Barbara Millard, Associate Professor,
Entrepreneurship, Johnson County
Ambassador for HP LIFE
After attending the eLearning 2014 conference, if someone
were to ask me to identify my favorite tool from the many I was introduced to
at the conference, it would be like asking me "which of your children is
your favorite?" Of course, I don't have an "overall favorite"
child but I do know which is my favorite when it comes to a shopping trip, a
game of racquetball or an afternoon of trying out recipes. The same is true for
"web enhancement" tools. As I begin to use them or expand my use of
some I'm already familiar with, I will have favorites depending on the
application and benefits they offer to my online and face to face classes.
Here are a few
that I am bringing home in my tool bag to try out or expand upon and how I'm
planning to test them:
My students seem to struggle with the industry section of
their business plan. The time they spend trying to organize industry revenue,
growth and trends into cohesive paragraphs seems to take away from the main
point of the assignment...looking at the data itself. I have high hopes that
putting the data into infographics will make it more meaningful to
An application shared at the conference has also inspired
me to sometimes use Learnist (which has been described as the Pinterest for
sharing learning resources) an alternative to discussions when students are
expanding their business ideas. I don't know about your students, but mine are
tired of discussion boards...and so am I.
I had only recently heard about badges and wasn't
convinced that there was a place for them in our curriculum. However, after
attending a session on badging and gamification, I can't wait to create some
for our program and my student club as well as share the concept with student
services as a means to increase student involvement.
I've used some voice tools for online conversations with
students but, sparked by presentations at the conference, I can't wait to use
one of these tools to give verbal feedback to my students on their financial
spreadsheets. Why hadn't I thought about this before? It will be so much easier
for me to explain concepts to them and I believe, easier for them to understand.
I'm not even sure how to categorize this last
tool....videonot.es. If I had to chose a favorite, this would be it. Partly
because I've not been exposed to anything like it before and partly because it
solves a problem I've been wrestling with.
Videonot.es allows students to watch a video and synchronize their notes
with the video content. They can submit this assignment....video and
synchronization....for grading. In my mind, this provides a more meaningful
learning experience than a video followed by a quiz or a post to a discussion
One last thought. This is just a sampling if the many,
many tools I saw at the eLearning 2014 conference. Categorizing them and
keeping up with new ones could be a full time job. I was thrilled when I
learned that the Instructional Design departments at some schools have an
online resource page that categorizes and updates web enhancement tools for
their faculty. One of my first stops when I return to my campus will be at our
Educational Technology office requesting this service for our faculty.
If you have favorite tools that apply well to
entrepreneurship, please share them with us in the comment section below.