Three things changed recently that seemed worth telling you about. In this post, I share about Todays Meet closing down, my hesitation to recommend Airmail anymore, and a bit about the Teaching in Higher Ed website redesign.
Todays Meet Shut Down
Occasionally, I find one of my blog posts getting out of date sooner than I had hoped. About a day after I finished writing about open-ended poll questions, I saw a post by Richard Byrne announcing that Todays Meet is shutting down. Each time Stephen Brookfield has come on the podcast, he has mentioned his use of Todays Meet, whether that is to:
- Give introverts a chance to engage more in his classes
- Avoid various types of bias
- Afford students the opportunity to pose anonymous responses
- Bring in a fictional character that is Stephen's alter-ego
Fortunately, Richard Byrne provided some alternatives that we can use, if we want to have a backchannel in our teaching:
I don't typically use a dedicated backchannel tool in my teaching, opting instead to use a polling service (like PollEverywhere) that has a backchannel as just many of the ways to engage. I also make use of presentation tools (like Glisser) to present slides, engage with polls, and use Twitter as a backchannel from within their web app.
I Stopped Recommending Airmail
In episode #201 on Frictionless Systems, I recommended Airmail as an alternative email client on the Mac. I suppose to be more specific, I recommended that people look into what's available as an alternate to the standard email client on their computers and then mentioned that I had been using Airmail.
I had too many problems with emails that I would delete in Airmail that then would immediately come back into the inbox. I thought it was just me, but then I saw on the Mac Power Users Facebook group that others were experiencing the same issue. I decided to go back to the built in email client on the Mac. However, quite a few people on the Mac Power Users group said that they have had none of those same issues with Airmail using an application called Postbox.
I haven't had the opportunity to try Postbox just yet, as I'm wrapping up my doctoral class today and just had all the graduation-related events for my undergraduates this week. It's like my new toy, waiting on my desktop for me to have some time to play with it. I absolutely miss being able to read, reply to, and move emails without ever having my fingers leave the keyboard. Hopefully I will have more to report on future episodes of Teaching in Higher Ed.
The Teaching in Higher Ed Website Redesign Rolled Out
The website redesign went live in April. The goal had been to have a home for the new episode transcripts, but it turned into much more than that. Some parts of the site you may want to visit include:
- Recommendations engine, where you can browse past recommendations by type
- Redesigned home page, with information about my forthcoming book, curated content by topic, what podcast listeners are saying, and featured podcast episodes
- Browse past podcast episodes by broad theme, specific topics, or by guest name
- Episodes with transcripts include an option to read on-screen, or download a PDF
We are working on completing all the transcripts from the first 200 episodes and then keeping up-to-date from there. Thanks, once again, to the West Virginia University Press Teaching and Learning in Higher Education book series (edited by James M. Lang) for the financial support to get those first 200 transcripts produced.
What's new with you?