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Web Exclusive: Online Workshop

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Austin Metz
Editor In Chief

On Thursday, March 31, GRCC faculty was given the opportunity to learn about different on-line tools to use in the classroom.

The session was taught in a tutorial format by fellow GRCC teachers as well as professors from other area schools who were able to show teachers how they personally use different forms of technology in their classes.

“The goal is to help faculty learn to use different technology to engage students in the classroom,” said student worker Nick Corbeil.

Language and Thought Professor Juan Heredia of GRCC was one faculty member who attended the session.

“It’s nice because you get a short explanation of a lot of topics,” Heredia said. “It gives you a glimpse into what’s out there.”

Luann Keizer is a Computer Applications professor who teaches seven on-line classes and one on-site class and was promoting a program she uses called Pronto.

“Pronto is available to all students on the Blackboard main page and is used for instant chatting with my students,” Keizer said. “Students can log in and chat with me visually with a web camera and vocally with a head-set.”

Along with those advantages, using Pronto also is a way teachers can show students their screen at different locations to better show examples to the students.

“My advanced on-line classes are required to chat with me once a week,” Keizer said. “Students can also get on the program without the teacher to do group work with other students.”

Other topics that faculty were shown ranged from Mash ups, which revolves around different concepts like linking e-books to Blackboard and the use of Youtube in the classroom, Studymate, which helps faculty and students create multiple choice questions for class and also download study materials to a mobile device, and ways to teach students the powers of Facebook.

Ferris State University Professor J. Randall Vance said, “There are quite a variety of things for teachers to learn about and it has been a nice, steady flow of faculty throughout the day.”