It is hard to believe it is already December and we have only 3 weeks left in the quarter! As you are looking at ways to freshen up your courses and end on a really strong note, I encourage you to consider connecting "face-to-face" with your students, at least in a virtual fashion :) There is a great tool called "Eyejot" that can allow you to do just this.
Eyejot is a free online video messaging platform that does not require any software download. You simply need a webcam and to have registered on their site...it truly is as simple as that. Unfortunately Eyejot video messages are housed within your Eyejot account so are not directly connected to your school email account or to Blackboard, but I still believe it could be a very beneficial tool as another way to connect with your students or for your students to connect with one another, especially if they are working on a group project.
The intent of Eyejot is to leave messages with one another much like voice mail messages, but it adds in the visual component voice mail doesn't allow. The addition of nonverbal communication can now help to clarify any confusion that may be experienced through a simple email or voice mail message. (It is important to note: Senders and recipients all need to have their own Eyejot account to log into to send and receive messages.)
I can see many Eyejot opportunities within the online classroom:
- Offer feedback to students individually on large projects in a way that you can truly emphasize certain points you want to get across that may otherwise be lost in written feedback;
- Deepen weekly discussion boards through shared Eyejot messages to really simulate an actual verbal discussion;
- Offer another medium for students to connect and work together on group projects;
- And the list can go on.
And as with any enhancement, if you do give this a try, please let me know what you think and what your students think of it!
Have a great weekend!
Online Instructional Specialist