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Swine Oh Nine Update: Faculty Focused Edition

During the first week of classes, every syllabus had a note about what to do if you got swine flu: STAY HOME! Well, with Swine Flu isolation starting to occur, this begs the question, “What about the teachers?!?!” While you can have a class without some students, it would be pretty difficult to have a lecture without a teacher.

Luckily, TLT comes to the rescue with a helpful website: Teaching During a Pandemic. In it, a few tools are highlighted that can be used to keep class on syllabus.

The first tool is – you guessed it – ANGEL.

ANGEL will, in effect, become the classroom space In it, teachers will be “posting instructional videos, quizzing, discussion forums, using dropboxes, and taking attendance through online participation.” This sounds like fun, right?

Another option is using the Blogs at Penn State.

Faculty who approach the 1 GigaByte quota in ANGEL can also use the Blogs at Penn State platform to post media files and other educational resources.  ITS provides technical and pedagogical support of these features through a series of how-to guides, hands-on sessions, and recorded training sessions.

This could be used much the same way as ANGEL, except with no uploading limits. Discussion could be held in the comments section of blog posts.

For those who have trouble just reading material and understanding, there are two other tools available: Adobe Connect and Prerecorded Lectures. These two go hand in hand.

Adobe Connect is a web conferencing tool that can be used to create and distribute lectures and presentations. Connect supports audio, video, slide presentations, screen sharing, and whiteboard activities as well as chat and polling.  Live sessions can be recorded for later viewing by those who were unable to attend the session.  In addition to live presentations, Adobe Connect can also be used to create prerecorded lectures that students can watch at any time.  In 2008-2009, Penn Staters participated in 42,000 live meetings and recorded sessions via Adobe Connect.

This is clearly the most comprehensive option. Using Adobe Connect would feel like going to class without going to class. Amazing.

Another option for disseminating lecture material is through Podcasting. Teachers can record themselves giving a lecture, save the lecture, then upload it to iTunesU for consumption by eager students.

About the Author

Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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