Truman Tech Break - Google Forms

Google has a myriad of tools to make daily tasks simpler.  Google Forms is a fantastic option for collecting and organizing data.  Whether you need to create a survey, an exit ticket for a course, an equipment checkout form, document when supplies need to be restocked, or any other use you can come up with, Google Forms is a quick and easy solution.  It will take all of the data from the form, input it into a spreadsheet for you, and offer additional analytics.  With recent updates, you can now embed videos and pictures into the forms.  Google has also allowed a number of third party add-ons that expand the uses for Forms including one, Flubaroo, that will automatically grade quizzes and assignments done through Forms.

Here is a brief introduction to this tool:


Truman Tech Break - myHistro

myHistro is a web-based timeline tool.  It allows for not just dates and events to be entered, but to tie each of those events to a specific location using Google maps.  Beyond that, you can add photos and notes to each event to create a more immersive and detailed experience.  Once created, you can create quizzes from the timeline or export it as a pdf, csv, Google Earth, or other file.

Beyond implementing as a presentation tool or assignment for a course, my Histro could be used as a journaling tool for your life history, to plan your next vacation, or document the history of your department.

Check out this video for a short introduction:


Truman Tech Break - eduCanon

When making mini-lectures, sharing interesting “found” videos with students, or when creating online training – there is always the concern that just watching a video is so passive that your target audience will not stay engaged.  eduCanon is an easy-to-use cloud-based app that allows an instructor to insert reflective pauses, multiple choice questions and more, right onto a video you wish to share.

eduCanon uses videos that you have uploaded or found on YouTube.  The free version has a number of different kinds of questions you can add.  If you are active about posting new videos, they will add features from the paid version to your account at no cost.

Find out more about this great tool for making videos more involved by watching the following:


Truman Tech Break - Remind

Remind is a fantastic tool that allows for sending group or individual texts to an entire class, set of student workers, department, or other combination of people.  Even better, it does not require ever collecting the participants phone numbers.  This means that you gain all of the advantages of texting without having to cross those professional barriers of exchanging private numbers with students or others.

Remind is simple to set up.  All you need to do is create a group or class and then send the invite via email to all of your participants.  They can then submit their desired phone number to Remind (which remains unseen by anyone) and the process is complete.  Sending a group text is as easy as typing it in to the web page and clicking send.  You can also set texts to go out at specific times.  Many more features are available through their mobile app.

To learn more about Remind, please watch this brief video:


Truman Tech Break -


Screencast-o-Matic is a web based service that allows you to create and host screen casts online.  A screen cast captures your computer desktop as a video, and allows you to capture additional audio as voice over.  If you've ever watched a video of computer screen with someone giving directions to you at the same time, you've seen a screen cast. Screencast-o-Matic is a free tool that allows you to record a 15 minute screen cast, and publish it online. 

Now you can share anything you see on your computer with anyone else. Seeing is believing. That is, it's easier to deny an idea that's abstracted, but much harder to deny concrete evidence that you can see. Sceencast-o-Matic allows you to share what you're seeing on your computer with someone else, as well as an audio commentary at the same time. Maybe that means that you want to narrate a slide show, or a PowerPoint presentation; maybe you'd rather show some graphs and point out data consistencies (or inconsistencies). This is kind of like "show and tell," but instead of sharing your favorite geode with just your classmates, you can now share anything you find on the internet with anyone that has an internet connection.

To learn more about how to use Screencast-O-Matic, please watch the brief tutorial below:


Truman Tech Break - Truman's Virtual Desktop Environment

Truman State University’s virtual desktop environment is available to give you access to the same software and resources available in our public computer labs and classrooms from your personal computer system even if you live on campus or off campus.

  • The virtual desktop connection will give you a full screen remote connection to the same system that is available in our labs and classrooms. It will appear to you as if you are in front of a computer lab system. You can access any of the software on the current image, access your Y: drive, etc.
  • You must have a broadband connection to use the virtual desktops from off campus.  It will not work over a dial-up connection.

To learn more, please watch this brief tutorial below:


Truman Tech Break - PollEverywhere Audience Response Software

To learn more about PollEverywhere, please watch the brief video below!


Truman Tech Breaks

The 2015 PASSHE Virtual Conference

In honor of the tradition of University Conference Day and its plethora of development options, our Truman Techbreak today is a full access pass to the2015 PASSHE Virtual Conference:  Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment.

By following the link below, you will find a huge listing of the recorded sessions from this week’s conference AND the live sessions going on today and tomorrow.  Sessions include topics such as “Digital Engagement for Student Success”, “Flip Classes & Lectures: We Know Why - But How?” and “Designing Authentic Assignments to Engage Students”.

Conference Session Listing:

To view the archives (recorded sessions) or to join a live session, you will be prompted to install the Blackboard Collaborate plug-in, this is quick download and install.  We encourage you to also run the audio set-up wizard for the best results.  For more detailed help/tips see the “Collaborate Instructions” on the left-hand menu on the Session List page.

We have access to the PASSHE Virtual Conference sessions not just this week, but through the end of March.  That way, you can pick and choose the sessions you’d like to review, when you’d like to!

In next week’s Truman Techbreak, Instructional Designer, Susan Thomas will be back to discuss the just-in-time-teaching tool – Poll Everywhere – for those of you interested in getting feedback from your students or staff in the spur of the moment WITHOUT the use of dedicated clicker devices.

Your Learning Technologies Team

--Diane & Susan

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