red chair with tv radio sitting on it

Use Video to Capture Students’ Attention

red chair with tv radio sitting on it
Small and dark but still captivating

You may consider video difficult to get started with. Make your first video using tools you already have: Keynote (or PowerPoint) and QuickTime. Once you’re ready, upload your presentation to YouTube for easy sharing.

Download PDF: TT-video-engagement

“People react to well-crafted videos and audio with increased attention.”1 Using skills you have and software you most likely own, create items to reach your students. Charles Mason, photography teacher at UAF, while creating his online version of Basic Digital Photography used two slides, five images, and his voice to illustrate depth of field incredibly well in a video lasting less than three minutes!2  

Make your slides; talk to your students. Describe what you’re doing via a screencast or illustrate a point with a story by narrating your slides. Both Keynote and PowerPoint allow you to save a narrated slideshow. Once created, export it to QuickTime. The next step is to open the QuickTime file and share it to YouTube, where you to gain access to editing tools and transcript services in addition to placing your work in a space that is highly accessible. Now embed your video or video link in your course materials.

Even without filming yourself, you can strengthen your course by telling stories and asking colleagues to share theirs. “Nothing persuades our learners better than seeing real people who are like them — giving testimony, telling their stories, giving their lessons learned.”3 These illustrations make the course personal for you and your students. Focus students’ attention to specific points you feel are important while increasing student engagement with your course material.

If you’re comfortable with video, consider using it to show scenarios; “video can utilize scenario-based decision making, which we know from the learning research is a powerful tool to support comprehension and remembering.”1

Adding your voice to slides is useful for other reasons. Charles Mason’s first short video is a course summary he created so UAF eLearning could help him market his course, JRN 204/ART 284.3   His course  filled up in the first few days of registration; perhaps this video helped that happen?

Brian Rosenberg, president of Macalester College says “the notion that new social media are exclusively the province of the young or the technically savvy is mistaken.”4  While he had help creating his video and a very different goal, you too have help. Contact UAF eLearning to find out more and join the  “serious sources [that] are turning to video…TED video, the New York Times, The Economist.”4

Full steps on how to do this with screenshots at:



1Thalheimer, W. “Video is the New Text… Hmmm!”

2Professor Mason’s lecture video:

3Professor Mason’s  introductory video:

4 Rosenberg, B. “What I learned from YouTube”



Image of WordPress logo on folded paper

Looking at WordPress a New Way

Recent requests at work have caused me to reconsider hand-coding in favor of plug-ins. There are a lot of requests. If, for example, a request is to streamline a process and have information coming through the work site be able to easily integrate with a CMS that we have… should I hand-code all of that or see if there is a series of plug-ins, or just one, that will do the work for me?

Contact Form 7 has add-ons that allow for reCaptcha No Captcha as well as integration into SalesForce. Will it work for us? I think I should find out.

Landscape with a desert look

It’s hot. It’s damn hot.

So, I’m in California. Palm Springs area… Rancho Mirage to be exact. It’s hot. It’s 106. That’s too hot. It’s okay because I’m hanging with one of my best gal-pals, my Mom. Today we met with a specialist. Tomorrow I’ll take Mom into the hospital for a small procedure. Medicine is a tricky thing.

If everything goes well we’ll be out of here in a hot New York minute. If it doesn’t… time won’t matter.

Tiny crochet

2015-07-15 12.43.51Using a hook size 0… and sock yarn to make amigurami. This is a foot/leg. The pattern is Fibi by Lalylala. I already started this using dk weight yarn, but I messed up. I have a great fox on the way… but I wanted to check something in the pattern.

I’m thinking I won’t have ANYTHING ready for the Tanana Valley Fair. Bit of a bummer, that.

The knitting you see underneath it is something I started and then gave to my friend Shelly (including the needles) and she is doing a great job as a beginner!

Hexie power, activate!

picture of hexagon crochet
Rowan felted tweed hexagon

Not feeling that well. Decided to crochet a bit.  Sitting on the couch with Food Network playing.

While I wish I were feeling better physically, I know this yarn is goodness is wrapping me in warmth.

relaxing image of pier at sunset

Clean up your email inbox… Unsubscribe!

Crochet amigurami
Fibi is taking shape

I went through my email and looked at where I was getting my messages from. There has got to be a reason why I have SO MUCH YARN??!!

Oh, yes. I was subscribed to four of my favorite online stores. FOUR. Of course, if you need something, isn’t it good to know who has a sale going on?

Maybe that’s like… “Here, I know you’re not drinking anymore, but in case you start again I got you this really nice Ice Wine, and a bottle opener because you might have thrown yours out.”

I’m reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo – and I believe that my office (ahem/cough ‘craft room’) may be a much nicer space to be in… shortly.

My goal, of course, is to make all of my space feel as light and airy as my new office space at work does. BEAUTIFUL. It’s so easy to focus and get work done.

Will I miss all of those emails? No. If I need something, I know where to go. But perhaps a better first step would be, finish something you’ve already started OR start something that you have all the materials for.


About 40 felted tweed hexagons heading towards a blanket.

Just like arnica, yarn is good for what ails you!

I wanted to start fresh. It’s a new year (summer) but still, a new year. Plus I’ve been aching to knit and crochet lately. I have way too many projects underway. It’s time to finish a few up.

So… is my best answer to start a new blog? Perhaps not. But, I plan to post one time per week with my progress. Let’s see how well I do.

Current projects (actively working on):

  1. Fibi – a crocheted fox; pattern by Lalylala – most awesome!
  2. Circles – my own take on a great blanket (patchwork quilt) I saw in an expensive magazine.
    This one needs some love; it’s been sitting around well over a month with no attention.
  3. Hexie love – you’ll see why I call it that when you catch a glimpse. A lot of Rowan Felted Tweed is going into this blanket. I was just going to make something for the couch, a little throw. Actually, I first bought the yarn when I owned a yarn shop. I intended to knit a beautiful vest with it. I should say, “I first bought 1/3 of the yarn…”
  4. I’m working on a Puerperium cardi for a little girl (newborn – 3 mo). It’s my third or fourth of this style. I just love it! I’m using Noro Silk Garden (a favorite) plus Cascade superwash. I’ve had great success machine washing and drying Noro Silk Garden on gentle.
  5. Oh, right! Then there is the most recent item I started which is a stole/shawl that is not a circle and not a triangle. But I’ve ripped it out twice so far, so who knows!

How can I test html inside of WordPress?

We are learning to look

Underlying a page we see is a series of commands. We can look at them!


Depending on the browser you use you can look for the View menu, select the option that says Source or View Source.

This is an example of indented text using the ‘blockquote’ command.

This assignment is due on the 24th of February January.

Update on Giving Art

Just a quick update. The dark blue hat (worked flat lower left of first pic) is being finished by Susan M. and another hat you cannot see in any photo is being finished by Patti S.

So when you add in Shelly, her friend Susan, and me – you get the fabulous five!

Shelly’s working on two hats and finishing up either a cowl or a scarf. I’m working on finishing up a scarf (that I’m turning into a cowl). I also completed the BRIGHT orange and red scarf shown in progress below.

Susan dropped off an amazing scarf that I need to take a photo of.

Everything is well on the way for our mid month delivery to The Door. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!




You people are awesome!

Went up to Arctic Java to check on Giving Art… There were four finished items there; I was dropping off someone else’s two finished items… AND there were three new projects started, plus it was clear at least two of the in progress items had been worked on. HOW COOL!

Here are a few shots:

  • Two dark blue and a medium blue item started (scarf, hat, hat)
  • Circular knit hat doubled (or more) in length



  • Two completed cowls (see on left)
  • Two completed hats – soft and cushy and a SUPER CUTE pom pom!
  • One completed scarf (far right)



Inside Outside: Article Review on “No Significant Difference in Service Learning Online”

Since this was submitted inside of Blackboard you would not be able to see it. (Read below)

I’m going to add my own extra commentary because in addition to a review of the article, I wanted to add reflection and commentary on what parts of the document might benefit an online instructor who is thinking of adding Service-Learning.

I’m calling this inside outside because there is the technical, somewhat dry review, that a person can do and the ‘rubber meets the road’ approach.

  • The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks might be a good resource to add to your list if you’re teaching online.
  • The article mentions a few technical tools from the student perspective that might come in handy when doing Service-Learning.
  • WRITING YOUR OWN REPORT? The author does not take an apologetic view of what I consider two few samples in a case-study; she writes well. The small sample size makes sense. She clearly covers why doing a case study was the best approach. It might be lipstick on a pig, but marketing spin is important.
  • This article is an EXCELLENT example of how our students might excel if you choose to use Service-Learning or experiential assessments.
  • The references are LEGION, so if you’re looking for information on Service-Learning, this could be a great path for you.

While I don’t add it in my dry review (gasp), she does write very well. There is not a lot of extraneous detail. The data and the methodology used is relatively easily understood. All pluses in my book.

Here starts the staid review:

The article takes a standard approach of detailing what Service-Learning is and then jumping into a clear statement of the research. The author provides a pedagogical breakdown of Service-Learning and how students benefit from its use. Furthermore, specifics of using Service-Learning in the online environment are covered.

This area has not been studied to any great depth, but the key point from the article is that over the course of the research performed—a case study—there is no significant difference between what the students experienced in the face-to-face classes and what the online students experienced in those two classes.

The author is a teacher who used her own marketing courses to do the research. She taught two courses exactly alike with the exception that one section of each was delivered in the classroom while the other was delivered via LMS. From her perspective and the supporting data Service-Learning clearly translates into an online environment.

While it is important to note that there are only four total courses studied, 105 junior and senior college students were involved across the four sections. The two courses involved were Marketing Strategy and Marketing Research. The study resulted in four benefits from Service-Learning, also considered experiential learning: “improved academic learning, sense of community, applying practical skills, and critical analysis” (McGorry, S., 2012, p. 46)

The conclusion is drawn from the results of a series of T-tests conducted. The students self-reported their perception of 12 measures that fell into four categories: practical skills, interpersonal skills, citizenship, and personal responsibility.

While there was not a large difference in any of the scores, the online students did feel that communication skills were the most import of the 12 items measured while the face-to-face students ranked applying knowledge to the real world as the most important element.

The article would be a valuable read for anyone considering using Service-Learning in an online environment, but I can summarize what I thought were the best parts of the write up: the references which numbered 43 and ranged from a variety of journals and texts;

Results from this study indicate that future studies should also include an examination of the technological tools applied to facilitate the service learning experience … in an online service learning experience, chat ware may be the most critical to a successful learning experience, whereas in a traditional face-to-face course where students are working with a local client, … features such as file exchange and discussion boards that can be accessed on a handheld device may be more productive than chat ware.
(p. 52)

Teachers who are interested in learning more about Service-Learning and would like to implement it in their online courses may wish to read this article. The data gathered and the 12 areas students were asked to reflect on as well as the areas considered most improved through the use of experiential learning experiences.


McGorry, S. Y. (2012). No Significant Difference in Service Learning Online. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks16(4), 45-54.


Shelly crocheting

Everything’s Up!

Shelly crocheting

Here’s Shelly at Arctic Java – see all that yarn? See the projects in the ziploc bags (already started)… See the big basket with MORE YARN on the floor. Yup. Makes you want to lend a hand, right?

The Door Youth Shelter needs hats more than they need scarves, but any warm gear that can be machine washed and dried is welcome. I figure it is nice if people get items that they know someone (lots of folk) made for them.

Also, a cheesy picture of me… because Shelly said CHEESY!

Janene at Arctic Java with knit and crochet donations.
Show at Arctic Java designed to get others to give of their knitting and crocheting time.


You can see some of the art in the background BUT I DID not show you three amazing artists work. There are at least ten artists represented. I’m so lucky to know three of them!