Collaborate with my Learners
- Adobe Connect Pro
- Google Chat
- Google Docs
- Google Talk
- Google Voice
Adobe Connect Pro is a web-based video conferencing solution available to faculty and supported by the Educational Technology Department. The interface is one that allows up to 100 people to connect in a meeting room. All that is required for users to connect is an Adobe Air enabled web-browser and the meeting room URL. Hosts can use VOiP (Voice over IP) or elect to have an audio bridge (landline connection in conjunction with the web conference). The interface allows web cam, document, and whiteboard presentation features. To use Adobe Connect Pro with the VOiP feature, users are strongly recommended using a headset with microphone to reduce echoing.
Blackboard tools facilitate interaction between faculty and students and among students through file sharing, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and journals. Each tool is available within the course to provide an interactive learning experience.
Weblogs, also known as blogs, offer a unique forum for students both to publish ideas and to customize the ways in which their ideas are presented. Many websites, such as Blogger and Wordpress, offer free, easy-to-use blogs for those new to the online journaling sphere. Encouraging blog comments and blog discussions can expand the traditional one-person weblog into a multi-learner interface.
Xythos is a useful online tool available through Blackboard that provides a unique file-sharing interface. Professors can upload and share assignments and information, while students can upload and share finished papers and quizzes. Xythos enables users to securely and easily collaborate on research with academic partners at ACU or other institutions. Files updated offline will be automatically synchronized the next time you connect, and the content will be protected.
Gmail Chat is a convenient tool that every ACU student will be able to access through his or her email account. Students can use the chat box on the side of their email to quickly chat, and when they finish, Google will instantly save their conversation under the "Conversations" tab of their email. For more information, please see http://mail.google.com/mail/help/chat.html.
Google Documents provide a useful and effective tool for creating standard documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in an online environment. Users may choose to keep their Google document private. They may also choose to share this Google document with other people as collaborators or viewers.
Google Talk is similar to Gmail Chat, but acts as a separate application instead of an integral part of Gmail. Google Talk enables some voice and video chatting and also allows users to leave voice mails for unavailable friends. However, while video chat is available on both the PC and the Mac, only Windows users can use regular Google Talk.
Google Voice is a Google application that allows you to have one number for all of your phones. Within Google Voice you can link your home phone, office phone, and cell phone to your Google Voice number. When somebody calls your Google Voice number it will ring any or all of the phones you have linked depending upon your preferences. Google Voice also has a robust voicemail that automatically transcribes the voicemails in your inbox. You can have your voicemail texted or emailed to you or simply look at it online in addition to the traditional audio form of voicemail. Anyone with an ACU and/or Gmail account is eligible to create a Google Voice account.
HeadsUp is an application designed by Abilene Christian University to increase the ease and convenience of group assignments. Students will join a session by using a particular session code. All users will then be sorted into groups, granted roles within those groups, and given a specific prompt to address during discussion. These prompts and roles can be determined ahead of time by the faculty member facilitating the discussion. As of Fall 2010, HeadsUp does not function with either Firefox or Internet Explorer. It requires Safari or Google Chrome to work.
Like with Skype and Google Talk, iChat allows for video chat, audio chat, and text. iChat also allows users to share photo slide shows and graphics while in chat. Unfortunately, iChat is only available for Macs, not for PCs.
Skype acts as an instant messenger, a video chat, and a landline. It allows users to video chat, voice chat, or merely type back and forth from computer to computer, or iPhone to computer. Best of all, Skype is a free service when used from computer to computer or an iPhone. Skype can also be used to make phone calls from a computer to public network phone for a minimal charge.
Short message service (SMS) is the formal name for text messages. Texting is a convenient way to collaborate and communicate with students. SMS text messaging has become the communication method-of-choice for students. If you text it, they will read it.
Quickoffice equips mobile devices with the Microsoft Office suite. Powerpoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents can all be created or viewed from an iPad or iPhone with the Quickoffice Suite, while Quickoffice Connect compiles Google Docs, Dropbox, and MobileMe into one interface.
Writeboard provides free, sharable, web-based text documents that allow users to save their edits and return to an earlier version. It can be used for individual or collaborative projects.