Archives for October 2012

All-You-Can-Eat-Education for $30 a Month

Online courses, OpenCourseWare, and MOOCs have fundamentally changed how we perceive affordable and accessible education. This inforgraphic highlights how startups like Khan Academy, BenchPrep, Udemy, and others are empowering students and educators by offering hundreds of courses online for almost next to nothing.

All-You-Can-Eat-Education for $30 a Month

Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants Now Available in Mobile and eBook Formats

Download Complete GuideDownload EPUBDownload MOBIDownload PDFThe NIU Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants is a brief compilation of teaching-related information from several sources, including instructional guidebooks from other institutions, journals, and contributions from master teachers and academic support units at Northern Illinois University. The guide is meant to be a quick reference rather than a comprehensive source on teaching-related information. Topics include teaching preparation, effective instruction, assessment, classroom management, and more.

The Instructional Guide is now available for download as a PDF, or in mobile and eBook formats: EPUB or MOBI. The EPUB format is a universal eBook format that can be read easily on tablets and smart phones. The MOBI format is optimized specifically for Kindle and other dedicated eBook readers.

For more details and to download the guide, please visit

Communicating Visually During Online Sessions Using Blackboard Collaborate Whiteboard

Learn how to use the Whiteboard feature within Blackboard Collaborate to present content in a visual and engaging way during an online Web conferencing session. During this online session I led 10/19/2012 we explored the options within a Blackboard Collaborate session for sharing and annotating content on the Whiteboard, including loading content on the Whiteboard, enabling access for students, drawing and writing, adding images and screen shots, and saving content from the Whiteboard for access offline.

For archives of other online workshops offered by NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, visit our YouTube channel

Could Amazon Whispercast Make School Books Obsolete?

Kindle made a major play for the textbook market with the introduction of Whispercast for Kindle,” which could give schools and businesses a simple, scalable online tool for deploying Kindle devices and Kindle content.

The technology, from the world’s largest retailer, is designed to provide a single access point to allow users to easily purchase and distribute Kindle books and documents. This would include purposes of education of course, but could also be used for marketing and employee incentive programs.

The program isn’t just limited to Kindle ereaders, as it is software-based and could be used with the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as Android devices, PCs and Macs.

More info about Whispercast is at

What are your thoughts about the new Whispercast service? Is it something your school, university, or business will explore? Will this kind of service provide the impetus for “bring your own device” initiatives to become more mainstream in K-12?

Best iOS Apps for Mobile Learning

Edudemic recently compiled a list of some of the best mobile apps available for education. The complete list is available here.

Best iOS Apps for Mobile Learning