About Mike Blum

Mike is the Academic Technologist for the Humanities at the College

Better slides make better presentations in Bev Sher’s Atoms to Cells Biology 100 course


Among other things in Bev Sher’s Biology 100 course, students learned how atoms are the building blocks of cells. They also learned how good slides are the building blocks of good presentations. In this DIY, Prof. Sher walks us through her students’ group projects, the Journal Club Group Presentation. This assignment, detailed below, called on groups of students to develop multimedia presentations on a scientific article. With the right examples, the right readings, and the right feedback from Prof. Sher, the students created great presentations that helped them communicate with their audiences. Read more…

DIY Shorts: Annotating and commenting on videos | Davinia Pastor Pastor, Hispanic Studies


Subject: Hispanic Studies 207: Culturas In(Ex)clusión (Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion) Class Size: Small, less than ten students. Class Type: Discussion Problem: Repetitive classroom routine, increasing student participating Solution: Using VideoAnt as a space for student discussion outside the classroom. Problem: Professor Davinia Pastor Pastor’s Hispanic Studies “Culturas In(Ex)clusión” (Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion) course […]

DIY Shorts: Integrating quizzes into Panopto to help students stay on track | Dana Lashley, Chemistry


Subject: Organic Chemistry for Life Sciences Class Size: Large Class Type: Flipped Problem: Helping students understand a complex chemical reaction Solution: Embedding quizzes in Panopto Problem: Helping students understand a complex chemical reaction In Dana Lashley’s Organic Chemistry II for Life Sciences lecture course, a prerequisite for medical school as well as several other majors […]

DIY Shorts: WordPress as a course management system | Greg Conradi Smith, Applied Science


Subject: Cellular Biophysics Class Size: Any Class Type: Flipped Problem: Helping students access course materials associated with a physical textbook Solution: Create a WordPress website to accompany the textbook Problem: Greg Conradi Smith’s textbook on cellular biophysics, Cellular Biophysics and Modeling, takes on many difficult topics, and there are lots of additional resources and activities he would like to be made […]

Effective multimedia presentations start with effective public speaking. Scaffolding your course assignments with Barbette Spaeth’s Classical Studies 100


In Barbette Spaeth’s Classical Studies 100 course, the Witch in the Western World, students learned to produce oral and digital presentations through a weekly workshop in which the parts of the presentation are chunked into smaller pieces. Students practice posture in one class session, enunciation in another, effective slide production in another. By the end of the semester, their confidence built, they put it all together and present their final reports to the class. This DIY shows you the tools and resources Barbette and her students use to put their best foot forward. Read more…

GIS mapping to understand tick distribution in Jenny Rahn’s Biology 226 lab


In the Introduction to Molecules, Cells, and Development Discussion and Laboratory, coordinated by Dr. Jenny Rahn, students explore molecular, cell, and developmental biology in a more hands-on way than a lecture course. They also gain experience in experimental design and data analysis in this BIOL 226 course. In this DIY, Dr. Rahn shows how one module teaches students to use geographic information system (GIS) mapping to relate tick distribution, the presence of white-tailed deer, and human land use. GIS has increasingly become an important tool in ecology, and students’ final result displayed the presence of ticks around William & Mary and the surrounding region using Microsoft Excel and Google Earth.

Microsoft Sway makes multimedia collaborative storytelling easy in Richard Marcus’s Censorship in Music course


Richard Marcus’s MUSC 100 course on censorship in music had students work in groups to develop multimedia presentations about censored composers. These presentations used a cool new (and free to your students) application called Sway that’s part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools. Sway is like a cooler version of PowerPoint that allowed Prof. Marcus’s students to easily and beautifully incorporate images, maps, videos, and their own podcasts into a fully web accessible, collaborative presentation. Read more…

Podcasting assignment for storytelling and collaboration: Annie Blazer’s RELG 100 course

annie blazeredited

In Annie Blazer’s Religious Studies 100 course, students learned about the power of oral storytelling, first by analyzing professional podcasts and then creating and sharing their own using simple, free tools. This eLearning Instructable shows you how to create a podcasting assignment using audio recording and editing software (Audacity) and turn those audio recordings into an online podcast using a free podcasting website (Soundcloud). All you need is a computer (Mac or Windows) with a built-in microphone and an internet connection to get started. Read more…

Real Time Community Building with Microsoft Sway in Bella Ginzbursky-Blum’s Russian courses


With the advent of real-time collaborative tools like Google Docs, the ability to collaborate in the classroom in ways that don’t take up class time just getting the technology to work is now becoming more of a reality. Bella has brought one such tool, Microsoft Sway, into her classroom in an innovative way that has had a transformative effect on the way she teaches her Russian Literature class.

Timelines: Presenting research in Arthur Knight’s Williamsburg Documentary Project


The timeline assignment in Prof. Knight’s course used Timeline JS, a free software tool that allows you to use a Google Sheets as the data source for a dynamic, multimodal timeline incorporating images, video, audio, maps, and more into your timeline. Because the timeline uses Google Sheets as the data source, students were able to collaborate on the same timeline in real time. This assignment asked students to identify five or six discrete events from their research and oral interviews to add to the group timeline. The collaboration on a single timeline helped to develop the knowledge base created by individual student research into a more complete picture.