Tech Talk 15 – Badges and Certificates in Brightspace/D2L

This will be a brief presentation on how to use the Badges and Certificates in Awards with D2L/Brightspace.  Set up badges to be awarded on achievement or other criteria and Certificates that can be printed as PDF – who doesn’t like certificates?

If you would like Brightspace documentation:  Brightspace Documentation

You can start with any award template, if you use Office 365, can start here: I prefer not to use Microsoft Word, so will pick PPT for this example.  You can use Microsoft Publisher.  Can also use Google Template for Google Slides.  

Brightspace instructions : but need Adobe Pro

Adobe Pro

You can also edit your PDF template with is free online pdf editor

PDF Escape Screenshot

Tech Talk 14 – Closed Caption in YouTube

YouTube has a very good Closed Caption recognition.  You just have to enable it for any video you create.

If you want to go a step further, you can force your video to show CC by a few small steps.

  • First Enable CC by going to YouTube Creator Studio
  • Make a small edit on the CC to “own it”
  • Then add a tag in your Info and Settings tab to include yt:cc=on

Here is a video walkthrough of doing this!


Tech Talk 12

Math editing for you – in Google Docs. I like the handwriting portion – if you have a tablet.

If you share a document for students to make a copy, then they can still edit equation too.  For now it is free, might become paid later though.

For students doing long calculations, I still suggest doing by hand, taking picture and inserting picture of your work in your Google Doc


Tech Talk 11 – Checkit from Read and Write

I have looked at Google Read&Write with many classes in the past.  I’m excited now there is a built-in Spelling/Grammar check.  This is great as that was the biggest thing missing in Google Docs!


If you have Read&Write extension already installed, the “Checkit” feature should be there soon – this week I think.  If you want it sooner, uninstall the extension and re-install it.

I have created a short(ish) video showing you how to use this and a quick refresher of other tools available.  ALL Loyola staff and students may install this.  You must be logged into Google Chrome with your account to do this.

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.