What I learned from #CALICon15

June 29, 2015

cali logo 2015

I haven’t attended a CALI conference since Milwaukee in 2011 so I was excited to be able to attend.

There are a lot new things out there in the technology world and in law schools.

Below is just a random list:

  • Macs are everywhere.  Every presentation that I attended was done with a Mac.  Things have changed.
  • Connecting your laptop wirelessly to a HDMI projector is not expensive..you just need Apple TV for $69 and PC air parrot for $6
  • This is a cool video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_LLj4_3ZRA (Watch it!)
  • Panopto is used by many schools for lecture capture, annotation, live streaming and much more.  It now connects directly to a TWEN course site.
  • Spiceworks is a free helpdesk ticketing system
  • Oyez offers 7000 hours of supreme court audio clips (all sessions since 1955) with transcripts – Slides
  • 5 cool FREE tools to turn legal education into legal educa-FUN (Try them!)
    1. Kahoot – create multiple choice quizzes (questions & answers on the screen)
    1. Class Responder – create multiple choice quizzes (more elementary look)
    1. Zaption – create multiple choice or open-ended questions, add pop up questions to a video
    1. EDPuzzle – video enhancement tool, add voice over or replace original speaker
    1. Socrative – create multiple choice quizzes
  • Box – unlimited storage solution for students and/or faculty (SSO capability)
  • Plickers – free clickers- use app and laminated cards (for classes of 63 or less)
  • First Hybrid JD program (half online, half on campus) William Mitchell Law School in MN successfully completed one full semester
  • ABA Tech Show – good resource for freebies
  • Legal Practice Tech Course at UNC Law – syllabus
  • Clio –  cloud-based law practice management software
  • Google Scholar and the new research paradigm (handout)
  • Standard 314  – Formative assessment – use technology
  • Poll Everywhere – survey tool via smartphone or browser – free on polls for 40 students or less (integrates into powerpoint)
  • BigBlueButton–  open source version of Adobe Connect
  • VidyoWay – free video-conferencing

I loved the conference and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the trials and tribulations of technology in law school with others who share the same interests.

Next year, the CALI conference will be back on the east coast at Georgia State Law. I hope to attend again.


Study Tips for Law Students

November 18, 2013

Reposted from the Law School Academic Support Blog (with some additions):

  • Consider putting your outlines on your Kindle (or iPad) for ease in carrying them with you – especially if you are leaving for the Thanksgiving Break.
  • For first-year courses, you might want to consider purchasing the maps at picjur.com: Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law are all available in visual versions.


  • If you rather listen to text rather than read it, you might want to consider two options:
    • Dictation and Speech for Macs reads text that can be converted with iTunes for your iPhone;

    • Outlines Outloud is an app that syncs your computer outlines with your iPhone for listening.

  • Check out the website for the Board of Law Examiners in your state to see if they post old exam questions for your state-specific courses; practice questions are sometimes hard to find for state-specific topics, and old bar questions can be a plus. Here is the link for New York: http://www.nybarexam.org/ExamQuestions/ExamQuestions.htm

bar exams

  • Remember to check your own law school’s exam database for past exams in a course; even if they are for a different professor, the exams may provide good practice questions. (Albany Law School has one on TWEN.)


  • Use a table to help you easily see the variations of the same rule (common law, restatement, uniform code, majority jurisdiction, minority jurisdiction, etc.) that you have to learn for an exam.
  • Check out CALI for review lessons. They have over 900 legal education tutorials.


Any other study tips (especially ones that use technology) that you can recommend?

Congrats to ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels 2013

September 9, 2013

legal rebels

Below are the ones who implement technology (Click HERE to read the complete article.)

Daniel Martin Katz & Renee Newman Knake

Knake co-founded Michigan State’s ReInvent Law Laboratory with fellow prof Daniel Martin Katz. They developed a core curriculum for students that responds to employers’ requests for specific jurisprudential skill sets in “pillar” areas of law, technology, design and delivery.

Michael Poulshock

In something he calls the Hammurabi Project, Poulshock is writing source code for each law, which can then be entered into computers and applied to fact patterns.

D. Casey Flaherty

Flaherty, Kia Motors America’s corporate counsel, had conducted an audit of tech skills in various firms (He tests ways of using software such as  Microsoft Word, Excel and PDF tools such as Adobe Acrobat.) He’s also collaborating with Suffolk University Law School’s Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation to automate the audit so he can give it away to law students and general counsel at other companies.

John Mayer

Mayer is now leading the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) a nonprofit consortium of law schools, that produces over 900 online interactive tutorials written by law professors.

Michele DeStefano

She founded and co-created with colleague Michael Bossone, LawWithoutWalls, a mostly online program where law and business students from different nations partner with mentors from both professions.



Higher Ed Faculty’s Attitudes on Technology

August 30, 2013

Inside Higher Ed recently published their results of a new Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology,  Gallup conducted this poll on 2,251 professors and 248 academic technology administrators, from all types of institutions.

Most of the survey questions dealt with faculty attitudes toward online learning.  On the whole, faculty attitudes toward online learning and especially MOOCs are pretty negative. Since at the present time, Albany Law School does not offer any online courses, the results on other technology-related topics (adaptive learning, lecture capture, LMS) are more relevant for us.

Only 1/3 of the professors surveyed report that they have used adaptive learning (adapting the presentation of educational material according to students’ learning needs). But 61% of them agree or strongly agree that adaptive learning has “great potential to make a positive impact on higher education.” (84% of the academic technology administrators believed this.)

Only 19% reported using lecture capture (recording lectures & embedding them). But 50% said that they believed lecture capture has great potential for a positive impact on higher education, (2/3 of the academic technology administrators believed this.)

Learning management systems (LMS) are used on almost every campus but survey results showed that many professors only use their LMS for basic tasks and may not be using all features available (see chart below.)

Frequency With Which Faculty Use LMS Features

Feature Always Usually Sometimes Never
Share syllabus with students 76% 10% 8% 7%
Track student attendance 24% 10% 16% 50%
Record grades 53% 13% 12% 22%
Provide e-textbooks and related materials 36% 22% 22% 19%
Integrate lecture capture 11% 7% 13% 69%
Communicate with students 53% 21% 16% 9%
Identify students who may need extra help 24% 15% 27% 34%

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/survey-faculty-attitudes-technology#ixzz2dNa6Q1Kx

Law School faculty have incorporated adaptive learning through the following technology tools:

  • CALI interactive lessons
  • TWEN online quizzes
  • Clickers/Student Response systems
  • Interactive Computer Simulations such as The Objection series
  • Core Grammar For Lawyers (this year with 1Ls)

Lecture capture has been much easier with the newer technologies.  Even if you are not fortunate enough to have built-in systems (Tegrity, Panopto, MediaSite, Echo360) installed in the classroom, there are ways to record your classes and make the files available for students:

  • recording audio using a digital recorder and posting in the LMS
  • adding narration to PowerPoint presentations (using Adobe Presenter) and posting a pdf
  • recording through Adobe Connect and sharing video link
  • recording video using a webcam and posting in the LMS
  • using various free screen capture programs (such as Screenr.com, Jing.com, Screen o’matic.com)

Almost all our professors use a LMS (in our case, TWEN) to share content and communicate with students. 78 out of 96 courses already have sites set up (many of those without sites are taught by adjuncts.)  Consistent with the above survey results, many of the professors only use their site to post the syllabus and course materials. However, each year, more of the faculty are taking advantage of the other features available to them in TWEN:

  • Assignment Submissions
  • Assignment Submissions (with anonymous grading)
  • Email options
  • Discussion forums
  • Sign-up Sheets
  • Polling
  • Online Quizzes
  • Gradebook
  • Wiki
  • Posting audio and video (to flip the classroom)

twen1    twen2twen3

New From CALI

June 25, 2013

Guess what arrived today?

cali cards

Cards for students to play the new CALI Time Trial game.

The CALI Time Trial is the card game that challenges your knowledge of legal history.


  1. Start with at least 20 cards. Shuffle, stack in center, face down. Put one card face-up as a starter time line
  2. First player picks a card, reads it out loud. Player to the left decides where to put he card in time line.  If correct, player gets 10 points.  If wrong, the player loses 5 points. Place card correctly in time line.
  3. Move to the next player. Play continues until all cards are used.
  4. Player with the most points wins.

You can also play it online at http://www.cali.org/timetrial 


Be creative!

Any other ideas on using these cards to enhance student learning?

CALI Conference for Law School Computing

June 11, 2013

I have been fortunate to attend several CALI conferences (2008, 2009, 2011).  I have always learned a lot from the presentations and from networking with fellow IT law folks.


This weekend,  the 23rd Annual CALI Conference for Law School Computing will be held at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

This year’s conference will feature several sessions devoted to the flipped classroom such as:

There also will be other sessions that deal with changing how law is taught:

If you are not able to attend, all the sessions are recorded and will be available (along with videos of past conferences) on the CALI Youtube channel.

cali stream

The sessions will webcast live, as well.  (Complete list here)

CALI LessonLink & Final Exams

April 18, 2013


CALI lessons are often automatically added to your TWEN course site.

These can be used by law students as they prepare for final exams.

However, if you want to track student lesson usage, LessonLink is the feature of CALI that allows you to do this.

Here are the instructions for creating and using a LessonLink:

  1. Login to http://cali.org with your CALI faculty account (you will need your school authorization code if you haven’t set up your account yet).
  2. Click on ‘CALI LessonLink’ in the right menu.
  3. Click the ‘Create a LessonLink’ link (also found here)
  4. Fill in your course name, semester, and then choose the CALI topic under which you will find the lesson(s) you wish to assign. Check the ones you want to assign.


  1. Click create LessonLinks.
  2. Use copy and paste to send the entire LessonLink URL(s) to students. You can send it to them by email or place it in your TWEN site.
  3. Check who has run this lesson and scoring details by clicking the same ‘CALI LessonLink’ link, then Current LessonLinks. (Past semesters’ LessonLink details are found under the LessonLink Archives tab.)

LessonLinks are organized into groups called courses. After creating a course with one or more links, you can add more LessonLinks to the course by following the directions in your Current LessonLinks administration page.

Students must run the lesson by clicking the unique URL you gave to them. They cannot simply browse to the CALI website and find the lesson in the CALI Library of Lessons. Please make this clear to your students to avoid confusion.

Students will also need the student authorization code if they have not yet creatd a CALI account.

Here are the instructions in a video: