB 9 Webinar - Service Pack 6 Features

Here are some of the new features in Service Pack 6
Interactive RubricsYou can review blog posts and while doing so, pop up a rubric you created and score and give feedback directly into it.
Alternatively you can have it as a pop-up list with a box for entering the score. All of this happens within the blog environment without having to go to the grade center.Autosubmissions for quizzes:Quizzes can be set to autosubmit after a certain amount of time. It's really the only way to control this. The status of questions (answered or not), and time remaining can display. OR students can turn it off if this makes them more nervous. Many will feel it gives them more control over their time management.Needs Grading Feature (Grade Center)In the Control Panel chose Grade Center, then Needs Grading. Choose a category of ungraded items . Click an item to grade it.

SCORM Shareable content object reference modelUseful for packaging scoring across different systems.BB is ahead of many systems as ye…


I think Google is a teacher's best friend. Now they have a plug-in that you can use to do grading. Using Google forms, you can create a test/quiz and then have your students take it. Once done, in the populated spreadsheet with all the responses you can use Flubaroo to automatically correct the responses and give you the grades. How I wish Google has these features 10 years ago when I was in the classroom.

Here's a short video demonstrating how to use Flubaroo.

Presenting and Presentations

Michigan Educators Push for More Online Courses

Aloha kākou,Cassie, Kel and I did a Blackboard Training session for DOE teachers who are partnering with Kauhale Kīpaipai to offer courses to newly hired DOE teachers. One of the questions a few teachers asked me was about how prevalent online courses for students were outside of Hawai`i. I think they were a little surprised at how rapidly it is growing and how soon, I think, it will become a norm and not an exception designed for only a very specific population of students. I came across this article this morning. I'm always interested in what is happening in the state of Michigan because when I first started working in ISC (a.k.a KSDL a.k.a VSDL :)) six years ago, Michigan had just passed a law mandating that all students pass at least one online course as a graduation requirement. You'll see in the article that Michigan now offers around 15,000 online courses. I think the interesting points in the article deal with changing laws and policies to keep up with the growing dema…