Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

CTEL Newsletter - July

  1. CTEL grant programs for the 2013-2014 academic year
  2. CTEL Summer Speaker Series
  3. CTEL Technology Workshops July/August
  4. Tech Tutors Initiative: Trained USM students will provide support with learning technologies to USM students
  5. Sloan C: Free Just-In-Time Skills Workshops July/August
  6. Tech Tip of the Month


1. CTEL grant programs for the 2013-2014 academic year:

CTEL is happy to announce grant programs for academic year 2013-2014 to support faculty with course design, pedagogical innovation, and integration of innovative learning technologies in the classroom.  For more information, please visit the Grants page on the CTEL website.

  • Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Grants: Funding is available for purchase of hardware, software, and other resources to support teaching and learning. Faculty teaching classes in face-to-face, blended, and online formats are encouraged to apply.
  • Course Design Grant program: The goal of this competitive grant program is to encourage innovation in course design across the University. Open to all courses that are not part of fully online programs or the USM Core.
  • Online Course Design Incentive program: Open to faculty teaching courses in USM's fully online programs that are developed in partnership with the Division of Professional and Continuing Education and courses in the new USM core.
  • Conference Travel Awards: Up to four awards per semester (Fall and Spring) for faculty traveling to academic conferences to present papers related to teaching and learning. (top)

2. CTEL Summer Speaker Series:

The CTEL Summer Speaker Series kicked off with two prominent members of the USM faculty -- Dr. John Broida, Department of Psychology and Dr. Lenny Shedletsky, Department of Communication and Media Studies -- taking center stage to share their work in the classroom. Please visit the Summer Speaker Series page for additional resources and recordings.

Dr. Broida uses a machine-grading software called ‘SAGrader’ to automate essay grading in his large enrollment classes. He credits the software for bringing back writing to his course. Dr. Broida demonstrated the SAGrader software during his session. He provided some background on the strengths and weaknesses of the current generation of algorithms and what to expect in the coming months. Those in the audience had a chance to play with one of two machine-grading softwares to get a first-hand look at how they work. 

In his ‘The State of Discussion and Critical Thinking’ discussion, Dr. Shedletsky led the participants through a thoughtful and engaging conversation on the role of discussion and critical thinking in higher education curriculum. Dr. Shedletsky shared the highlights and the lowlights of his attempts at generating a critical discussion in the classroom, and the role of technologies such as Adobe Connect and VoiceThread.  (top)

3. CTEL Technology Workshops July/August:

a. Adobe Connect: Have you wanted to use Adobe Connect in your classroom? Or you have used it in the past and wouldn’t mind a refresher. If you’ve always wondered who can help you connect with Connect, wonder no more! This summer, CTEL’s Online Learning Support Specialist Shane O’Hara will offer a series of Adobe Connect workshops. If you would like to sign up for a workshop, please RSVP Shane at 

Portland | 7/25/13 | 1:00-2:00 pm | Payson Smith Room 1

Portland | 8/20/13 | 1:00-2:00 pm | Payson Smith Room 1

Gorham | 8/21/13 | 1:00-2:00 pm | Bailey Hall Room 113       

Lewiston | 8/22/13 | 1:00-2:00 pm | Room 287

b. Blackboard: In the first installment of CTEL’s Blackboard Workshop Series, CTEL’s Online Learning Support Specialist Shane O’Hara will share new features of Blackboard's Service Pack 12 release. The date and time of this workshop will be announced soon.

c. Emerging Technology: One of the new faces at CTEL is Learning Designer Pieter Tryzelaar. Pieter brings with him a lot of experience working with video, and his Emerging Technology Workshop is on a very cool topic perfect for these dog days - ‘Creating Video Content for Online Courses’! He will cover the following topics: Screencasting, Creating narrated PowerPoint videos, Video editing using iMovie/Windows Live Movie Maker, Linking videos in Blackboard, and much more! The date and time of this workshop will be announced soon. (top)

4. Tech Tutors program: Trained USM students will provide support with learning technologies to USM students:

CTEL is partnering with USM's Learning Commons to train USM students to provide support for learning technologies to USM students. The first offering through this Initiative is 10-15 hours of in person and online support (walk-in, no appointment necessary) with Adobe Connect. These hours are scheduled for a week before and during the first week of the Fall semester (8/26 -- 9/8). If you plan to use Adobe Connect in your class in the Fall, we encourage you to invite your students to avail of these open house hours. Students can use this opportunity to test their equipment and become familiar with the Adobe Connect interface. The schedule for the open house hours will be announced in the August CTEL Newsletter.  (top)

5. Sloan C: Free Just-In-Time Skills Workshops:

The Sloan Consortium offers synchronous and asynchronous workshops on topics such as interactive learning activities, accessibility, and many other topics related to teaching and learning. CTEL has several ‘College Pass’ seats available for USM faculty and staff for events in July and August. Please contact Robin Russell  obtaining a pass to one of these workshops. (top)

6. Tech Tip of the Month:

Captioning, or adding subtitles, is a great way to enhance the accessibility of your online videos. In this short tutorial, Pieter Tryzelaar shows you how to easily add captions to your YouTube videos. (top)