Four sessions, plus the luncheon speakers.

Smarthinking Online Tutoring with Danny Clark.

Four ways to interact with the tutors: Connect Now, Scheduled Tutoring, Submit Writing/Paragraph, & Submit Question. Not all topics are available to all users; Nursing & Allied Health services may be available for us soon. There is no ‘information literacy’ topic or anything which would work like Ask-A-Librarian. Math and writing are the main topics used by MS to this point. Instructors often require first drafts to be submitted to Smarthinking, then submitted to instructor in course dropbox, or turned in with final draft. Attendee told how she has her students submit their discussion board posts using the Submit Paragraph option before posting in the course shell.

Desire2Learn with Jon Baker, CEO. Overview of D2L progress over the last year and near future. Currently half of staff is R&D.

ePortfolio (focuses around learner rather than courses), Learning Repository, CampusLife. Audio available in 9.2; video perhaps this summer. Mobile access started with 9.1; can be locally branded. Scoring by percentage AND points. Blind grading and grading by question (see all of one question at one time. e.g., grade all Essay #1 together).

Wimba Pronto & Collaborator (help desks) with Scott Smith.

Can see potential for use by librarians to interact with students, faculty & staff.

Really amusing thing happened in this session. Smith was role-playing with an attendee to illustrate help desk situation: he was a student – on the phone – who needed help finding sources for a sociology paper; she was a librarian (she “used to work in a library). Smith as student was totally clueless: “Databases? Do I download those?” It perfectly illustrated (to me) the reason why the “reference interview” is so vital!

Online Tools: “Free & Fabulous” with Corine Hoisington (sponsored by Cengage). – video via phone camera uploads to Internet – create animated videos – MS Office and 25Gb storage – polls voting via SMS – also MS Office document creation/viewing ; can be accessed/used via Facebook login. (She created ‘professor’ identity on FB for interacting with students; clears it out of ‘friends’ every semester.)

The skeptic in me always wonders, “free” like a kitten? Free is good, just remember they are getting something, too. We might want to know what that is.

Lunch session included:

  1. Overview of MSVCC history (11 years) by one of the original members of the establishing body (name escapes me).
  2. Scott Perkins of Abilene Christian University spoke about ACU’s use of mobile technologies, i.e., iPhone/iTouch to all incoming freshman in 2008 & 2009. Before Apple’s App Store, they used (2008) a web portal to ‘apps’ they had created. See or Lots of interesting content in the PowerPoint; too fast to note very many. Two especially notable: 90% of the instructors felt comfortable requiring usage even though ubiquity is questionable (that is, not everyone in class had to have the iPhone/iTouch to make assignments which made use of the tools); students are willing to fund an iPad if at least 50% of their textbooks would be available over their four-year education. The ACU Mobile Learning Report is available at – thanks MSVCC for the link!)

In the general gathering area, there was a display of iPads set up with a collection of apps useful to educators/students. I made note of a few I’d not seen before:




Printopia 1.0


The World 2011 (find in iPad Apps; by realazy)