added a Presentation Template with Full-Screen Preview

For our fans… If you are working on a presentation that needs to incorporate a high-end graphic design look and feel, check out the new presentation templates. As usual, some are free and some cost $1, but they offer a wide variety of eye-catching looks to choose from (without the dancing pandas). I like the full-screen preview option. I have to admit that it takes some discipline not to spend too much time surfing the designs, but that is my own issue.

Embedding a YouTube Video with Start and Stop Time into Canvas

I found the info on It worked like a charm. To have an embedded YouTube video begin playing at a specific timestamp, first calculate the start point in total number of seconds (60 times the number of minutes plus the number of seconds), then do the same for the end point. Grab the embed code from YouTube, by clicking on Share > Embed. To select the size of the video, click on Show More. Choose the preferred size and copy the embed code.

Embed Code
Embed Code

Paste the embed code into your Canvas page, and find the question mark. <iframe width=”1280″ height=”720″ src=”;showinfo=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Add this snippet after the question mark: start=___&end=___; and replace the underscores with the number of seconds for start and stop time. The snippet will look something like this: start=225&end=268;

Final code result? <iframe width=”1280″ height=”720″ src=”;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Embedding an Instagram Post into Canvas

The info referenced in this post comes from the ever-handy Canvas LMS community discussion boards.

I was looking for a way to give students a quick visual reference that would pop up in a social media account, show up in Canvas, and be something they could keep for long term reference (i.e. a good life lesson kind of thing). Instagram provides a platform for this. If a student follows the account, he or she sees the update, and can view it in Canvas or keep it for long-term reference. The trick is to embed the image in Canvas. We do that with a relatively simple iframe code.

Open a page or assignment in the text view and paste in this code:

<p><iframe src=”//” width=”612″ height=”710″></iframe></p>

Then, go to the Instagram post, and look at the URL. It will have a /p/ followed by a series of letters followed by another /. Copy that code. For example:

Instagram URL

Copy zY3M3goSt9 and paste into your code between the two /s.

Final result will be something like this:

<p><iframe src=”//” width=”612″ height=”710″></iframe></p>

Then save the page and publish in Canvas.

Review of Academic Twitter Accounts

This one is for fun.

The London School of Economics and Political Science has an Impact of Social Sciences blog that includes one of my favorite posts of the week. Titled
The Weird and Wonderful World of Academic Twitter: Accounts that mock, self-ridicule and bring a smile to academia, the post presents one of my personal favorites (Sh*t Academics Say) and introduces some others that are worthy of chuckles and a few head scratches. Anyone who walks in the shadow of the ivory tower will enjoy the quick read.

Going Web 2.0 Old School with Feedly

Ten years ago, we were very excited about websites that syndicated their content. Rather than having a static page that changed on a monthly basis, these new sites updated content on a regular (daily, even!) basis. To assist visitors in identifying that new content was available, these sites leveraged syndication (feeds) that notified aggregator tools that new information was available and provided headlines. Google Reader was one of the most popular of these RSS feed readers. (For a dive into this chapter of nerd history, go to:

Feedly is the modern offspring of these tools. It works in your web browser or as a mobile app to collect feeds from your favorite websites. A quick one-stop shop for the day’s headlines or podcasts. For a person who is interested in following a few threads of world discussion without turning on the firehose of Twitter, Feedly is one way to approach information management. I like it!

Screenshots from my Feedly

Feedly Screenshot
Feed Listing
Another Feedly Screenshot
Sample Headlines

A pro version allows users to share collections and integrate with other communications tools, but the free version is a great place to start.


Thinglink allows users to layer links to media on an image.

screenshot of thinglink
Thinglink Samples

A free {limited} educator license will allow teachers to create and share with one class and up to 100 students. An individual premium license runs $35 per year. For more info on licensing, go to

For a video overview of ThingLink in action, check out this video:

I got the Pindex Invite

Pindex looks easy to use. Very like Pinterest, but collects and organizes videos. Here’s a nicely organized (curated) collection on Health, Disease and Medicine. Pindex’s education focus also includes quiz functionality and an award that visitors receive if they view all of the material in a collection. Interesting idea.

Pinterest for Teachers

YouTube tutorial for teachers who might want to use Pinterest to prepare for their lessons, etc. Does NOT focus primarily on using Pinterest with students.

Teaching with Microvideo

I’m in love. Sadly, it won’t last long: only about 6 seconds (or maybe 15). The object of my affection is teaching with microvideo. Yes, I have fallen head over heels in love with Vine. The idea is to take six seconds to teach or reinforce a concept using video. Imagine the possibilities of piquing students’ interest with a taste of an idea to come, reviewing a discussion from a previous class, or asking students to create their own. Packing maximum message in minimum space is key.

Edutopia has a nice list of examples of Microvideo in the Classroom.

My favorite is Using Vine in the Higher Education Classroom. Collection of “how to” Vines is a wonderful idea. And, there is indeed an Android version.

Using Twitter in the Classroom – Shapiro at Temple

Article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on how Jordan Shapiro, senior fellow for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, used Twitter in his classroom at Temple University.

There’s also a great NPR ED story – Exploding The Myth Of ‘Unengaged’ Students related to his 4 Fundamental Problems With Everything You Hear About The Future Of Education article in Forbes. He argues against the notion that schools need to gamify instruction and leverage technology to engage students and make learning fun. Really interesting stuff!!

ICYMI: Twitter Turns 10

More data from the Pew Research Center in their 5 facts about Twitter at age 10

    • the massive user base includes 320 million monthly active users, but only 65 million are from the U.S.


  • six archetypes of Twitter conversations: Polarized Crowds, Tight Crowds, Brand Clusters, Community Clusters, Broadcast Networks and Support Networks
  • Twitter users are “disproportionately young, urban, African-American, and better educated”.
  • Twitter can be useful in times of emergency.
  • Twitter still has not turned a profit.


I found a new tool that might solve Jim Patton’s problem! allows users to create a board and then drag and drop links, images, etc to the board. Their are plugins for web browsers and an iOS app. I’m still figuring out how it works, but it looks very promising!

See the link below for an example of a board that is under construction:

Blog post from George Veletsianos: “Is Academic Twitter Egalitarian?”

Our former College of Education colleague, George V. and Royce Kimmons (alumnus) are researching patterns of Twitter use among academics, and they are finding some very interesting patterns. Top scholars have a LOT more followers than less well-known scholars. Civil rights and advocacy play an important role in many scholars’ use of social media.  Scholars who follow more people, tweet more, ID themselves as professors and have been on Twitter longer have more followers. Nice to see someone trying to make sense of all this stuff!

New Research: Is Academic Twitter Egalitarian?

Notes from Feb 17th Meeting

Attending: Michelle Harrison, Lucy Camarillo-May, Jim Patton, Chris McCarthy

Discussion Topics:

  • Why use Twitter? What are hashtags?
  • Creating a Google Scholar Account, why have a Google Scholar Account
  • Infographics – using them to teach, creating infographics using

Chronicle Column: “3 ways that faculty members can help students link course content to the world around them”

Nice post in the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s Advice Column focused on helping students make connections between course content and life. The author advocates leveraging social media tools, including Twitter and Instagram to help students anchor what they are learning to what they already know and do so in a densely interconnected way.

Writing is clear and ideas are easy to apply.

Notes from Jan 27, 2016

Agenda: Regroup from December, discuss goals for the semester, format for meetings (review progress in projects, explore a technology, ask member to report)

Jody Jensen, Michelle Harrison, Lucy Camarillo, Keffrelyn Brown, Angela Valenzuela, Jim Patton, Lim Mihyun, Karen French

Jody –
Where do I target students for what?
reaching undergraduates for research
infographics –
what are students visiting?
coolness of the science
send students to these places to see what they are doing
how to get the message out without having to learn everything

Keffrelyn –
personal user of social media
op-ed project – public voices project (partners with professor at Yale) adding new voices to public conversation
students finding representation of teachers or black education
tools that can be used instructionally
courses – Representations of Teaching in Popular Media, Social Media

Angela –

Jim –
Individual Differences Class – some students were not comfortable sharing publicly

Lucy –
LinkedIn as a way of finding a job
What can we involve our students in now that they can continue post-graduation?

Topics for next meeting:
We will create Google Scholar Identity
Pinterest & Instagram as visual social media tools

Karen and Lim will create project blog and support material for Hootsuite