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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

Tech-Assisted Empathy: Simple Tools to Include Every Student

Facilitator: Chris Daniel
Date: April 11, 2024
Description: More inclusive and accessible documents have never been easier to create if you start with a basic workflow and set of tasks. Learn how to leverage Microsoft Word and other tools to create documents everyone can consume and learn how to deftly diagnose potential accessibility issues in your current documents. You will also observe the rich extensible outputs your students can leverage from your diligent efforts through the use of assistive technologies built into much of what we already have at EKU.
Link to Recording

Supercharge Your Communication with Mail Merge

Facilitator: Lisa Blue
Date: March 7, 2024
Description: Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the endless task of personalizing emails or documents for your students or colleagues? Imagine if you could slash that time significantly, ensuring your communication remains personal yet efficient. Enter Mail Merge – your soon-to-be favorite feature in Microsoft Office. Why should you care? Here’s the quick scoop:

Personalize at Scale: Address your recipients by name in every email or letter, making them feel valued without sacrificing your precious research time.
Efficiency Boost: Prepare surveys, conference invitations, or any bulk communication in a fraction of the time. More time for research and teaching, less on admin!
Error Reduction: By automating the personalization process, you decrease the chance of the dreaded “Dear [Insert Name Here]” mishap. Professionalism remains intact.
Easy Integration: Use your existing Excel spreadsheets or databases. No need for new software or steep learning curves.

Join us for a 30-Minute Tech Tools presentation to unlock the potential of Mail Merge. Walk away with a practical skill that not only elevates your efficiency but also enhances your communication strategy.
Link to Recording

From Question to Qualtrics: Crafting Your First Survey

Facilitator: Lisa Blue
Date: February 22, 2024
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
Link to Slides
Link to Prompting Poster by Dan Fitzpatrick

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

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
How to Add Questions to Videos in Canvas

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

Canva Video Basics

Facilitator: Embry Jacobs
Date: April 4, 2024
Description: As part of the 30-Minute Tech Tool Series, the spotlight will be on introducing Canva’s video recording and editing software. The session will kick off with an exploration of Canva’s user-friendly interface, designed to simplify video creation for educators with its intuitive layout. We will highlight the platform’s robust features, emphasizing its versatility for producing engaging and polished videos, even for those with limited technical expertise. Practical demonstrations will showcase the seamless integration of Canva’s recording and editing tools, empowering participants to utilize its capabilities for enhancing instructional content. We will ensure you can gain access to your educator’s account so that you can make excellent use of all Canva has to offer.
Link to Recording
Link to Slides

Canva Video: Questions Answered

Description: Facilitators: Embry Jacobs and Sara O’Keefe
Date: April 25, 2024
Description: Join Embry and Sara from the Instructional Design Center for an interactive session tailored to answer all your burning questions about Canva Video! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this workshop is designed to enhance your skills, inspire, and elevate your instructional videos. Embry and Sara will conduct live demonstrations, offering real-time advice, and provide inspiring insights to help you make the most out of Canva’s capabilities. From animation techniques to perfecting video editing, no query is too big or too small to be addressed. Request your educator account at and consider bringing a project to workshop during the session! We will discuss adding EKU’s brand guide to your Canva educator account. This workshop is a unique opportunity to connect with fellow Canva enthusiasts, share ideas, and gain valuable tips and tricks to amplify your video projects.
Link to Recording

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