Category Archives: Technology

The Move to Moodle 2

In Fall 2013 Davidson County Community College will be on the Moodle 2 platform.  Opportunities to participate in training will be held after Spring Break.  Until then, I would like to preview the new features that DCCC instructors can look forward to in a video series known as “What’s New in Moodle 2.”

Click on the following link to view the video.

SoftChalk Hands On Workshop at DCCC

DCCC currently has a limited number of licenses of SoftChalk, a content authoring software that allows instructors to make online, engaging, and interactive content.  To see examples of what SoftChalk can do, visit the links below:

Health and Science Sample Lesson
History Sample Lesson
Linguistics Sample Lesson
English As A Second Language Sample Lesson
Science Sample Lesson

If you are interested in using one of DCCC’s licenses, we are offering two hands on workshops to get you started using the software.  Liz Irizarry will be offering the sessions on Nov. 30th 2-3pm and Dec. 7th 2-3pm.  You are welcome to attend one or both of those sessions.  To sign up for the workshop(s), visit the following link:

The agenda for the two days is as follows:

Day 1 Agenda – Nov 30th
Intro to Softchalk
Basic Features
Creating a Lesson
Using MS Word to import content
Q&A Time

Day 2 Agenda – Dec 7th
Review from Day 1
Inserting images
Inserting YouTube videos
Inserting a Power Point
Q&A Time

If you have any questions regarding SoftChalk or the workshops, please contact Liz Irizarry at

Welcome to Suzanne!


Office of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning
photo taken by David Whitehead (thanks!)

Pictured Left to Right:  Dori Stanfield, Suzanne Edmonds, Elizabeth (Liz) Irizarry.

Please welcome our newest member of the Office of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Suzanne Edmonds!  Suzanne recently completed her Masters of Arts in Educational Media from Appalachian State University.  As our Instructional Technology Specialist, she will be primarily working with our Echo360 lecture capture room, SMART hardware and software, Elmo document cameras, Vision classroom monitoring software, iclickers, and Blackboard Collaborate.  Please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne for training on the aforementioned technologies.  Her office is Reich 122.

Suzanne shares an office with Elizabeth (Liz) Irizarry, our Instructional Designer, who has been here for over a year now.  Liz primarily trains instructors on Moodle, Turnitin plagiarism software, Softchalk, NCLOR, Respondus 4.0, Respondus Lockdown Browser, and Blackboard Collaborate.

Feel free to visit our Staff page (link above) to learn more about our Office of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning.

Recorded Webinar Viewing Schedule

DCCC’s Distance Learning Team will be showing various recorded webinars throughout the semester.  Please consider coming to any of the following.

Student Engagement and Web 2.0 in Blended Learning
Summary – Dr. Norm Vaughan shares his views on how to successfully incorporate Web tools, create an environment to empower students for future learning using a blending format, and more. If you enjoy integrating wikis, blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook and other sources, this webinar is for you. Run time – 90 mins

Jan 18  Love 108   2-3:30 pm
Jan 19  Reich 100  2-3:30 pm
Jan 20  Gee 187    9-10:30 am and
Gee 143    1-2:30 pm

Online Strategies for Assessment Design
Summary – Both Dr. Patricia McGee from the University of Texas and Dr. Veronica Diaz from EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative will be discussing the differences between assessment and evaluation, the true purpose of the assessment, layered approach to assessments, and more. Run time – 120 mins

Feb 15 Love 108    2-4 pm
Feb 16 Reich 100   2-4 pm
Feb 17 Gee 187     9-11 am and
Gee 143     1-3 pm

Strategies to Help Design Your Online Course
Summary – The following will be covered:
•    Focusing on goals and objectives for online course design
•    How to create a user friendly flow in your course
•    Concept based versus topic based courses
Run time – 90 mins

Mar 21 & 22  Finch 124  3:30 – 5pm
Mar 23 Gee 149  1 – 2:30 pm

Stipend Opportunity for DCCC Faculty and Staff

I am excited to announce that The Faculty and Staff Innovations with Technology Program is back!  The program’s intent is to create an atmosphere that encourages teaching and service innovations with technology that positively affect student learning and service.

Please read the request for proposal form(RFP).  Note:  There have been some updates to the program since our last round of projects.  Submissions from both faculty and staff members of DCCC are now accepted.


-$2,500 individual stipend available or up to $5,000 stipend for collaborative projects
-Projects to be conducted in Spring 2012
-Proposals due by Jan 3rd
**Please complete the document titled “Submission Form” and return to Dori Stanfield at by 5pm, Jan 3, 2012.

Free Web Conferencing Room

Elluminate is one of the many web conferencing softwares out there.  DCCC has purchased two virtual rooms that hold up to 50 users.  Participants can communicate through chat boxes or voice using a microphone (some computers have an internal mic) and speakers or headset.  One of those rooms have been used in one of our first ever Faculty Innovations with Technology Projects, involving online tutoring in Basic Skills.  Melanie Knier headed up that project and it was so successful we are now implementing this for curriculum courses.  Right now we are providing online tutoring for online, modular, and Davie developmental math courses.  The second room is available for use by faculty and/or staff in whatever creative ways they would like to explore.  The purchased room allows for a larger audience and recording capabilities. 

Good news!  There is also a free virtual room that Elluminate offers called a vRoom.  The only limitations for this room are capacity, which stands at 3 users at one time, and no recording.  This room can faciliate tutoring, supplemental instruction, orientation sessions, presentations, meetings, collaboration sessions, online office hours, etc.  And anyone can register and have their very own vRoom to schedule and manage.  Below is a screen shot of the room.  Click here to see more about how to get a vRoom of your own.  And contact Dori Stanfield, if you are interested in training for Elluminate or want to use the 50 person room.  If you are already using Elluminate, please share.  I’d love to know how you are using it and what your experience has been.  Feel free to leave me a comment.


Screenshot of the free vRoom from Elluminate.

Never Need a Flash Drive Again!

If you are finding yourself emailing documents to yourself from work so you can continue working on a document at home, then you must start using dropbox.  To see a quick video on how this works, click here.  I recently created a dropbox account and now save all my documents there.  I then downloaded dropbox on both my home and work computer.  I always know that I can get access to my documents, without having to carry around a flash drive.  And if I find myself on another computer and need to get to a document, I just sign in to my dropbox account and get my file.  I also downloaded dropbox on my Droid smart phone and it works beautifully.  Not only can you save files on dropbox, but you can also share them, too.  Check out this link to see all of dropbox’s features.  Now there are limitations as to how much you get in your free account.  You get 2 GB of space without paying and it goes up from there.  If you have an account, I’d be curious to hear in what ways you find this most useful.

Webcams and Headsets = Online office hours

All fulltime instructors should have received a webcam and headset.  It is becoming more the standard rather than the exception that part of an instructor’s load involves at least one distance class.  And it only seems natural that if we are teaching a distance class, that office hours could be virtual as well.  There are several tools out there that can facilitate online office hours.  I am going to focus on just one option, Skype.  It is free and easy to use.  The student and instructor would need to create an account and download the software.  For help with how to do this, read this help document.  Both take less than 5 minutes.  Then you are ready to use Skype.  The instructor would communicate to the students the time frame they would be online.  The students would then search for the instructor by name to initiate a chat.  The type of chat is up to you.  The communication can be all text–just instant messaging (IM).  It can be a voice chat–a headset or internal mic needed.  Or, it can be a video chat–webcam and mic needed (note, the webcams I have distributed have a built in mic).

Online office hours make you more accessible to your students.  If you are teaching distance classes, try holding virtual office hours in the next semester, whether it be through Skype or some other provider.  If you need help stepping into the virtual world, please don’t hesitate to ask for help,  If you did not receive a webcam and/or headset and think you would put it to good use, contact me.  And if you are already holding office hours online, I would love to hear what you are using and how it went.