Monthly archives: April, 2017

Screenshots and screen-capture video using Chrome

Nimbus (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nimbus-screenshot-and-scr/bpconcjcammlapcogcnnelfmaeghhagj) is a fantastic add-on for Google’s Chrome browser. It allows you to easily take screenshots and screen-capture video of all or parts of your computer screen without having to download a program. Once you’ve captured your video, you can download it to your computer in a YouTube-compatible format in just one click. For images, you save your image directly to your computer or edit it with Nimbus’s easy-to-use online image editor. All in all, Nimbus is a great, quick alternative to programs like Jing and Screenpresso.


Short URLS at UIC

URL shorteners make it easy to share website addresses with students and colleagues. While there are several popular services for shortening web addresses like Bitly and Google’s URL Shortener, UIC offers its own tool that we think is even better – Webtools Toolbox Short URL (http://go.uic.edu/short_url)!

Perhaps you want to make an internal page of your department website easier to point people to. Or maybe you’re teaching a language class and there’s an online verb conjugation tool you’d like your students to use. You can use Webtools’ Short URL to turn these long, complicated links into something short and easy to remember like go.uic.edu/french_verbs that can then be distributed via email, social media, print, or any other medium. Because it’s short and to the point, people will remember your link and make more frequent use of the site it points to. If later, the website is no longer available or you want to change the site that your short link directs to, you can do that easily and without fuss.

Best of all, unlike Bitly and Google, Webtools’ Short URLs are completely private – no one will ever know what your link is unless you give it to them – but can also be managed collaboratively.


Graphic organizers as reading tools

We often think of graphic organizers as things to be used in writing, but they also make fabulous reading tools. They can be used to visually map the argument of a critical analysis or to (re-)organize plot events in narrative works. They can also be used to categorize characters, vocabulary, events, etc. to help student construct a different understanding of a text they’re reading. Nearly any reading strategy you can think of can make us of a graphic organizer!

While you can ask students to create these on paper, there are also a host of FREE online tools that can be used to create organizers of varying complexity. Popplet (http://popplet.com) allows you to easily create mind-map-like cloud charts, while Lucidchart (www.lucidchart.com) allows for simple creation of complex flowcharts. Google Slides (http://slides.google.com) is also a great tool for graphic organizers – create a different slide for different categories and list events, characters, etc. on the appropriate slide, or use shapes to create simple flow charts. You can also create non-linear organizers by adding links to other slides for navigation.

Want more help on figuring out how to use graphic organizers for reading in your class? Email us at lclc@uic.edu.


SoundCloud for audio on Blackboard

Do you use Sharestream for audio activities in Blackboard? If so,SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/) is a great alternative that loads faster and doesn’t take over students’ browser while they’re listening. This is great for listening comprehension and dictation activities because they can listen and complete the exercise at the same time.

To create a SoundCloud account all you need is an email address (make up a new one with Gmail!). Then upload your audio, select the settings you want – we recommend private – and add an image if you’d like. To add it to Blackboard, just click the share button, select Embed, and follow these simple directions for embedding objects in Blackboard.