The Law School Educational Technology Newsletter | August 24, 2022
Welcome back to another semester. This newsletter has several resources to help you prepare for the coming semester. You’ll find tips and resources for finalizing your Canvas site, lecture-capture policies and procedures, as well as other helpful information to help you feel confident starting the coming semester.
Emailing Your Class
With classes beginning soon we’d like to remind you of the two most common ways to email the students registered for your course below.
Send an Email to All Students in Your Class
ITS creates and maintains campus group email lists for all courses. For up-to-date information on how to email your entire class, click here.
Alternative to Emailing All Students in Your Class
Use Canvas announcements. The added benefit of using the announcements feature is that it both sends an email and adds a post at the top of your Canvas homepage. If you make frequent use of announcements, you may want to limit the number of announcements that appear at the top of your Canvas homepage. Limiting the number of announcements to 2-3 is a good starting point.
Fall 2022 Canvas Prep
Law School Design Template
This semester a lot of you have been asking about the possibility of using one of the Law School design templates for your Canvas site. I’m happy to announce that this semester we will begin to roll out the new design template on all Law School sites. Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice a refreshed home page with a Law School Banner.
There is a link at the bottom of that post where you can opt-out of the design if you prefer.
We are in the process of adding NameCoach modules to each of your Canvas sites. If you rolled over your Canvas site from last year the NameCoach module should be up to date with the current course enrollments. Please let me know if it isn’t.
Here is a bit of background information in case this service is new to you. Last fall we launched a NameCoach pilot inspired by feedback from our students about the importance of having their names pronounced correctly by professors and classmates. This service is used by over 200 organizations including the likes of BC, Duke, Yale, and Columbia. The pilot program was rolled out for all Law School students, who were invited to share their information for the benefit of everyone.
How Do You Use NameCoach?
A NameCoach module will be added to all courses being offered this fall. You can find instructions for using the NameCoach data here.
You may also search for NameCoach information by using the global search page. The search field takes in BC Email addresses in the firstname.lastname@example.org format to find any provided NameCoach information for that individual. You may also search for multiple addresses at once by separating emails with a comma.
Canvas “Before You Publish” Checklist
Use my “before you publish” guide as a reference as you’re preparing your Canvas sites for the coming semester. There’s a quick start guide that goes over the bare minimum you should do to get your course ready for the semester. There’s also a more in-depth guide that covers other common things you may need to do in order to further enhance and prepare your Canvas site each semester.
Guides For Common Tasks
Clean up your Canvas dashboard – If you’ve ever customized what courses appear on your Canvas dashboard you may need to update your course list for the current semester. You can hide old courses, and enable new courses to appear by following the instructions linked above.
A quick guide on publishing all of Canvas’s content options – If you’ve ever been confused about whether or not something you’ve added to Canvas is published and available to your students, this guide will help.
Ed Tech FAQ – Last year I recorded a tutorial video with answers to several of the most common questions I get every semester. This is a good place to start if you have questions about the educational technology tools available to you. There are time stamps in the description to help you quickly find the information you’re looking for.
You can find more helpful tutorial videos on the BC Law Ed Tech YouTube page.
By default, your course will be recorded and recordings will be made available to your students. If you would like to control when your students see your class recordings, then you can change your course Panopto folder permissions to only allow recordings to be viewed when you choose to make them available.
I’ve also created a resource for more information about room capabilities and special scenarios not covered by the lecture capture request form.
Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that the rooms equipped with lecture capture capabilities all have posted signage alerting you to the possibility that a room will be recorded, as well as indicator lights that turn green when a recording is in progress. The Videotaping policy is included in the Student Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook.
Poll Everywhere Update
Earlier this week BC enabled the ability to use your primary BC credentials to log in to your Poll Everywhere account. There was an email from the Center For Teaching Excellence that detailed the change. If you already had a BC Poll Everywhere account please make sure you can log in using the new SSO sign-in method. You can find more information about the integration as well as guides for your students here. It’s important to make sure your students sign in for a smooth polling experience. You can find instructions to share with them on how to log into their accounts on this web page.
Classroom Technology Information
The classroom computers were replaced this summer as part of the computer replacement process. I think you’ll find the performance to be outstanding! I do want to call out a few important things to consider prior to your first class.
Logging In For The First Time
Since the classroom desktop computers are new they will need to generate a profile for you the first time you log in. This process only occurs once and takes just a moment to complete. I would make sure to log in immediately upon arriving at your classroom to give it a few minutes to create your profile.
When you log in to your BC Google account or any other account that requires 2-step verification you’ll be asked to go through that process on the new classroom machines. If you access your course materials via email or Google Drive you may want to make sure that you can receive the 2-step verification prompt on your mobile device. The best way to do this is over WiFi. I highly recommend having the Gmail app installed on your phone to ensure a smooth verification process with your BC account. You can learn more about that here.
Using Two Monitors
The classrooms are all equipped with dual monitors. They have been specially configured to work with the projectors in the room. It’s important to know that if you turn off the secondary monitor you will change the configuration the computer recognizes and potentially lose the ability to present your screen to your class. Please do not turn off the second monitor. If you do not wish to use it, the monitor arms in the classroom are designed to let you gently move the monitor out of the way. Please do not force the monitors into position or use the arm to wedge the monitor out of the way. It may cause damage and break the monitor.
Additionally, you may find that when you present PowerPoint you may have to swap the presenter view with the slide show. You can find instructions on how to swap these views here. If the projector is not displaying the full-screen slide show then these instructions will help you swap the view.
Additional Classroom Technology Information
If you missed my workshop on using classroom technology, you can review it here. I covered a wide variety of topics including:
- Logging in to the classroom computer and A/V system
- Panopto lecture capture
- Using Zoom in the classroom
- Virtual Whiteboarding tools using the Wacom monitor
- Common presentation tools like PowerPoint and Google Slides
- Poll Everywhere
Although all courses are being held in person this semester, there may be a few circumstances in which utilizing Zoom will be useful—for example, bringing in guest speakers for a lecture. If you are new and haven’t set up your BC Zoom account, you can learn how to do so here. You can find other guides and resources to help you make the most of your Zoom account below. Please note that you will need to log in with your BC credentials to access your Zoom account. If you need help logging in to your BC account, please contact the help center at 617-552-4357.