Category Archives: blackboard

Atomic Learning available for USF Students!


Have you ever enrolled into a class at school only to find out that you had to learn a new software program. Or have you been working in excel and do not know how to create list headers for columns?  The University of South Florida has provided a possible solution to these kinds of tech worries. According to the USF learning commons blog, USF has purchased the services of Atomic Learning for its students.  Atomic Learning is a website for educators and students learn about new software and technology that may be used in education. The company, founded by educators has been in existence for the past decade providing step by step screencast tutorials. Teachers and students can find videos that are tutorials, project based, grouped by workshop type (blogging, searching the web, etc.) or by state standards and subjects.

Professors and students can access the Atomic Learning Resources via their Blackboard page. After logging into Blackboard, you must add the module to your page.

Add Module button

Click add module

You will then be presented with a list of modules that can be added to the page for easy access to their content. Find the Atomic Learning module and check it off. Click the Submit button to confirm the changes.

Module List

Check the Atomic Learning box

The module should now appear on your front page. Clicking the link will sign you into the university’s account and provide you access to the tutorials and workshops on the atomic learning website.

Atomic Learning link on Blackboard

Click Atomic Learning, Now Available

Once you are in the website you can begin searching for tutorials and workshops to increase your knowledge of a program or application, or you can choose workshops for ideas of technology that you can include in your classes and lessons.

Atomic Learning Categories: Tutorials, Project-based, Workshops

This is a resource for the students and faculty wishing to learn more about educational technology and specific applications.  USF also purchased the assistive technology package which includes programs such as Boardmaker 6, JAWS 9, Overboard, WordQ, SpeakQ, and IntelliKeys.  There are also programs for the developing researcher such as Atlas T.I and SPSS(v.14). This is a place to find tutorials for the most common resources used in education.

While this site does have a lot of programs it does not have everything that can be used in education or the tutorials are a little dated. For example it provides tutorials on Atlas T.I.(v.5) which is good for data collection and analysis of qualitative research but does not have tutorials on SAS or the latest SPSS which are used in quantitative research as well as some other programs that may be used in other colleges and departments on campus. There are even tutorials on a few free resources such as Audacity (audio editing software) and Picasa (photo managing software). Remember when browsing the collection, it is meant to teach and train educators, thus not every latest and greatest application will be taught since they are not relevant to education.

Blackboard 9 is now launched at USF!


If you have logged into your my.usf.edu account (blackboard), you will be greeted with a completely new design.

Not only did USF upgrade to Blackboard 9, the media innovation team (MIT) also branded the system with USF colors and unique icon sets. This version of blackboard is suppose to be more user friendly and a lot less clicks.

USF Blackboard 9 Welcome Tab

The new blackboard has a web 2.0 feel, similar to using a website such as Facebook. Even the look of Blackboard can be changed by clicking on the Personalize Page button. The content boxes on each page, also known as modules, can be easily rearranged by click and dragging the top of the box. The navigation has been redesigned to provide easier access to commonly used sections of the blackboard system. Instead of having a long myUSF page, related content is grouped together on separate pages, such as News, Games, and Academics.

Games

Games within the Blackboard System

The system has also provided a My Places link at the top of every page. This will allow quick access to any course or organization the student or faculty is a member. Here a photo can also be uploaded as well as few personal options changed.

My Places

My Places, where you can quickly access a course or organization

The Library tab was completely redesigned for the better in my opinion. Now everyone can see the general locations of each USF library, including corresponding contact information. Clicking on the name of the library will take you to the corresponding newly redesigned library site.

Choose your Library

Library

It seems MIT was trying to design MyUSF with a edgy and  hip feel, and I think they accomplished that feat.  Many tasks with in blackboard are done with less clicks and waiting, but it will probably take faculty and staff time to learn the workflow for the new system. MIT is creating training videos that will be hosted on their website. The TIPS site will also have quick tips for blackboard hosted on its site as well. For more information concerning the upgrade process of Blackboard you can also visit the myUSF news Blog.

Enjoy your break and we will see you back in the spring!

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