Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011

Good Afternoon Instructors,

In my last two blog posts I discussed a couple of great, free online video/audio lecture repositories, and I have received some wonderful feedback from you on these resources.  I'm glad so many of you are giving these resources a try, and please keep me posted as to what your students think once they've viewed/listened to the lectures you have shared with them.  They may be lectures we want to add to the master shell so all future sections can benefit from too, so keep me posted on how things go! 

Because of the great response from the past two postings, I'd like to share a couple of more resources over the next few weeks, with today's focus on is another free university video/audio lecture repository from institutes such as MIT and Yale.  While on first glance it may appear to be a science based repository, when you begin to look through the listing you'll actually see lectures on literature, art, and language too, so whether you teach in the areas of the hard sciences or the soft sciences, I encourage you to check this resource out (and as always, let me know what you think!).

A couple of really cool features of LectureFox is that it identifies for you whether or not it is a video lecture or an audio lecture via specific icons to the right of the lecture title in the lecture list, and many even include notes for study that accompany the lecture, which could be a huge benefit for students.

Once again, check out this resource and let me know what you think!

Have a great rest of the week!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011

Good Afternoon Online Instructors,
Last week I blogged about a great video repository titled "Khan Academy."  This week I'd like to introduce a similar resource titled "Academic Earth."  In fact, Khan Academy is a part of the instructor team for Academic Earth.

Academic Earth was founded to offer world-class education for anyone on earth and houses online courses and lectures from leading professors from the following universities (and the list of academic institutions contributing is growing each day):
  • Berkeley
  • Columbia
  • Harvard
  • Khan Academy
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • MIT
  • Norwich
  • NYU
  • Princeton
  • Stanford
  • UCLA
  • UNSW
  • USC
  • Yale
And Academy Earth offers courses and lectures (available for free download and addition to your online courses) on topics for the following subjects:
  • Art & Architecture
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering (Except Electrical)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Studies
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Media Studies
  • Medicine & Healthcare
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Writing
I encourage you to check out this resource and let me know what you think!

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011

Good Afternoon Instructors,

You've heard me talk about TED before (if you'd like a reminder of what TED is, please simply click on the TED tab on the right side of this blog page), now I'd like you to learn about another great lecture site called Khan Academy.  A great way to learn about Khan Academy is actually via a TED lecture from the founder of Khan Academy.  If you click here you'll be taken to the TED lecture given by Salman Khan.

Then, to learn more about Khan, browse the Khan library, and give it a try yourself, please click here. 

This is a very solid and very reputable online educational source that can add audio and video elements to our online courses to make the course material that much more attainable for our students.  I strongly encourage you check out this site and its many wonderful video resources.  And if you teach any of the following types of courses, checking out this site is a must:
  • Math
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Science
Once you've had a chance to check it out, let me know what you think!

Thanks and have a great rest of the week.

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011

Good Evening Online Instructors!  And welcome to Spring Quarter!

As you immerse yourself into your new courses, I encourage you to challenge yourself to implement at least one new resource, tool, approach, etc., into one or more of your courses this quarter.  The more interactive and engaging our online courses, the more responsive our students will be, which ultimately leads to higher student retention and more student success. 

As in past quarters, I will be posting to this blog on a weekly basis and sharing with you various online teaching resources, tools, strategies, etc.  Please use this information as it best fits your teaching needs, and if at any time you have questions on anything I'm blogging about, please do not hesitate to let me know.  And on the same line, if you use something and find it to be great (or even not so great), please let me know that too!

For this week's posting I'd like to introduce you to a new Social Teaching tool called Sophia.  In the words of the organization, Sophia is described in the following way :  
"Some people describe Sophia as a mash up of Wikipedia, YouTube, and Facebook — focused solely on  teaching and learning. It’s where you can teach what you know and learn what you don’t. Whether you’re a high school student, college student, teacher, professor, tutor or parent, Sophia makes knowledge easier to share, easier to find, and easier to organize. And it’s free" (  

And what I really like about Sophia (in addition to it being a Minneapolis based source!), is that it directly offers suggestions and ideas for ways educators can use this social teaching site.  By clicking here you can check out some of these suggestions and ideas.  And if you click here you'll get a first hand tour of Sophia from the Sophia organization.  

Subject areas for include:
  • Applied Sciences
  • English/Literature
  • Humanities
  • Learning Strategies
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • World Languages
But if you don't teach in one of the above listed discipline areas, that doesn't mean Sophia couldn't be helpful and beneficial to you and your students.  For example, research and writing are found in almost all courses of study at GEN, and Sophia could serve as a great resource for your students as they are working on research or writing assignments or projects in your courses.

I encourage you to check out this tool and let me know what you think.

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist