November 2013


November 22, 2013

ECU Faculty and Staff: We invite you to take a few minutes to catch up on the latest Learning Technology news.

 Technology for Thought

  • Blackboard: May 2014 Update and Spring Pilot
  • Online Instructional Tools
  • Collaborate with Yammer
  • Think-In 2014
Technology for Thought

Capturing the Imagination
Read about six ways faculty are using lecture capture to engage students.

Students and Technology 2013

Take a look at this interesting infographic from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research that displays students Technology Value and Use; Learning Environments; Mobile Device Ownership and Use; and Connectivity and Engagement.

User-Friendly Advice for Accessible Web Design

How can you create accessible content?  Read this short article to learn about resources and some of the most common issues, including: alternative text for images, accessible images, captions and transcripts, creating accessible tables and forms.

Blackboard: May 2014 Update and Spring Pilot

A Blackboard Service Pack update is planned for May 2014. As part of our plan, we have a pilot program with a couple dozen instructors who are going through an orientation and training sessions in order to teach their spring semester courses on our SP 13 pilot server. A couple of time-saving and efficient features instructors have consistently asked for are included in this service pack including Test Availability Exceptions and Inline Grading. For example, instructors will be able to set availability exceptions on an exam to provide accommodations for students, or to allow a student to take an exam at an alternate time. With inline grading, instructors can use annotation tools as part of the inline viewer to provide feedback (comments, highlights, etc.) to a submitted assignment, without having to go through a download/upload process. You’ll hear more over the next few months.

Online Instructional Tools

A myriad of educational tools are available to administer and collect assessments, capture and store files, provide innovative presentation methods and collaborate with students. Examples of these tools include publisher and portfolio tools that are often an entire learning management system similar to Blackboard. As you consider the appropriate tools and technologies to meet your respective course objectives, we recommend you visit the Supported Software website for a list of ECU-supported software and Learning Technologies. In addition, contact distributed IT support in your college for the availability of discipline-specific software.

If you have determined there is not an existing university-supported tool to meet your instructional needs, and you are considering implementing an online (e.g., cloud based) solution, you need to be aware that any data hosted external to ECU, or in the “cloud,” that is not purchased or approved by the university must follow a process, visit the Online Tools Guide provided by the Office of the Registrar, Department of Materials Management, Department for Disability Support Services, and ITCS

How can you easily share documents and collaborate with your students?

Using the ECU Yammer social network you can communicate, collaborate, and connect with your students.  Yammer asks “What are you working on”?

Engage your students in communication with a private group.

Collaborate with students to share ideas and spur creativity in a facebook like environment. Login thru your favorite browser or use Yammer on your mobile device.  Students can access a Yammer link from within Microsoft Office 365.

Innovate: Use Yammer live in a classroom or as a course discussion forum.

Visit to take advantage of these top features:

  • Share updates – Network wide or within a public or private group.
  • Groups – Share files. Public or private.
  • Post a Poll – Engage students with multiple choice questions.
  • Create Content – Use the Notes area to create and edit content.
  • Search – Users, groups, files and hashtags.
  • Follow your conversations – Home base to anything related to you.
  • Recent Activity – see what others are doing.
Think-In 2014

Mark your calendars for March 26th, 2014.  This spring we will host the 9th annual Think-In in Joyner Library.  Think-In 2014 will offer a combination of concurrent breakout sessions and the ever popular poster presentations. Watch for the upcoming call for proposals!  

What did participants say about Think-In 2013?

  • “I learned a great deal that day, things that I can use in my teaching responsibilities.”
  • “always love the Think-In…it’s like coming home to see good friends and share ideas.”


© 2013 ITCS at East Carolina University. ECU Learning Technologies Digest is published by Information Technology and Computing Services. This message is sent from an unmonitored e-mail account.