As you prepare for the start of new classes, you may wish to consider a number of free Penn State technology services, resources, and facilities that can enhance teaching, learning, and research.

Below you will find information on several key services, including:

ANGEL Course Management System

Penn State’s Course Management System, ANGEL, provides instructors with essential tools to deliver course materials, track student work, and transform learning processes.

Learn more:

Technology Classrooms

Faculty at University Park can reserve several types of technology classrooms for their courses. Instructor technology classrooms are used for lecture-style teaching and feature multimedia podiums with connections to the University network and Internet. Student technology classrooms offer multimedia podiums as well as computers for students. Videoconferencing technology classrooms offer videoconferencing capabilities in addition to multimedia equipment. Windows and Macintosh operating systems are available in a number of large auditoriums, while other rooms feature Windows, Macintosh, or Linux platforms. The i>clicker student response system and the Doceri app are also available in all general purpose technology classrooms. Each technology classroom is equipped with a help-line phone, 814-777-0035.

To reserve a technology classroom for a regularly scheduled course, contact a staff assistant in your department who has scheduling privileges. To reserve a technology classroom for an event other than a scheduled course, contact a staff assistant in your department with scheduling privileges, or fill out the Event Room Request form.

Learn more:

Technology Training Resources for Faculty and Students

Workshops and overviews: Free technology workshops and overviews on topics like ANGEL, Excel, PowerPoint, Sites at Penn State, Adobe Connect, and VoiceThread are offered each term. To view a list of offerings, visit the ITS Training Services website, then select “Register for training.”

Training on Demand: ITS Training Services can help your students learn technology skills they can use to complete their projects and course work. Training on Demand is a service through which experienced trainers provide professional instruction on popular technology topics to students in academic courses. The training typically consists of an application overview that can fit into one or two class sessions. This service is available at no cost to Penn State instructors upon request. View details, request guidelines, and a list of available topics.

Online Video Tutorials by lynda.com: Faculty and students can access thousands of free instructional videos and hundreds of training courses on software topics that can be used for professional development and to help students successfully complete their coursework. These tutorials are created by lynda.com, an industry leader in online software training, and they are available at any time for convenient, self-paced learning. For more information, visit the lynda at Penn State website.

Technology Learning Assistants (TLA): The goal of the TLA program is to help faculty with challenges they have when planning to use education technologies. TLAs can help you with basic computing skills needed to use ANGEL, PowerPoint, an electronic grade book, file management, email, creating web pages, and any skills that help you use your computer efficiently. At University Park, a TLA will meet with you a semester (or more) in one-on-one consultations (five to ten meetings). You and the TLA will decide how to allocate that time accordingly. This means you should prepare for each session, having your questions written down and setting goals for your next meeting. To request a consultation (available for University Park faculty only), please complete the Faculty Application for a TLA form.

Study Skills Modules: Faculty may wish to incorporate iStudy for Success! learning modules in their courses that can help students prepare for their academic careers while saving class time. Instructors can assign any of the twenty-seven free, self-paced online modules addressing study skills, life skills, and job skills. The modules, which can be imported into an ANGEL course or group, are designed to provide students with an introduction to college-level learning and help ensure that their academic experience is a positive one. Topics include “Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Copyright,” “Active Reading,” “Cooperative Learning,” and more. For a description of each module and instructions on importing a module into ANGEL, visit the iStudy for Success! website.

Turnitin

Turnitin is an originality detection system owned by Turnitin.com, to which Penn State has a license. Faculty can submit students’ papers or allow students to submit their own papers to the system to perform originality checks. It can be used as a tool to teach plagiarism prevention. Turnitin searches millions of web pages, published books and journals, and papers previously submitted to Turnitin, then returns Originality Reports. New tools as of July 2013 include GradeMark, a paper markup and rubric tool, and PeerMark, a student peer evaluation tool. Any instructor who is teaching a Penn State course can request a Turnitin account by emailing turnitin@psu.edu.

Learn more:

  • Visit the Turnitin at Penn State website to learn details and locate quick-start guides and detailed how-tos.
  • Visit the Turnitin help center for support and training resources.
  • If you wish your students to learn more about academic integrity issues, you can assign a self-paced module entitled “Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Copyright.” For a description of the module and directions on how to import it into an ANGEL course, visit the iStudy for Success! website.

Sites at Penn State

The Sites at Penn State tool is a blogging and website platform powered by WordPress. Sites at Penn State can be used to create a personal or course blog; department, event, or course website; or an e-portfolio.

Academic uses of Sites at Penn State include allowing students to reflect on course content beyond the classroom, keep project journals, compile portfolios, expand writing practice, and share resources.

For details and to get started, visit the Sites at Penn State website.

Learn more:

Media Commons

The Media Commons is a University-wide initiative to provide students and faculty with the means to create digital content for courses to enrich the educational experience. Media Commons studios at each campus provide state-of-the-art equipment and software to create digital video, audio, and photographs. An expert support staff provides multimedia project consultation, training, and help. The Media Commons website provides support resources including tutorials, frequently asked questions, and helpful links. The site also showcases examples of multimedia created by students and faculty.

Using the Media Commons, faculty can create engaging instructional resources. Students can demonstrate understanding of course concepts, as well as enhance their marketability by building a multimedia portfolio. If you have any questions, email mediacommons@psu.edu.

Learn more:

  • Visit the Media Commons workshops web page to view information about workshops on digital media concepts and software.
  • If you wish to learn solutions for distributing audio and video files you have created, visit the iTunes at Penn State website to create your own iTunes U course page.
  • Save the date of October 4 for the Media Commons Tailgate, a free event for faculty and staff to learn about effective ways to incorporate multimedia in teaching.

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a web-based application that allows users to quickly and easily create a shared presentation of images, documents, and videos that visitors can comment on in the form of voice (microphone), video/webcam recording, phone call, audio file, text, or a drawing tool. The resulting group conversation can then be shared with individuals and/or groups for playback. The application is designed to be user-friendly and require minimum technical ability.

VoiceThread can facilitate communication among individuals at different geographic locations. It allows instructors to tap into the trend toward collaboration, group interaction, and teamwork that is becoming the norm in education and the modern workplace. Classroom uses of the application could include introducing course content, demonstrating processes, creating team projects that can be peer reviewed, discussion, analysis, and reflection.

Learn more:

Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology

Mark your calendar for the Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology, to take place Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, University Park. At this annual event, faculty share with each other innovative uses of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and research. This year’s theme is “Engaging the Future and the Culture of Teaching and Learning with Technology.” During the fall, a call for proposals will go out, encouraging faculty to submit a presentation proposal. Visit the Symposium website throughout the year to learn event details and to view summaries and videos from Symposium 2013.

Symposium session by George Siemens

Symposium session by George Siemens

Faculty Engagement Opportunities

TLT invites faculty to get involved in exploring innovative uses of technology for teaching and learning. Taking part in the Faculty Engagement Initiative, applying to be a TLT Fellow, and joining a hot team to investigate an emerging technology are some of the ways you can participate.

Learn more:

Consultation

Faculty who would like consultation on effective ways to incorporate technology into their courses are invited to contact our team of instructional designers and education technologists.

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