Cool Web 2.0 Tools

September 6, 2013

cooltool logoPNG

Check this site out!!!

cool tools index

and more…

All I can say is that this site includes everything you would ever want to try…all are on the web and are free. Some tools you may have heard of but I bet that most of them you have not.

The site has won numerous awards and I can see why.

I recommend taking a look and bookmarking it.  You will want to go back.


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:

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,, Screen o’

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

Borrowing Ideas

June 21, 2013


Each month, the Institute for Law teaching and Learning offers an “Idea of the Month” for law school teachers. Some ideas include the use of technology.  Here are a few:

  • March 2013 – Videotaping Classes to Free Up Face to Face Time for Discussion – Heidi Holland found herself in need of an inventive idea to help her make up a class she missed due to sickness… she decided to videotape herself doing research (on one Code of Federal Regulation fact pattern) with the IT person following her around the library with a camera.  She used TWEN to post 10 different Code of Federal Regulation fact patterns one of which the students were required to choose and research as well as her own instructional video.
  • February 2013 – Virtual Office Hours – When a snow day fell one week before 1L students had to hand in their midterm appellate briefs, this professor decided to keep his normally scheduled office hours, but in a TWEN chat room.
  • December 2011 – Moving Lectures Outside of the Classroom – Professor Garver was actually “flipping the classroom” before we called it that. He assigned students to view a small number of short videos before class.  In class, he assessed the students’ learning with clicker questions, and then used the rest of class time for small group work.
  • August 2009 – Practice and Feedback
    • Create a short multiple-choice practice test and have students take the test on TWEN or Blackboard
    • Integrate one or two multiple-choice questions into your PowerPoint slides and use one of the Classroom Response Systems out there (the clickers or CALI’s) to provide immediate, on-the-spot feedback

More details on these law professors’ use of technology can be found here.

Professor 2.0 –


Interested in Clickers?

June 10, 2013

Articles, Briefs and Reports

  • GoSoapBox Classroom Response System Engages Students EDUCAUSE Review Online. November/December 2012.  This case study explores the use of a classroom response system in Spanish language classes that seemed too small to benefit from the approach.
  • Clickers in the Classroom: Transforming Students into Active Learners, ECAR Research Bulletin, 2011. This research bulletin discusses a program at the University of South Carolina to implement SRSs in the classroom and to study the impacts that the technology has on student outcomes. In our research, we also looked at the challenges that SRSs pose, both to students and to faculty members, and investigated best practices for using this technology.
  • Clicker Implementation Models, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 2011. Clickers require a significant economic investment; deciding who pays is a key issue that gives rise to two implementation models: institution-pays and students-pay.
  • Clicker Resource Guide: An Instructors Guide to the Effective Use of Personal Response Systems (Clickers) in Teaching, 2010. This guide was written to help instructors understand the answers to these questions, and to help them use personal response systems (“clickers”) in their classes in the most comfortable and pedagogically effective manner.
  • 7 Things You Should Know About Open-Ended Response System, January 2011. An open-ended student response system is an electronic service or application that lets students enter text responses during a lecture or class discussion. Open-ended systems give faculty the option of collecting such free-form contributions from students, in addition to asking the true/false or multiple-choice questions that conventional clicker systems allow.
  • Move Over Socratic Method, ‘Clicker’ Offers Law Profs New Option to Monitor Student Progress, November 2010. As some law profs and law school administrators bemoan or ban the electronic devices that make it easy for today’s students to sit in the back row and text and e-mail during class, a growing number of educational innovators are adding new wireless technology to their arsenal of teaching tools and monitoring devices.
  • Teaching with Clickers in Law, March 2012. A presentation by Derek Buff at the Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee on teaching with clickers.
  • Clickers, March 2010. Douglas Whaley blogs about his use of clickers at Ohio State Law School.

Clickers, Mobile and Web App Polls

Adapted from:

LawTeaching.Org’s Idea of the Month

December 6, 2011

Each month, the Intstitute for Law Teaching & Learning posts an “Idea of the Month.” For December 2011, the idea related to the use of technology in legal education.

  • Using PowerPoint
  • Recording video lectures
  • Editing these videos (and creating short clips)
  • Posting these video clips & ppt slides for students to view outside of class
  • Using “clickers” to assess understanding in class

Last month, in article from Inside Higher Ed, Marketing Professor Mike Garver from Central Michigan University was featured.  To read the entire article, click here. He was also featured on the Turning Technologies website, here.

In order to integrate higher order thinking skills into his teaching methods, Dr. Garver turned to technology.  He records his lectures on his webcam at home. He then splits them up into small chunks, posts them to iTunesU along with accompanying PowerPoint slides and assigns them to his students to view before they come to class.

In class, he  assesses the students’ understanding of these important concepts with questions that students respond to with a “clicker.” The rest of class is devoted to group work and hands-on activities.
The Institute’s 2011 summer conference materials also include some useful information on video recording –  YouTube Pedagogy: A Practical Guide.

Survey says…

September 17, 2010

In addtion to the polling feature in TWEN, the tools below support  interactivity in the law school classroom:

1.  Strutta  – Create not just polls, but online contests as well. Strutta allows teachers to moderate all student content before being posted online.
2.  Runpolls  – An easy site to use, with a drag & drop interface.
3.  Flisti  – A simple poll creator that allows users to share with popular social networks.
4.  Obsurvey – A great site with a wiki-style interface that allows users to create surveys with different styles of questions, such as multiple choice, true or false, and others.
5.  Survey Monkey  – One of the best online sites for creating surveys. The free version offers 10 questions per survey, up to 100 responses, and real-time results.
6.  Polldaddy  – Similar to Survey Monkey, with a nice user interface.
7.  Vorbeo – An easy-to-use site that lets users embed a poll directly into their blog or website.
8.  Text the Mob  – Good site site to use with  a large audience. Allows users to text in their responses via a mobile device. Built-in filtering soon to come, which would be ideal for schools.
9.  Insightify  – A great collaborative website for creating online surveys.
10.  Yarp – A fun site to use for creating simple surveys that generates a unique URL.

taken from Tech &Learning (Sept 2010) article by David Kapuler, media and technology specialist at Greendale (Wis.) School District.

ELI’s Seven Things You Should Know

February 11, 2010

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s (ELI’s) 7 Things You Should Know About series provides concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices. Each brief focuses on a single technology or practice and describes:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Where it is going
  • Why it matters to teaching and learning

This is a great place to go to quickly learn about the latest technologies. Here are some examples:

and many more….