Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gamify Classroom Response with Kahoot!

Kahoot is a free web application that makes it easy to create game-based quizzes, polls, or discussions that students can play using any device that can access the web (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.) The games you create and play are called Kahoots.

Once you create your free account, it's easy to get started by using an existing Kahoot or creating your own. The create Kahoot site walks you through the steps of creating your own game which can be customized with videos and images. Students do not need to create accounts to play.

How you might use Kahoot

  • Introduce a topic or discussion
  • Formative assessment
  • Check for understanding
  • Anonymous polling
  • Gamify class sessions and engage students with individual or group competition
  • Quizzes for self-paced study or in class test prep 


  • The Copyright/Trademarks section of Kahoot's Terms and Conditions gives Kahoot! property rights to all created content.
  • Those playing a Kahoot can enter anything as their identification.
  • By default, Kahoots you create are publically shared and resusable.
  • Kahoots! require internet access.

More Information

Collins, Katie. “Kahoot! Is Gamifying the Classroom.” WIRED UK. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/kahoot-gaming-education-platform-norway
Singer, Natasha. “Kahoot App Brings Urgency of a Quiz Show to the Classroom.” The New York Times, April 16, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/technology/kahoot-app-brings-urgency-of-a-quiz-show-to-the-classroom.html
Wang, Alf Inge, and Andreas Lieberoth. “The Effect of Points and Audio on Concentration, Engagement, Enjoyment, Learning, Motivation, and Classroom Dynamics Using Kahoot!” In Proceedings From the 10th European Conference of Game Based Learning. Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2016. http://www.idi.ntnu.no/~alfw/publications/ECGBL2016-Effect_of_points_and_audio_in_Kahoot.pdf

You can check out Kahoot at https://getkahoot.com/

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Get a Custom Fit with Scan Tailor

So a student came to me asking about how to scan a chapter of a book so she could read it on her phone.  My first thought was, "Sure, we've got scanners--go for it."  Of course, my inner Sisyphus said, "No, no, no.  Let's see if there's a new way to do this--and not use scanners...

I had been using an app called Genius Scan for a while to take photos of receipts, convert to .pdf and save on Google Drive.  This works fine--it's a great app--except for the ads.  So, I went looking for something free and open source, and without ads.  I found Scantailor on Github and decided to give it a try.  Here's the rub on what it is:

Scan Tailor is an interactive tool for post-processing of scanned pages. It gives the ability to cut or crop pages, compensate for skew angle, and add / delete content fields and margins, among others. You begin with raw scans, and end up with tiff's that are ready for printing or assembly in PDF or DjVu file.

Anyway, we tried it. It worked fine, and the student had what she needed. The only major drawback, was that Scantailor doesn't aggregate your scans into a multipage document.  

- Open Source
- Lots of features
- Customizable options
- Easy to use

- Not updated very often
Best Fee DIY Book Scanning Post-Processing Software (although that's really not saying much)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Using Pear Deck for Interactive Presentations

For the Spring 2017 term, IT is evaluating interactive presentation software PearDeck as a possible permanent polling solution. During this trial period, PearDeck is available to all users in the lclark.edu domain, which includes students, staff, and faculty. PearDeck may be accessed either via the web through the PearDeck website (sign in with your LC Gmail credentials). You may also access PearDeck from within Google Drive by either opening an existing Google Slides presentation directly into PearDeck (right-click > Open With > Pear Deck) or selecting the New button and selecting PearDeck from the list. PearDeck presentations—both imported and created from scratch—are saved in the user’s PearDeck home screen as well as within Google Drive.

When creating Poll Slides for your PearDeck presentation, audience interaction options include multiple choice, drawing, draggable indicators, and free text response, as well as some variations of each of these options. At the beginning of a presentation (as well as in the bottom corner during the presentation) PearDeck displays a code users may use to enter the presentation via the site peardeck.com/join. PearDeck requires participants to log in with Google credentials. Keep in mind that if you plan to use it for a presentation that may include non-LC participants, some users may not have a personal or professional Google account.

PearDeck is available to all users within the lclark.edu domain. Please feel free to try this polling tool and please take the time to send us feedback on your experience.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

G Suite - Winter 2017 LC Update Highlights

It's been a little while since our last update, but here are G Suite Updates that are now available to our users. For a look at what's on it's way, you can check out the G Suite Updates Blog or the G Suite Launch Release Calendar (we're on the Scheduled Release track).

Link to Cell Ranges in Google Sheets (02/13/2017)

With this new functionality, you can create a “table of contents” for your spreadsheet, direct others to specific content within your spreadsheet, and retain links to cells when you import spreadsheets from other applications. To link to cells in your spreadsheet, simply go to "Insert link" > "Select a range of cells to link" and type or highlight the desired range.

Quickly and Easily Cite Your Sources with Explore in Google Docs (12/05/2016)

Google has enabled quick and easy citation through the Explore feature. Users may now directly add citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago formats from within the Explore window.

Save time with new custom templates in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms (11/16/2016)

As you've probably noticed, templates are now available from the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms home screens. Not only can you utilize existing emplates, you may also submit new ones of your own.

New iterative calculation settings and more in Google Sheets (12/06/2016)

To prevent the errors that sometimes plague complex calculations, today we’re launching a new setting in Sheets on the web (File > Spreadsheet settings > Calculation > Iterative calculation) that allows you to set the maximum number of times a calculation with a circular reference can take place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What can .edu do for you?

Having an @lclark.edu email address gives Lewis & Clark faculty, staff and students free perks when it comes to Google Apps use and Google Drive storage. In addition, having a .edu address of any sort provides many more perks, both for work and pleasure. Here is a short list of the many offerings available:

- 50% off Spotify Premium and Apple Music
- 60% off Adobe Creative Cloud, for one year
- 96% off Corel products
- Amazon Prime Student - Free for 6 months
- Autodesk software for free
- Discounts on Dell Products
- Free digital subscription to The Washington Post
- Github Student Developer Pack
- New York Times Digital Edition for $1 per week
Prezi subscription
- Rotating discounts at Best Buy
- Save 10% or more on Microsoft Products
- Six months of LastPass
- Some discounts on Apple Products

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2016 Faculty Technology Showcase

In December, faculty, staff and students convened at Smith Hall for the annual Faculty Technology Showcase. The showcase is an opportunity for Lewis & Clark to present technology related projects and initiatives that have aided their instruction or research in the past year. This year's event saw an increase in both presenters and attendance as compared to the prior year, with all three of Lewis & Clark's campuses presenting.

New topics this year included an emphasis on the R programming language for Statistics, The Law School's new lecture capture and video repository system - Panopto, and the wireless classroom projection pilot. A full list of presenters, along with descriptions of their presentations, can be found here. EdTech also demo'd several new products, including the HTC Vive, Microsoft Hololens, and the 2016 MacBook Pro. Enjoy the photos, and hope to see you at next year's event!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Remote Pilot in Command

Earlier this year the FAA revised its rules concerning drones in a way that affects us here at LC.  The new rules are meant to bring more structure and responsibility to the commercial drone industry.  LC isn't conducting any commercial drone operations, so what does it mean for us?

Well, according to the FAA, if a professor were to use a drone as a part of teaching or while conducting research, that counts as a commercial use.  If the use is commercial, then an FAA granted UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Pilot's license is required.

To comply, LC sent me to the Hillsboro Aero Academy to take the test ($150).  I took practice test after practice test until I was satisfied that I should be able to pass.  I learned things like how to read aeronautical sectional charts,  tell the difference between class A and class G airspaces,  and how to interpret air traffic control information.

Watch out for that military airspace!!!

Yep, I know how to read this thing--well, mostly.  However, the chances of actually needing to use this information while flying a drone around LC are pretty low.   

The good news is, I passed the test!  I'm now the proud bearer of the title, "Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC)" Going forward, if a drone will be used on the LC campus by an employee during working hours, I or another RPIC will need to be present for the operation. 

Any questions about FAA drone rules or inquiries about using drones for research may be directed to edtech@lclark.edu.  We look forward to flying with you...