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30-Minute Tech Tools

The 30-Minute Tech Tools series is a dynamic and concise professional development program designed to empower educators with the latest and most efficient technological tools for teaching and learning. Each session, lasting just 30 minutes, is packed with practical tips and actionable strategies, focusing on a specific tool or feature to maximize its potential in the educational environment.

New content is offered every semester. Peruse current offerings and sign up here, or suggest a 30-Minute Tech Tools session here.

Past sessions, listed below, have covered a wide range of topics, ensuring that educators are well-equipped to handle various aspects of digital education.

General Tools: Microsoft, Google, and Qualtrics

From Question to Qualtrics: Crafting Your First Survey

Facilitator: Lisa Blue
Date: February 22, 2023
Description: Dive into the world of Qualtrics with this 30-minute workshop designed for faculty eager to transform their questions into engaging, insightful surveys. Whether you’re looking to gather student feedback, conduct research, or evaluate course effectiveness, this session is your starting point. With no prior experience required, you’ll learn the basics of Qualtrics survey creation – from question formulation to survey design. We’ll guide you through the intuitive interface, show you how to craft questions that capture the data you need, and share tips on encouraging higher response rates. By the end of this session, you’ll have the confidence to launch your first survey and the skills to make it a success. Say goodbye to survey skepticism and hello to actionable insights with Qualtrics!
Link to Recording 
From Questions to Qualtrics Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Bookings

Facilitator: Brad Powell
Date: February 15, 2023
Description: Microsoft Bookings is an online scheduling program included in EKU’s Office 365 subscription.  If you’re looking for an easy way for students or others to be able to schedule meetings with you, join us for this brief demonstration.
Link to Recording

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) Tools

Getting Started with ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot

Facilitator: Lisa Blue
Date: April 11, 2024
Description: Embracing AI in education isn’t just about keeping up with technology—it’s about reimagining the possibilities of teaching and learning. This guide is your first step into integrating two powerful AI tools, ChatGPT 3.5/GPT-4 and Microsoft Copilot, into your academic toolkit. Let’s unlock the potential these technologies offer, simplifying tasks, amplifying your expertise, and sparking creativity in your educational environment. In this session, we’ll briefly explore what these tools are, how to access them, and how to get started using them. Future sessions will cover more in-depth topics. Here’s to your journey towards creating more impactful, engaging, and efficient educational experiences with AI by your side.
Link to Recording – coming soon!

What is ChatGPT?

Facilitator: Brad Powell
Date: September 25, 2023
Description: Join us for an overview of ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms and how you can guide student usage in your classroom.
Link to Recording

Learning Management System (LMS)

LMS Agnosticism and Best Practices

Facilitator: Chris Daniel
Date: February 15, 2024
Description: In the current educational environment, using a Learning Management System (LMS) is crucial for efficiently managing courses and improving student engagement. Nevertheless, it’s vital to also prioritize accessibility and flexibility in how we design and deliver our courses. By making use of additional tools available at EKU, instructors can guarantee that students can always access important course materials, weekly lesson plans, and assignments, even when they are not within the LMS. This approach not only ensures a smooth learning experience but also prepares us for unexpected situations.
Link to Recording

Blackboard Grade Center – Original View

Facilitator: Jonathan Sikora
Date: February 23, 2023
Description: Join us for an overview of Blackboard grade center – original view.
Link to Recording

Blackboard Ultra Course View

Facilitator: Gene Kleppinger
Date: August 29, 2023
Description: Ultra Course View was originally designed to mimic Canvas, but Blackboard has vastly improved and expanded Ultra’s features to become essentially a brand-new LMS. Ultra has virtually all of the features of Original Course View, designed with a fresh interface and many new options. Join this session to see how Ultra’s learning path model helps your students learn and helps you to teach them and to follow their progress.
Link to Recording

Best Practices for Using Blackboard in a Face-to-Face Class

Facilitator: Gene Kleppinger
Date: September 21, 2023
Description: Your Blackboard course site can be the hub for many of your interactions with your face-to-face students. It’s great for storing documents, posting grades, and managing discussion boards, but what else could you do? Have you tried using your Blackboard site during your class presentations? What do you wish that Blackboard could do for you, to help your students learn? Join this session to explore some ways to turn your Blackboard site into a teaching assistant! Time permitting we will show some features in both Original and Ultra Course View.
Link to Recording

Blackboard Grade Center

Facilitator: Gene Kleppinger
Date: October 19, 2023
Description: Your Grade Center (or Gradebook, in Ultra Course View) provides an excellent path to post scores for your students and to help you monitor their progress. Some features of grading in Blackboard deserve your attention, such as using Rubrics, entering feedback, analyzing your tests, and calculating grades. Join this session to see live demonstrations of inline grading, managing tests, accommodating special conditions, and uploading grades into EKU Direct. (Time permitting we will show some features in both Original and Ultra Course View.)
Link to Recording

Tools for Enhanced Student Engagement

Creating Engaging Online Discussions Using Harmonize

Facilitators: Chad Foster, Embry Jacobs, and Eric Brown
Date: February 29, 2024
Description: Are you looking for multimedia tools and other discussion features to improve online learning experiences, as well as to save you time grading? Join Eric Brown (42 Lines Harmonize Success Specialist), Embry Jacobs (EKU Online Instructional Designer), and Chad Foster (EKU College of Justice, Safety, and Military Science) for this 30-minute session to learn how to design a Harmonize discussion activity within the Blackboard LMS.
Link to Recording
Introduction to Harmonize Video
Setting up a Discussion in Blackboard Learn
Setting up a Discussion in Blackboard Ultra


Facilitator: Brad Powell
Date: March 8, 2023
Description: Join us for an overview of Quizizz.
Link to Recording

Video Recording and Editing

Creating Instructional Videos Students Will Watch

Facilitators: Sara O’Keefe, Embry Jacobs, and Karina Christopher
Date: March 21, 2024
Description: This workshop is designed to empower instructors with the skills and techniques needed to create compelling and high-quality lecture videos.
Link to Recording – coming soon!

Best Practices for Recording Course Videos

Facilitator: Jason Hardin
Date: March 28, 2024
Description: Ready to become the Spielberg of online instruction? Join us for a session that promises to be as enlightening as it is efficient. Your students (and your future self) will thank you. In this 30 Minute Tech Tools session, we’re cutting through the fluff to bring you straight to the actionable insights on recording high-quality course videos without needing to become a tech wizard overnight.

What’s on the Agenda?
• Tech Tool Audit: Discover the gold mine of tools you already have at your fingertips and how to make them work harder for you. Plus, get the inside scoop on the FCT&L’s One Button Studio.
• Gear Guide: Dive into the nuts and bolts of the must-have recording equipment and software that’s user-friendly enough not to need a degree in rocket science.
• Studio Setup Secrets: Learn how to create a distraction-free zone that screams professionalism (and doesn’t just whisper it).
• Lighting & Audio Magic: Uncover the simple tricks of the trade to make your videos look and sound like they were produced in Hollywood (or close enough).
• Content Creation with Microsoft Stream & More: Explore the untapped potential of Microsoft Stream, Canva, PowerPoint, and Google Slides to bring your educational content to life.

Why You Can’t Miss This: In just half an hour, you’ll walk away with the know-how to produce engaging, high-quality course videos that captivate your students and make your teaching stand out. We’re talking minimal investment for maximum impact.
Link to Recording – coming soon!

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