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“Virtual world” demos + tools + innovative approaches at tech showcase today

(Author’s note:  This is the fifth and final article in a series about the faculty demonstrations scheduled for K-State’s technology showcase March 13. Information is excerpted from the list of faculty demonstrations on the ksushowcase.wordpress.com website.)  

The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Showcase is 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. All faculty/staff are invited to attend free and see demos, visit with vendors, and win prizes. The pre-registration deadline was March 9, but faculty/staff walk-ins are welcome today.

“Virtual world – real world” demos

Using Virtual Worlds for Teaching — Demonstrations on how virtual worlds like OpenSim, OSgrid, Reaction Grid, or Second Life can be used in teaching.

Visualizing Naturalistic Landscapes — The LARCP department will be highlighting how synthetic landscape generation software is being used to depict virtual landscapes featuring highly detailed terrain, vegetation, water, and full atmospherics. This software is suitable for illustrating proposed meadow and wetland landscapes and how it might be possible to integrate planting design with stormwater runoff modeling.

Unlock the Secrets of the Universe With Video Green Screening — See how using green screen in video can be used to enhance video for use in your online or face-to-face classroom. Come by and experience it for yourself as we put you in virtually any environment. You’ll see yourself on screen with motivating/creative and educational backgrounds. The potential power of this tool is virtually limitless, feel the power!

Challenges of Merging Learning Techniques in K-State General Entomology Distance Education — The distance education course ENTOM 312 General Entomology began successfully in Fall 2011. A lab, involving over 500 high-quality multi-angle images and Quicktime movies of major insect orders and species, augments the course with a digital laboratory that helps students to learn about insect form and function based on a virtual insect collection.

Tools and Innovative Approaches 

Repurposing Gaming Technology for Education — Gaming devices offer exciting, low-cost options for enhancing learning options in a wide variety of subjects.  See how WiiMotes, WiiFit Balance Boards, and the Microsoft Kinect can be utilized within the classroom environment.

By Hook or by Crook:  Evidence-based Library Website Redesign — Learn how one library team used cunning, charm, and magic (or LibQual, Google Analytics, and usability testing) to turn 3,500 into a streamlined library website.

Keeping Up With the Geeks:  Teaching in the Online Environment — These technologies will help you to transform on-campus courses into online courses effectively without needing your own geek squad. Technologies presented include Dropbox, Prezi, Diigo, Jing, and Campus Pack.

Using Flexbooks to Supplement/Replace the Traditional Textbook — Open educational resources (OER) provide free or lower cost alternatives to textbooks, where prices are increasing and students are slower to buy. This demo will show K-State’s  Human Nutrition (HN 400) Flexbook (goo.gl/vOAnR) made in Google Docs. Learn what the flexbook is, how it was developed, students’ perceptions of it, and see this recent article.

Portfolios and Participation Rubrics:  A Dynamic Duo for Online Assessment — This program introduces the use of portfolios and participation rubrics and highlights creative ways to engage online classes in their use as effective assessment tools.

Digital Innovations in Research, Learning, and Discovery at K-State Libraries — K-State Libraries will demonstrate the newly created “Librarian” role within K-State Online and discuss ways to “embed” a librarian into courses; its new LibGuides platform for customizing course and subject-guide research; and its new discovery tool for finding articles, books, and more with a single search. Learn about instructional videos and other learning objects that can be created and embedded into courses.

Creating Interactive Staff Education With SoftChalk — Need to create a learning object, a lesson, a short course or a whole group of lessons?  This demonstration shows how to use SoftChalk to develop interactive staff education modules, and K-State Online to document staff completion of training.

Personal Financial Planning Skills With Time Value of Money, Trading on Margin, and Short Selling — Online demonstration of tools developed to train distance-based graduate students in Time Value of Money, Margin Trading, and Short Selling.

About Betsy Edwards

• Web/information specialist in Information Technology Services • Editor/writer, K-State IT communications • IT News blog moderator • ETDR specialist