Mozilla Webmaker Part 1: Easily Teach (and Learn) Web Skills

Image courtesy of Flickr user Joe Mabel.

Mozilla, the software community that produces free Web browser Firefox, has a useful new website, Mozilla Webmaker. It has a collection of tools and resources, including an entire section geared towards teaching. Users of the site can create their own projects and post them on the site, remix existing projects, or are free to simply use existing projects. In this post, part one of my Mozilla Webmaker series, I’ll explain why you might want to think about assigning a Web-based project that involves coding or other content creation skills, and explain why Mozilla Webmaker is a great option for instructors.

Duolingo Teaches Me About Online Learning


I recently discovered Duolingo, a free website that delivers language lessons. If you’re an English speaker, you can take lessons in Spanish, German, French, Italian, or Portuguese. What’s really cool about it, though, is the way that it teaches you the language of your choice using online instruction. I think that Duolingo is a website that really gets online learning right, and it taught me a lot more about how to use the Web to teach something than it taught me Spanish (though I re-learned quite a bit of that, too!).

Three Tips for Using Ebrary E-Books

Here's an example of a note I added to a page of Lisa Gitelman's Always Already New, and a highlight on the same page.

I recently started using more of Swem Library’s electronic books available via ebrary. Before this week, when I’d seen that a book was only available electronically, I rolled my eyes and would ILL a copy. I just didn’t want to have to read the book on my computer screen.  Fast forward to this week.  I […]

Multimedia Content in Blackboard


From filmstrips to field trips, enhanced classes are more fun than a plain lecture format. As you plan for Fall you’re probably thinking about incorporating media to wow your students. Blackboard allows you to add a variety of multimedia content. From the Content section of your course you can upload audio, image, or video files. That’s handy if you’ve recorded a lecture podcast style or if you’d like to upload a video from your computer. You can also add multimedia from the Web, and in this post I’ll show you how.

Online Assignments and Student Privacy

Keeping an online course space private is one option, but it may undermine some of your teaching objectives.

The more that instructors incorporate online writing assignments into their courses, the more we need to think about the issues surrounding student-produced Web content. One of these issues is that of ensuring students’ privacy online while having them produce public-facing online work. So, what exactly is the concern for student-produced Web projects, and what can we do as instructors to protect our students’ privacy?

Secure Digital Media? Forgeddaboudit.

Are guys like this trying to get at your digital media when you don't want them to?

Once your media is on a screen you don’t control, you don’t control it anymore! So what do you do with your video and audio files you want to share but still want to keep secure, that is, prevent someone else from downloading?

Finding Images for Your Web Content


If you’ve ever created a website or written a blog post, you’ve probably thought about adding images to your site. But where do you find images that are safe to use without having to worry about copyright violations?

The W&M-China Initiative: Digital Learning in Cross-Cultural Pedagogy

Skyping between W&M and Beijing Normal University students.

In this guest post by Professor Emily Wilcox, she talks about some of the exciting courses that are part of the grant project W&M-China Initiative for Film and New Media. This project hopes to explore how digital tools can help center teaching and learning on cross-cultural exchanges.

Debugging Your Image Problems: Help for New Website Admins


Since joining W&M’s IT department in 2008, I have seen a lot of messed up websites. Some of them are beyond help — old Web applications developed more than a decade ago that need the attention of a dedicated developer. But most errors on William & Mary’s websites are relatively easy to fix even if you don’t have much experience with, patience for, or a desire to learn, HTML. Luckily, finding and fixing these errors doesn’t have to be complicated.

Using Images with WordPress


I realized the other day that I’ve been a contributor and the editor for this blog for over a year now, and I’ve learned a lot about writing for the Web in that time. Since I know that many faculty who end up having students do blogging assignments haven’t blogged regularly themselves, I thought I’d put together some of the things I’ve learned in my time blogging for this site. This post is about how to think through using images in WordPress sites and blogs.