Faculty Mobile Device Mixer

On September 20th Instructional Technology welcomed thirteen faculty, Center for Teaching Excellence staff and Library staff to our first Tech Snack for fall — “Mobile Device Mixer”.  We started off by using a mobile app Poll Everywhere to ask faculty to name their favorite app.  Poll Everywhere allows you to conduct a quick poll using any mobile device, including laptops.

Wordle with most popular app displaying as Evernote

Note Taking

No surprise that Evernote tops the list!  Evernote is a great productivity tool.  You can sync notes across multiple devices (Windows, Android, iOS).  You can sort notes into notebooks and tag them for easy searching.  Ann David shared an educational use for Evernote.  She uses Evernote for  Learning Logs for her Educational Technology class. Students make Evernote notebooks and share so she can see live what students are writing.  She can’t edit or make notes on their notebooks but she can give immediate feedback.  Students can include audio, images, and videos to record their experience.

File Management and Sharing

Ryan Hoover discussed the ease of using Google Drive across devices to share documents with students.  DropBox also has an app that lets you access files across devices.

Annotation and Reading

We had a lively discussion on tools to annotate PDFs or ebooks via mobile devices.  Annotation of PDFs and ebooks is still challenging for some students.  Julie Sievers shared her favorite, iAnnotate, which is available for iPads and Android devices.

Other apps we discussed:

  • Quip –  a shared word processor so everyone is editing the same document.  You can add photos to create a collective photo album.
  • TalkBoard – a shared whiteboard, great for creative projects
  • SimpleNote – a note application available on iOS and Androids
  • vBookZ PDF Reader — Reads PDFs to you — great for commuting in Austin!


Faculty Must-Have iPad Apps #1: Evernote

Evernote is a multi-purpose app.  First, it’s a simple tool for taking notes in a meeting or conference presentation.  Second, it’s a way to “clip” web pages, documents and images in much the same way as one would clip interesting articles from paper-based newspapers and magazines.

The above features are not necessarily unique.  However, Evernote is downloadable to each of your devices, from phones to iPads to desktops and laptops and synchronizes across all of them, which IS unique!  Essentially, this functionality allows you to create notes on one device that, when synchronized (automatically once an internet connection is detected), becomes available across all of your devices that have Evernote.  In many instances, this can eliminate the need to email documents and other information to yourself.


Interactive Video with Avatars

What is an Avatar and a Voki?

An avatar is a figure or character that you can create and customize for online use. Vokis are speaking avatars that could be used for online interaction.

  • Users can create an account with different services such as Voki.
    • Voki can be used to create speaking avatars and use them as an effective learning tool.

Ideas for Uses of Avatars in the Classroom:

  • Connecting via online learning: Faculty who teach online and blended courses could enhance their personal presence in the class through the use of avatars. Avatars could be used for virtual lectures in place of text course materials.
  • Solving problems and gaining real-world experience through case studies: Faculty could use avatars to demonstrate case studies. Students will benefit from practice in applying the material to real-life situations.
  • Historical Reenactments and Teaching Moments Students can reenact historical events in order to gain new perspectives beyond the mere facts. Avatars can be used to teach various theories which may be hard to understand from an external point of view.


  1. 8 Great Avatar Creation Tools for Teachers
  2. Creating Avatars
  3. 10 Ways to Use Avatars in Education

Tech Snacks: iPad Apps and Productivity

Have you ever wondered how the iPad can be used for education and productivity? On Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM in Premont 110 (Faculty Resource Center) come learn about iPad apps that increase productivity, create to-do lists, calendars, and help you organize class or assignment schedules.

Tech Snacks, sponsored by Instructional Technology, is an ongoing series of short presentations and demos for faculty. Each session will emphasize the pedagogical use of a specific technology or software. Bring your curiosity, questions and an appetite for some snack foods!

Join us on Tuesday, February 26th at 11am in the Faculty Resource Center (FRC) for some snacks and learn more about iPads and productivity apps.

Students, Faculty, and Staff Discounts on Microsoft Office 365 and 2013. What are your options?

St. Edward’s University students, faculty, and staff have the option to use VarsityBuys.com to purchase and download software products for personal use. Some of these products include Office 365 University for students, faculty, and staff, and Office Professional Plus 2013 for faculty and staff.

When it comes to deciding what software best meets your needs, you need to do the research, but we have already done that for you. It is up to you whether you want to subscribe (rent), purchase a license (own), or use an online free version of Microsoft Office. Shown below are the personal use options available for faculty, staff, and students:

Steps to Purchase Office 365 University for Students or Microsoft Office Professional Plus for Faculty and Staff

Visit VarsityBuys.com and select the Institution Type: College/University and then select the Country and State/Province as Texas and click on Go and select Saint Edwards University.  There, you may purchase and download the available software products for Students and Faculty/Staff.

Steps to Create a Microsoft Account and use and Download SkyDrive

First, visit https://signup.live.com to create a Microsoft account, and then visit outlook.com to sign-in using your Microsoft account and view email or select SkyDrive. To download SkyDrive to sync your files visithttp://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/download.

Now that you know the various Microsoft Office options to choose from, you just have to decide which type works best for you. For more information and other references visit:

Open Educational Resources

This page contains a list of a variety of open educational resources to support course content and academic scholarship.  Open content is published by a wide variety of academic sources and partnerships.  Included in this list are links to university published content that has been made freely available.  In addition, a number of open content repositories are listed here (i.e. MERLOT) which are designed to aggregate listings of open content published across a variety of sites (i.e. MIT's Open Courseware).  In addition, many social media sites (such as the few listed here) also provide ways to search for "open" content.  Links have also been provided to open textbook sites (i.e. Connexions) as well as sites to support academic scholarship (i.e. Academic Commons).


It is important to note that even with open educational resources, freely distributed content is still copyrighted.  Content that is published under an "open" license does not always provide the right to reuse/republish and/or to remix the work.  Please check the Creative Commons license for individual works for more information, and visit the Creative Commons site to learn more about open licensing.


University sponsored open courseware

MIT OpenCourseWare | Free Online Course Materials
"MIT OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity."

University of Michigan | Open.Michigan
This site offers, "open initiatives supporting free and open educational resources from the University of Michigan." The collection is open to the publish and is easily searchable across a range of course materials, videos, tools and student work. Material is licensed for re-use.

Harvard Open Courses for Free | Open Learning Initiative
"Take free Harvard online courses through Harvard Extension School's Open Learning Initiative. Course videos feature Harvard faculty." You can find a link to Harvard's EdX courses from this easily searchable site.

Tufts OpenCourseWare
"A free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world." Tufts Open Courseware is sponsored by Tufts University and offers open access to select university materials. The main page links to courses by school.

Open Yale Courses
"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn." Yale offers a wide range of courses and materials for public use. Yale is also listed on iTunes.

Webcast Berkeley: UC Berkeley Video and Podcasts for Courses & Events
"Webcast.berkeley is the campus service for recording and publishing course and campus events for students and learners around the globe. Audio and video recordings of class lectures and special events are processed and made available to everyone through webcast.berkeley.edu." Berkeley has long been a pioneer of making lecture materials freely accessible. Video recordings are hosted on Youtube and course materials is easily searchable and covers a wide range of disciplines.
iTunesU is a services provided by Apple, through its iTunes Store. iTunesU is home to content from scores of universities who have made educational content in the form of audio and video podcasts freely accessible. However, as with other open resources, free does not mean all content can be re-used and re-mixed. Check the copyright for specific works for usage rights.

Stanford on iTunes U
"The first publicly available iTunes U site. A comprehensive online audio and video collection from Stanford University. Celebrating 5 years of edutechnosharification."

Searchable open content repositories

OER Commons
The OER Commons was created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education and is a result of "alliances between trusted content providers and creative users and re-users of Open Educational Resources". OER content is well-organized and searchable by grade level and subject material.

DnaTube.com – Scientific Video and Animation Site
" DnaTube is a non-profit video site which is aiming to be a visual scientific resource for its visitors making scientific concepts easily understandable." A wide variety of video resources are available here, and the site is easily searchable. In addition to videos, you can search the site for course lectures.

MERLOT – Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
" Free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. " Although not a comprehensive catalog of all open online resources, MERLOT aggregates peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed open content and contains links to a range of content types, from courses hosted by universities ,text materials to video lectures and multimedia learning objects.

OTTER — University of Leicester
OTTER stands for Open, Transferable and Technology-enabled Educational Resources. OTTER is hosted by the University of Leicester in the UK. Course content includes a range of materials published as open material by the University of Leicester.

"Open Educational Resources – Free Learning Resources for the World". Curriki offers open educational content for K-16 content. Content is searchable by topic and grade level.

Learning Resource Exchange
The Learning Resource Exchange is provided by the European Schoolnet and provides content from a wide range of partners including Penn State, the Open University, and Khan Academy.

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
The CCCOER is a consortium of community colleges and universities that offers OER content through a catalog of 750 open textbooks and 41 online courses.

Open Textbook Resources

Connexions – Sharing Knowledge and Building Communities
Connexions is hosted by Rice University and is a respository for open, online textbooks. Content covers a range of college level topic areas, and includes peer reviewed content. Courses are organized into modules, and includes text, audio and video materials.

Flat World Knowledge
Flat World Knowledge offers visitors 32 different online texts to use for free across a variety of subject areas.

Open publishing platforms and research tools

Academic Commons
The Academic Commons was created by the Center for Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College and provides the academic community an open platform for publishing on topics related to liberal education as well as the uses of technology in liberal education.
eScholarship | University of California
"eScholarship provides Open-Access scholarly publishing services to the University of California and delivers a dynamic research platform to scholars worldwide". Although publishing is limited to U of C faculty and students, this content is open and searchable.

Massively Online Course (MOOC) initiatives

Udacity | Free Online Courses. Advance your College Education & Career
"Learn. Think. Do. Free Online Classes in Programming, Computer Science, Math, Sciences and Entrepreneurship from Top University and Industry Instructors." Udacity offer Massively Online Courses–otherwise known as MOOCs. Course content is available to those who sign up for courses. However, it is unclear whether content is licensed to be re-used and re-mixed.

EdX is a partnership originally founded by MIT and Harvard to offer open e-learning through Massively Online Courses (MOOCs). Courses are available from member institutions. As with other MOOC providers, content licensing is based on the copyright of individual works. Not all content is available for re-use and re-mixing.

Khan Academy
"The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere."  Notably, MOOC content is searchable from the main site, without the need to enroll in a class.

Coursera offers 200+ courses across 20 categories, "spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Whether you're looking to improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your knowledge, we hope there will be multiple courses that you find interesting."

Open Content Licensing

Creative Commons
"Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators." The Creative Commons site provides in-depth information on licensing for open content and is an excellent resource for people looking to use as well as to publish open content.

Social Media Site examples with Open Educational Content

Vimeo, Your Videos Belong Here
Vimeo is a video hosting platform. According their TOU, video content on Vimeo is considered, by default to be licensed as "open content" through creative commons licensing. A wide range of non-commercial and educational content can be found here.

Slideshare is a social media presentation tool that is used by a range of academic professionals who have shared presentation materials. Materials can be found on a wide range of academic and non-academic topics, with many presentations shared as downloadable resources.

Youtube EDU
A wealth of open educational videos can be found on Youtube, and many open educational resources point to videos published on youtube.  However, you can search youtube directly for content to find these resources as well.


Ecycling is Available on Campus

Don’t produce electronic waste (e-Waste or e-Scrap). e-Waste can be defined as loosely, discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken electrical or electronic devices, according to Round2 a national electronics recycling company that provides integrated and customizable electronics recycling services.

St. Edward’s University is working with Round2 to provide eCycling on campus to all students, faculty, and staff.


Students can now eCycle in each resident hall. There are collection bins available in each residence hall where you may drop off the following:

  • toner cartridges
  • ink cartridges
  • and batteries

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff may drop off any toner cartridges or ink cartridges at the Copy Center. There is a collection bin available.

More information about sustainability initiatives on campus could be found on the St. Edward’s University Office of Sustainability.

Also, I.T. Training offers a Green I.T. workshop that covers tips on making environmentally responsible purchases of technology equipment at both the personal level and institutional level.

Help, My Capstone Paper Won’t Open!

How to Recover Corrupted Files in Word

error message for microsoft word: file corruptedIt’s that time of year when end of the semester projects are in full swing and it’s almost time to turn in that big final paper. This gives rise to a common end-of-the-semester situation at the IT HelpDesk – students needing to fix a Word file that will not open, with Word often displaying an error message that the file is “corrupted”.

Why is my file corrupted? What happened?

There are a number of different reasons why your file was damaged. If Word or your computer suddenly crashes, or there’s a power outage while you are working on a document, it might get damaged. Malware might have come into play. It could also be that the part of your drive where the document is saved has become damaged or unreadable, especially if you yank out your flash drive or external hard drive while your document is still open or while it’s trying to save.


  1. In Word, first try to recover a previous version of your file.

  2. If you cannot open your file, or any previous version of it, try opening the document on another computer with Word. All campus computer labs have Word installed on every PC and Mac. If the file will not open on any computer or displays an error message, the document is likely damaged.

  3. Before you start trying to recover your file, make a copy of your file and try to fix the copy. The original might get damaged more over time, or you may destroy the file in your efforts to save it.

  4. The Microsoft support site has articles with several methods for recovering your document in Word for Windows or Word for Mac. Try these techniques to see if it’s possible to recover your document. You might lose your document’s formatting styles, but at least you can recover the text.

2 Ways to Attempt Recovery if your Document Will Not Open

The following screencast shows two options for trying to recover a file that will not open in Word 2010. Remember to try these techniques on a copy of your file. The first option is using “Open and Repair,” and the second one to try is “Recover Text from Any File”.  Again, you may lose your formatting or see some extra Word formatting information, but you can always reformat your text once you recover it.

An Ounce of Prevention

Of course, this situation is only dire if you only have one copy of your document. If you keep backup copies of your documents, you can easily work off one of your backups. Consider the 3-2-1 Method of backup: you should have three copies of your files, two of which you can access locally (like on your hard drive and a USB drive) and a third located outside your home or office (like EdShare).

Why You Should Have Multiple Web Browsers On Your Computer

The main reason why it is a good idea to have more than one web browser installed on a computer is that it provides a back-up or alternate way to connect to the Internet when a favorite web browser suddenly stops working or denies access to a particular website. Technology is not perfect, as much as we expect it to be. Programs, software, and websites change, get updated and, sometimes, break for unknown reasons.

If you’re still not convinced your browser might be displaying certain webpages differently or not as effectively than another browser, then consider these situations:

1. Versatility

Having multiple web browsers installed on the computer provides you with different interfaces to connect to the Internet. The page loading speed of Google Chrome might be more attractive than using a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox that provides the user with a wide variety of tools and gadgets, or vice-versa.

Try out a variety of web browsers to see what they do and how they display the Internet content on your computer. You may discover that you like one of the newer ones more than your current browser. A list of popular and acceptable web browsers for the Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems is provided at the end of this article.

2. Compatibility and Security

Some websites might not open properly after awhile with the default web browser. Try another web browser to access the website.

3. Reparability/Reliability

Web browsers wear out, become corrupt, out dated and break, just like other computer programs. Upgrading the web browser version or completely re-installing the browser program usually corrects the glitch. But, this isn’t effective when time is not on your side. Using a backup web browser to access information on the Internet will save time and headaches until the problem can be fixed.

Here is a list of some of the more popular and SEU compatible web browsers:

Windows computers:

Mac and Linux computers: