This and That

The students are back! Ok, we knew that. I have a pretty good view out of my office window and get to witness a variety of it’s-a-new-semester behaviors. There are the freshman who are clearly still figuring out the neighborhood interspersed with “old timers” sauntering about. The occasional sprinter flits past, in a hurry to somewhere. Some students travel in gaggles while others stroll past in pairs or alone. Most are bedecked with some variety of gadgets and bags. Most seem either comfortable or, perhaps, expectant, or some blending between.

But lest you think I do nothing but stare out the window, I have put together a somewhat diverse list of resources (hence the “This and That”) for starting off the semester.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
If grammar is your thing, both the web site and the accompanying podcast are made for you (or your students). The podcasts are brief and to the point and have written transcripts for each topic. Recent offerings have tackled the “serial comma kerfuffle” and “Portmanteaus.” Visit Grammar Girls’ website or download the audio podcast directly from iTunes.  (This one’s a regular on my iPod.)

Better Googling
Think you know all there is about search strategies? This ProfHacker post might surprise you. Also find links to Google resources on how to use little known features, as well as, lessons to adapt for students.

62 things you can do with Dropbox
If you’re a Dropbox fan or just considering it, you might want to skim over this article by MacWorld. Not sure what Dropbox is? Check out this video created by Commoncraft.

Using a Blog in an Independent Study
Whether you’ve been using blogs for a while or are new to them, this ProfHacker post offers useful tips on using blogs with students.

Learning Through Digital Media—Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy
If you’ve ever given even a passing thought about the hows and whys of using a social media tool like Twitter with your students, read David Parry”s article describing why he chose to use Twitter, it’s benefits and limitations, and how he uses it with his students.

Seven free iOS apps to help you out in the lab      iPad Photo
If you are inclined to include phrases such as restriction enzymes or molarity calculations in your conversation,  or if you have need of a PCR mastermix calculator you’ll definitely want to have a look at these apps.

Ins and Outs of Using Gadgetry
Want to know what the “half-press trick” is for your point-and-shoot camera, or the quickest ways to select text in Word? This article by tech writer David Pogue has answers to an assortment of basic tech-related questions.

InTech Loaner Equipment 
Need to borrow a camcorder for a class project? Check out the list of loaner equipment available from for Faculty, Staff, and students.

Know Your Copy Rights
Go here for a downloadable brochure that highlights “What You CAN Do” when it comes to using copyrighted materials in your class. Visit the InTech web pages for more copyright resources, including links for royalty-free images and video. Feel free to share this information with your students.