A Digital Survival Kit for Transitioning Your Course Online

Decorative: "Keep Calm and Teach On" poster


A. "A Digital Survival Kit for Transitioning Your Course Online" (post), a post from University Affairs, "addresses psychological, organizational, and [mostly] technological needs" of abruptly going online with courses.

1. "[Y]our institution’s Learning Management System (LMS) ... Desire2Learn ... will be an invaluable resource for you."

  • "Play around with [it] and explore all [its] features you haven’t been using."

2. "If you urgently need to hold a class session and you don’t have time to pre-record your lecture, you can use Zoom."

  • "For small classes (under 10 people) many more options are available, such as Skype and Google Hangouts."
  • "These tools all have screen sharing so you can present your slides."

B. Topics Addressed in This Post

  • Each topic is developed in the text.

1. The Psychology and Organization

  • "Communication channels"
  • "Organizational structure"
  • "Incentive system"

2. "The Technology: You've Got the Tools"

  • "Screen recording and screencasting"
  • "A note about privacy"
  • "Google tools ...Google Sheets, Forms, Docs, Drive, Slides, Groups, Hangouts, etc." -- plus useful tips
  • "Focused tools"
    • "Kahoot: A nifty tool to create fun, online games and quizzes for your students."
    • "Perusall: If your content involves close reading and commenting on text, then this is the tool for you and your students. Upload your text and start collaborative commenting and highlighting with your students."
    • "VoiceThread: A way to provide audio and video comments on pre-existing recorded video. Excellent way for collectively discussing a presentation, or other media. VoiceThread does not have a free option unfortunately, but prices are reasonable."
    • "ai: Possibly the most advanced automated transcription (voice-to-text) software available, and also most generous in terms of with a generous free options. You can use this to transcribe the text of your recorded lectures."
    • "Microsoft Immersive Reader: An excellent text-to-voice technology to get your computer to read text aloud for you."
  • Other tools: "Generative Technologies"
    • "Zapier ... You can use it to automate many tasks by using if-then functions put together using menus and without needing coding skills ... Zapier also has a huge knowledge base with very valuable learning resources."
    • "Airtable: It’s like a cloud spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) but with the added power of a relational database." 
    • "Coda.io ...You can use it to take votes from your students, organize your lesson plans and to-do lists, get students to work on shared documents or submit assignments with it, or use it in your presentations. Here are some templates for using Coda in an education setting."
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