Using Technology as a Tool for Instruction

This Faculty Learning Community will, as the title suggests, explore instructional technologies that we can use to advance student learning in our courses. We will take advantage of a handful of important readings as discussion starters, and benefit from learning from our peers who have discovered new technology tools that have been used successfully to help students learn.


We will meet in IRC 131 on Wednesdays from 3-5 PM for twelve sessions starting on October 1, 2008.

Meegan Lillis will facilitate this Faculty Learning Community. For faculty who fully participate in all twelve sessions, a PDI of $450 will be awarded.

To participate, please contact Laurie Daniels at ext. 2440 or

Session 1: October 1, 2008 - Introduction

During the first session, participants were introduced to the Ning social network for communication during the semester. Instead of using a FerrisConnect course, a Ning network was created to give participants exposure to a different kind of technology, social networking, which is gaining popularity as a tool for instruction.

The group talked about the different instructional technologies that each person was interested in, and decided on social bookmarking as the topic for the second session.


Session 2: October 8, 2008 - Folksonomy & Social Bookmarking


  1. introduce the concept of folksonomy (tagging
  2. illustrate how tagging makes bookmarking "social"
  3. have participants set-up a account and practice bookmarking and tagging websites
  4. have participants practice using tags to find links posted on by other users


Summary of Session:

We discussed the concept of folksonomy and how it applies to tagging in social bookmarking as well as on other websites such as flickr and YouTube. The concept of tag clouds was also discussed.

In order to introduce the group to social bookmarking, delicious was chosen since it is one of the largest and most well known social bookmarking sites. All participants created their own delicious accounts and bookmarked and tagged at least five websites. Then the group explore each others bookmarks.

Other Resources:

Session 3: October 15, 2008 - Guest Speaker

Piram Prakasam was a guest speaker for the community. He shared how he is currently using narrated PowerPoint videos and wikis in his chemistry courses.

Session 4: October 22, 2008 - Web Conferencing (WebEX)


  1. define and introduce web conferencing
  2. identify ways in which web conferencing may be used both in and out of the classroom
  3. demonstrate how WebEX functions
  4. show an archived WebEX clip and discuss best practices of web conferencing


  • Angelo, J. M. (2007, April). Getting A Bigger Picture. Higher Education.
  • Park, Y.J. and Bonk, C.J. (2007, September). Is Online Life a Breeze? A Case Study for Promoting Synchronous Learning in a Blended Graduate Course. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching.
Summary of Session:

The group was introduced to five different terms, their definitions, and how they relate to each other:

  1. web conferencing
  2. video conferencing
  3. webcasting
  4. podcasting
  5. vodcasting

Together, the group brainstormed on ways web conferencing could be used in the classroom or for other university activities. Then the group was introduced to various web conferencing tools on the market today and given a short introduction to Ferris' new web conferencing standard, WebEX.

Session 5: October 29, 2008 - Guest Speaker

Frank Armstrong and Ryan Skiera were guest speakers and shared how they use FerrisConnect on a joint venture between their two separate business courses.

Session 6: November 5, 2008 - Wikis [under construction]


  1. define and introduce wikis
  2. identify ways in wikis can be used for personal use, for work, and for education
  3. introduce PBwiki
  4. get participants set-up with a PBwiki account to edit and add to the UsingTechnologyAsATool wiki

Summary of Session:

The group was introduced to wikis; where the term "wiki" came from, what it means, and how wikis can be used. The group talked about uses for wikis for personal use, workplace use as well as educational uses. Several wiki services were identified, and the group was introduced to PBwiki.

Session 7: November 12, 2008 - Guest Speaker

Michelle Teschendorf was our guest speaker and she shared how she uses FerrisConnect for enhanced and fully online nursing courses.

Session 8: November 19, 2008 - Podcasting


  1. define and introduce podcasting
  2. identify ways in podcasting can be used in education
  3. introduce iTunes
  4. demonstrate how to find and subscribe to podcasts
  5. introduce Audacity
  6. demonstrate how to record audio for a podcast
  7. demonstrate how to add podcasts to the web and an RSS feed


Session Outline:

  • Introduction to Podcasting
    • Definition from Wikipedia: "A podcast is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by syndicated download, through Web feeds, to portable media players and personal computers. Though the same content may also be made available by direct download or streaming, a podcast is distinguished from other digital-media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added."
    • Podcasting in Plain English [YouTube Video]:
    • Examples:
  • iTunes
    • The one-stop shop for podcasts. You can find podcasts, subscribe to podcasts, download podcasts, organize and save podcasts and sync podcasts to your iPod (or other digital audio device).
    • Activity: Introduction to the podcasts area of iTunes, searching the podcast directory, subscribing to podcasts and listening to podcasts.
  • Audacity
    • Free software for recording audio, may be used for recording and editing podcasts.
      • Note: If you use Audacity and want to export files as *.mp3 you need to also download an encoder!
    • Resources on the Ferris eLearning wiki.
    • Demonstration of using Audacity to record an audio file.
    • Activity: Provide an audio file to participants to practice editing features of Audacity.
  • RSS
    • Creating the subscription piece of your podcast.
    • Ourmedia - A free site to host blogs, store content and publish podcasts.

Other Resources:

Session 9: December 5, 2008 - Guest Speaker

Sonya Knoll was our guest speaker and she shared her work with Adobe Presenter to create narrated PowerPoint Presentations with quiz questions for her online courses. She also shared her experience with FerrisConnect for online and face-to-face courses.

Session 10: December 12, 2008 - Final Session: Wrap-Up

The community spent the last session discussing the various technologies that we learned and how they would implement various pieces into their teaching.

For more information about any of the above, please contact the facilitator(s) or Laurie Daniels ( or ext. 2440.