Thursday, July 29, 2010

Youtube Videos - Student Reflections from a Twitter Assignment


As most of you know, I LOVE incorporating Twitter in my online and face-to-face courses. I embed the Twitter widget on my blackboard page to enable my students to see my grading updates, etc. and I interact with my students through the communication tool as well. So, it seems like the "Twitter in the Classroom" movement is catching on with other professors across the nation. 

This week, I was grading Youtube assignment submissions from students and I discovered these Twitter submissions from a fellow professor:

I love the students' comments and after watching the videos, I plan to incorporate filmed interviews in my fall courses. Youtube provides many opportunities for professors to spread ideas across the nation! We can improve our teaching practices by submitting one Youtube video, blog spot, or tweet as at a time! Contribute to your profession by sharing ideas!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

College Students: Free Amazon Prime Subscription

college textbooks


Please tell your college students about this incredible opportunity! A free subscription one-year to Amazon Prime (FREE TWO DAY SHIPPING)!

This is a wonderful savings opportunity for students who order textbooks after receiving their course syllabus on the first day of class.

Thanks Coupon Cravings!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

YouTube Better at Funny Cat Videos Than Educational Content, Professors Say - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

YouTube Better at Funny Cat Videos Than Educational Content, Professors Say - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

What do you think about this one? Have you used any educational videos from Youtube?

I use sample speeches from other universities AND "how to" videos ALL of the time!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Building Higher Education Courses Through Outsourcing

Today, I discovered this article on colleges and universities who OUTSOURCE some of their online student services to Embanet ( Some colleges use Embanet to host courses, design courses, market their courses, and to provide student services. 

Here's the article - Outsourced Ed: Colleges Hire Companies to Build Their Online Courses

Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

iPads in the College Classroom - The iPad Pilot and Loaner Programs

This has been one of the most AMAZING summers (with the iPad). :) This wonderful piece of technology has enabled me to become a truly mobile professor. Now, I wish my students had access to this technology as well.

iPads in Scholarly Presentations - This summer, I delivered a poster presentation at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) on Google Documents. It was a great experience and I bypassed the university network by using my AT&T 3G service <- which was VERY nice. Using the iPad, I demonstrated how to create a form on Google Docs and the faculty were in awe of Google's features! In addition, I demonstrated how my students wrote their research papers using the communication medium.

iPads in the Classroom (Faculty) - Faculty can use their iPad in their classrooms to make their lives easier. I plan to keep attendance on the iPad and demonstrate simple cloud computing concepts to small student groups during the fall semester. In addition to using the device to demonstrate simple concepts to small groups, when the computer system in the classroom is down, I plan to load my power points from Google Docs on the iPad and to display them via the document camera to deliver my lectures.

I still do not allow laptops in my classroom, but I would allow the iPad (generation one). This technology does not handle multitasking well. This is GREAT for classrooms! If the students are operating from an e-book, they cannot have their e-mail open at the same time. However, I have discovered that I can browse the internet or grade papers on blackboard AND receive messages from Yahoo Instant Messenger.

Today, I discovered an article on Wired focused on iPad pilot studies that will happen in the fall. I am VERY disappointed that our university was not selected. :( Here's the link, iPad Gets the University Treatment in the Fall. In addition to the universities selected for the pilot study, Texas A&M University is providing their faculty with an iPad loaner program for faculty to experience the iPad for one week:

The iPad is an incredible resource for the college classroom!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vote for the AmeriCorps Video and Photo Contest!

Illustration by Jason Robinson - His art is amazing! :) -

Five Days Left to Vote in the AmeriCorps Video and Photo

Are you an Americorp alumni? I am a big fan of AmeriCorps (although I have never served with the organization). Many of my students are interested in serving with AmeriCorps and I would like to help them out by promoting their video and photo contest!

The judges have selected 5 video finalists and 10 photo finalist whose work depicts how AmeriCorps gets things done in communities. The general public will select the winners by voting for their favorite videos and photos. If you haven't already done so, check out the amazing videos and photos that highlight the great work that AmeriCorps members are doing in communities across our nation. Public voting will be open until midnight Eastern Time on July 30, 2010. 

Visit to vote! 

Millennial Professor 
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Forming Teams and Breaking Ice: Ways to Increase Student Interaction and Engagement in the College Classroom


Are you looking for some GREAT team building activities for the beginning of the semester? Try this link -

This website features MANY activities and ideas including the following team builders:

1. Human Bingo (College students LOVE this one!)

2. Marooned (I've never tried this one.)

3. 2 Minute Mixer (i.e. - SPEED DATING in CLASS...)

4. The Power of Story

5. Table Topics (i.e. - Informative Speeches OR Conversation Starters)

6. Would You Rather...

7. If You Had a Magic Wand (I cannot WAIT to try this one!)

8. Where in the World?

9. Photo Scavenger Hunt

10. The Name Game

Let me know what you think? Please post some other great team builders by replying to this message. :)


Millennial Professor 

Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Admit It, I am a Binge Grader..

Millennial Professor Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.


This summer, I am teaching the second half of my online course and I am a few days behind in grading. Okay, maybe I assigned a little too much in my online course, but I did not want to make this online course any less rigorous than my face-to-face course.

Binge Grading Explained
As a result, I have a lot of assignments to grade. Between the Google Doc assignments and the blackboard assignments, my days are consumed with grading. Not only do I grade one assignment, but I tend to grade SEVERAL assignments at one time (BINGE GRADING). I do not like grading assignments at office when the door is open. Here are my favorite spots for grading student assignments AND writing scholarly papers:

Five of My Favorite Binge Grading Spots!
1. Starbucks or Hastings
2. Riding in the Car
3. Marriott Hotels (free breakfast and free coffee/tea at anytime)
4. My Backyard
5. The Home Office I share with my husband.

My favorite time to grade papers is REALLY early in the morning (6 am to 9 am) at my desk in my home office or in a Marriott hotel room from 9 pm to 2 am.

Grading Papers with a SIZEABLE Amount of Feedback...
When I grade my students' assignments, I strive to give them a wealth of feedback.
If they spent time writing a paper, I am going to read the paper and contribute at least 20 to 30 comments per paper.

Ironically, yesterday I discovered an article titled "Students Mostly Satisfied, But Welcome Faculty Feedback on Papers". This article focuses on my undergraduate experiences, where I received letter or numerical grades on my paper but I did not know how I earned the grade. There were red marks on the front page, but I am not sure if the professor read past the first couple of pages. Not surprisingly, I am one of those people who strives to read EVERY SINGLE page that a student submits. This is a very time consuming task, but I really want to READ what the students write in their papers!

Google Documents Spoils Me...The Feedback Monster!
I adopt new technologies like Google Docs to provide instant feedback on their process (even before the paper is due). I configure the document to send me updates via e-mail whenever the document is modified. Several students contributed comments on an informal survey on Google Docs that I dispersed in the spring.

Are YOU a BINGE GRADER? If so, contribute your FAVORITE grading spots!

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
Millennial Professor

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twitter in the Classroom - 200+ News Articles

One of my favorite resources for classroom technology ideas is the Centre for Learning And Performance Technologies

Recently, this organization released a list of 200 Twitter-related news articles. Great resource!

How to use Twitter for Social Learning
200+ articles and resources about Twitter for Learning

Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

iPod Touch: Classroom Response System

Millennial Professor Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

This YouTube video describes the process for creating an assessment on Google Docs and having students answer assessment questions on an iPod Touch. Student responses can be displayed using a projector or interactive whiteboard.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Textbook Companies and Information Disclosure - How IS the new edition of the book different?

This shall be VERY interesting! When I was a college student, I really appreciated USED books and professors who provided options for cheaper course materials and books. However, there were some professors who required students to purchase bundled packages. Some of which I still have in boxes at my parents' house (along with my course notebooks).

Students May See Some Gains Through New Textbook Rules
by Charles Dervarics , July 8, 2010

In 2010, it seems that textbook companies will be required to disclose the following pieces of information to students and faculty:

Part of the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, the changes took effect July 1. “This change makes sure that all of the information is on the table,” said Nicole Allen, textbook advocate for The Student PIRGs, an organization affiliated with the consumer group U.S. PIRG.

Other changes in the rules would:

• Require publishers to provide bookstores with their wholesale prices.

• Require publishers to provide descriptions of changes made in a new addition compared to previous ones.

• Require publishers to offer textbooks and supplemental materials individually  rather than just in so-called “bundles” that may include books, CDs and DVDs. 

Millennial Professor Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Community Reading Program - Can We Apply These Ideas in Our Clasrooms?

This summer, I decided to do something fun (besides just teaching class) and I decided to join the local library book club. Everthing is online and the program functions like a scavenger hunt. Here are the tasks (Total - 300 pts.)

BARC Task List

10 points

1. Read a book with some form of number in the title. Numerals or spelled out numbers.

2. Read a book with an author that uses 3 or more names.

3. Read a book with an author that uses only initials for a first name.

4. Read a book that has a word in the title that is in a language other than English.

5. Read a book with a food in the title.

6. Read a book with a “beach” word in the title. Beach, sand, surf, tide, shell, sea, ocean.

7. Read a book set in the mountains or in a mountainous region or with the word mountain or the name of a mountain in the title.

8. Read a book set in a big city or with the word city or the name of a big city in the title. (We will define big as one million or more population.) New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Dallas, San Diego.

9. Read a book about something you consider to be a hobby or with a hobby in the title. Scrapbooking, reading, sewing, quilting, etc.

10. Read a book with the name of a character in the book in the title.

11. Read a book that has a setting on a continent other than North America.

12. Read a book that is set in a state other than Texas.

13. Read a book that has maps in it. Either within the actual story or illustrated on the inside cover.

14. Read a book that includes something other than printed words. Some kind of graphics. Illustrations, handwriting, pictures, etc. Maps do not count.

15. Read a book about a sport or game that is played outside or a book that has a sport or game that is played outside in the title. Soccer, baseball, Frisbee, football, golf, etc.

16. What should I read next? Ever wonder if there was another author you might like. Go to this website and enter a book that you have read and read one of the books that it recommends.

17. Read the Book Club Selection for June~~How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. (You may start reading this book before June 1st, but must finish it after June 1st to earn the points.)

18. Attend the Book Club Meeting on June 3 @ 6:30 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room.

19. Read the Book Club Selection for July~~Homer & Langley by E. L. Doctorow.

20. Attend the Book Club Meeting on July 1 @ 6:30 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room.

1. Trains, planes, automobiles~~Read two books with two different forms of transportation either in the title or with traveling in the storyline. Trains, automobiles, airplanes, walking, running, jogging, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, hot-air balloons, etc.

2. Read a book by an author that has published only one book. Then read a book by an author that has published 10 or more books.

3. Read a book that is over 300 Pages.

4. In honor of Summer School~~Discover The Equation For Good Books-Pick 2 Of The Following...

• Addition - Add Up The Number Of Letters Found In Your First and Last Names Then Read A Book Written By An Author Whose Name Contains The Same Number Of Letters. Ex. For Me That Would Be 13 Letters So I Could Read A Book Written By Elizabeth Berg.

• Subtraction - Subtract The Number Of Letters Found In Your Whole Name (First, Middle, Last) From Your Age And Read A Book With That Many Letters Or Words In The Title. Ex. I'm 43 And My Name Has 17 Letters Which Would Mean I Could Read A Book With 26 Letters In The Title Such As The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

• Multiplication - Multiply Your Age By The Number Of Letters In Your Whole Name (First, Middle, Last) And Read A Book With Approximately That Number Of Pages (+/- 25 Pages). If Your Total Is Less Than 100 Pages You Would Need To Read A Book Between 100-125 Pages. Ex. 43*17 = 731 So I Would Need To Read A Book Between 706 And 756 Pages Such As Dragonfly in Amber.

• Division - Divide The Year You Were Born By Your Age (Round That Number To The Nearest Whole Number) And Then Read A Book That Is That Number In A Series. Ex. 1967/43 Is Equal To Approximately 46 Therefore I Would Need To Read A Book That Is The 4th Or 6th In A Series.

5. In honor of our co-operation with the Summer Reading Club~~Read 2 books that are considered Young Adult or Juvenile.


10.1 - 200 Vegetable Growing Basics by Richard Bird
10.2 - Teaching with the Tools Kids Really Use by Susan Brooks-Young
10.3 - How to Speak Your Spouse's Language
10.5 - Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recipes for Busy Moms
10.8 - Rework - by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hanson
10.9 - Ask: The 1000 Most Asked Questions about Gardening by Daphne Ledward
10.13 - Fodor's Boston 2010 by Fodor's
10.14 - Organizational Communication - Foundations, Challenges, and Misunderstandings by Daniel P. Modaff, Sue Dewine, & Jennifer Butler

20.3 - Real Communication: An Introduction by Dan O'Hair & Mary Wiemann
20.5 - Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book (Scanimation) & Cat by Matthew VanFleet and Brian Stanton

POINT TOTAL - 120 pts.
*If you have ANY ideas for books, please let me know! I plan to use some of the scavenger hunt ideas in a future course!

Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The End of Tenure?

This article scares me. For the past three years, I have worked very hard to publish in an effort to prevent myself and my career from perishing. However, I sincerely hope the position of "Associate and Full Professor" will be around for generations to come. Who will publish? Who will engage their students in undergraduate research?

Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Courses with a Splash of Google Docs


This has been a very interesting summer so far. I am teaching two courses online (Fundamentals of Human Communication & Organizational Communication) and it has been a great experience so far. Teaching two courses vis blackboard is very time consuming, but I started using Google Docs for every student assignment.

One of the courses is working on a small group-based assignment on organizations and communication technology and the other course is working on speech outlines (an individual assignment).

It was a hard transition at first, but I value having the ability to see the students' progress on the assignments and to make comments on their document. In addition, a few weeks ago(after I created the initial assignments), Google updated their documents program to include a ruled margin and the ability of editors to make comments on the side of the document.

Recently, I started using an iPad to view students' work. This is GREAT, but I cannot edit or make comments on students' work. I ALWAYS have comments (usually 15+ per paper) on students' work. I hope Google and Apple work something out soon.

More reflection to follow. Have you used Google Documents in your classroom or in your library training sessions? How do you use it?

J. Edwards

Millennial Professor

Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The iPad Millennial Professor: Happy Independence Day!


I love teaching summer courses because I can experiment with new technologies before the fall semester arrives. This summer, I used Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Presentation with my online classes (embedded in Blackboard).

In addition to the Google resources, I've been using my iPad (with 3G) to update the two online courses, grade assignments, and hold virtual office hours via Yahoo Instant Messenger.

I really like the fact that I do not have to wait until arriving home to update a Blackboard assignment or to respond to a student's email (teaching presence). However, I tend to sleep less frequently than I did before the iPad. It IS very time consuming, but for $30.00 a month for unlimited access, who can complain?

I am writing this blog entry as my husband drives us back from our July 4th weekend in Tyler. Talk about productivity!

Millennial Professor

Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.