Tech Talk 9 – Video Note in D2L/Brightspace

Video note is now available for teachers and students.  It allows them to quickly create a video from their web camera.

Teachers can have quick daily updates in the news section to engage students.  They can also embed these into content section.  They can also use this as feedback in Dropbox.

Students can add video note to their dropbox assignments.

I still like to use SNAGIT to capture what is on my screen, but this is great to contain personal video.

Here is a brief walkthrough how to use this new tool:

Tech Talk 8 Google Forms to upload Proctored Exams

If you have proctored exams, it can be useful to have one easy way to upload and track exam submissions – rather than just emailing the teacher.

We have used Google Forms to create an easy way to upload and have a Google Spreadsheet then to access these exams for our teachers:

Note you can also share the Google Form directly with the teacher who can subscribe to alerts when new submissions come in.

Tech Talk 7 Google Doc Templates


In online courses, it is nice to have an assignment format that everyone can access.  Use Google Docs, we can create an assignment and anyone with a Google account will be able to open and edit right away.

By sharing and changing the share code slightly it forces students to make their own copy of the assignment rather than opening a view only copy and then requiring the student to make a copy:

Tech Talk 6: Zoom Conferences: Online Tutorials

Check out 

Give more real-time support to students in online classes when they need you!

Zoom is a free video conferencing service that is much easier than Adobe Connect or Google Hangouts.  Students don’t have to pre-install any software.

All you have to do is send out an invitation URL and anyone can join by clicking, prompting the launch of a web application.

In our online classes, we are using these zoom tutorials to build community and to support student learning by meeting in small groups or 1:1.  It has also been a useful tool for staff meetings and professional learning at multiple school sites.  Finally, it is helpful for tech troubleshooting.

As the host of a Zoom session, you can choose to share your screen, allowing anyone to annotate on top of documents you are both looking at.  This supports effective collaboration and makes student thinking visible.  The teacher or student can also request remote access to control mouse and keyboard to help with tech support.

For students who couldn’t attend the online tutorial in real-time, save and record your zoom session and publish to YouTube for asynchronous learning.

The free version of Zoom has been sufficient for my needs as an online teacher.

Check Spelling and Grammar with Grammarly

Tech Talk 5:  This tutorial focuses on how to use Google Extension Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar.  You can get this from the Chrome Web Store looking for  Grammarly.  This integrates automatically when you are logged into Google Chrome.  Grammarly doesn’t naturally work with Google Docs, but there is an easy workaround for this.

All students and staff with a Google account automatically have Grammarly extension installed.