Thursday, June 21, 2007


August 20, 2007

Newsletter of Teaching & Learning
at Penn State York

Best Practices, Teaching Tips, Ideas, Resources, What's NEW!!

Volume 2 Issue 3 September/October 2007

Hi everyone and welcome back to the new academic year!!

Well, this summer, I've been encouraging people in my workshops to start to use the Web 2.0 tools (like blogs and wikis) in their daily lives, so they can start to see possible connections and/or uses in their courses. So I'm taking my own advice....

With that said, I've switched the newsletter format to a blog for now to see how it goes. I hope it will give us a platform that allows for more interaction, input, and dialog about topics of interest.

Want to see what I consider a good educational blog in action? Check out Chris Sessum's blog at

I hope you'll use the blog and send suggestions and comments as we go along! To post a comment to any section, simply click on the word, Comments, and type it in.

Featured Article

Stashing One in the Podium: Using ANGEL to Prepare for any Emergency

We know full-well that things happen during any semester that can throw us for a loop. From weather, to accidents, to sickness, to household emergencies, life can sometimes get in the way of our teaching schedule.

As we get ready to start a new semester, we can plan ahead for just such emergencies. You can create lessons, units, or entire courses within ANGEL that can be delivered at a distance. So you no longer have to get behind in a class because of unforeseen circumstances.

Because we are going Web 2.0 this issue, instead of a written description of how to create an online unit or lesson, I've recorded the session in Breeze. It is a brief intro to the subject (15 minutes) and I hope it will wet your whistle for further training and discussion on the topic.

Connect to the presentation at

Q & A

Microsoft Office 2007

What do you need to know?

  1. Campus computers now have Office 2007 installed

  2. Teaching podiums now have Office 2007 installed

  3. Files created and saved in 2003 format (.doc) CAN be read by by 2007 version

  4. Files created and saved as .docx in 2007 CANNOT be read by earlier versions.

What can you do?

a. IF you have 2003 or earlier, download the free compatibility pack that will allow you to read 2007 files. Download at


b. IF you have 2007 and you aren't sure your students do yet, save your documents as 97-2003 document

ANGEL 7.1 Changes

As you know, last spring, ANGEL went through some much needed updates, mostly aesthetic rather than functional, but you will notice differences if you haven't been in recently. Check out the "Five Things Faculty Should Know about ANGEL 7.1"

There are many other ANGEL-related resources and how-to's available at the ANGEL Community Hub.

Get started using ANGEL in your courses right away is a great resource if you haven't yet used ANGEL... It is located at:

What's New??


While not new, a list of resources at your disposal for teaching and learning is always a good idea at the beginning of a new academic year... So here they are!

  1. Teaching and Learning at Penn State York - is a topically arranged listing of resources on subjects such as assessment, classroom management, integrating technology, and motivation. Links to local workshops and online discussions are also located here. This is a one-stop-shop for teaching and learning resources at Penn State York! Check out the new ONLINE offerings!! For your convenience and access 24/7.

  2. Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (SITE) is a faculty resource from UP for innovative teaching and learning at Penn State. Grants, workshops, and consulting services are available.

  3. Teaching and Learning at Penn State York Newsletter Archives - go here to read previous issues dedicated to such topics as rekindling your enthusiasm in the classroom, assessment, getting off on the right foot in your classes, bridging the high school to college gap, etc.

eLearning Advocates Update

In March 2007, Provost Erickson asked every campus to identify a senior person to serve as an advocate for e-learning. The group met for the first time in May to begin to determine goals and directions for the group. One member from the group will be selected to sit on the Penn State Online Coordinating Council. One goal of the group is to be a conduit for information between the Coordinating Council and the campuses.

The initial description from Provost Erickson reads,

Penn State Online has been established as an internal collaborative to coordinate the growth of online learning within the University and to ensure quality and effectiveness in the use of e-learning within academic units, across locations through the e-Learning Cooperative,and at a distance through the World Campus. To ensure an effective voice for the Commonwealth Campuses in this rapidly evolving arena, Provost Erickson asked every campus to identify a senior person to serve as an advocate for e-learning.

So far, the group consists of campus DAAs, ADAAs, faculty, and instructional designers. As the current campus representative to the group, it is my hope to begin to get feedback from different campus constituencies in order to provide input to the group in terms of our eLearning needs and interests. If you are interested in hearing more about this new initiative, please contact me directly at

Teaching Tip

What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.

Samuel Johnson 1709-1784

Monday, June 18, 2007

Classroom Ideas and Innovations

This is a space to add your classroom innovations, ideas, or just anything new you are working on that you'd like to discuss with others.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What did you do this summer?

Place your comments here to share any interesting trips, conferences, activities (anything!) that you did this summer!!