Rafter 360 and Canvas: A new way to adopt and access course material

Maryville has chosen Rafter to provide a comprehensive solution for course materials. Going forward, faculty and students will access Rafter via Canvas. In order to accommodate Rafter, we’ve made a slight change to the global navigation menu in Canvas.

We added a new icon to the global navigation menu titled Resources.

When Resources is clicked, links to Rafter appear. These links are titled Course Materials, University Library, Writing Studio, Lynda.com, Grammarly, and Lockdown Browser.

When Course Materials is clicked, the appropriate links should be clicked.

  • Faculty will use Rafter to adopt course materials.
  • Students will use Rafter to access eBooks and update their shipping address for physical books.

For questions about Rafter, please contact the Maryville University Bookstore. For questions about Canvas, contact LDT.

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Apps for Use in and out of the Classroom

During a recent professional development activity, faculty members shared different iPad apps they’re using in and out of the classroom. Here is a list of some of the apps discussed and where you can go to find more information about each.


Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is an app that allows you to create digital designs, or visual stories.

BiblioBoard Library

BiblioBoard Library is an app that allows you to access digital books, images, articles, documents, audio, and video.


Flipboard is an app that acts as a pocket-sized magazine. It allows you to access stories, photos, and videos of interest to you.


MathBot is an app that allows you to use a math keyboard to easily create equations.


Mendeley is an app that allows you to organize and annotate PDFs. It syncs across all your devices and content is accessible offline.


Pocket is an app that allows you to save articles, videos, or links to access later. It syncs across all your devices and content is accessible offline.


Slack is an app that allows you to message and share files with individuals or groups. It syncs across all your devices.


TeamViewer is an app that allows you to remotely control Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It also allows you to remotely access unattended computers, such as servers.

TouchCast Studio

TouchCast Studio is an app that allows you to present anything, including webpages, files, images, and videos. It also allows you to record presentations to share.

Ulysses Mobile

Ulysses Mobile is an app that allows you to work on every phase of the writing process, including editing. Writings can be exported into PDFs, webpages, eBooks, and Word documents. It also syncs across all your devices.


Wunderlist is an app that allows you to create and share to-do lists and tasks. It syncs across all your devices.


Here are some iPad accessories that may interest you. When purchasing accessories, make sure you purchase ones that are compatible with your specific device.

Origami keyboard stand

Adonit jot stylus

Do you have any apps or accessories you currently use that you’d like to share with other faculty members? Email us, and we’ll add your ideas to the list!

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Canvas Collaborations

Canvas uses Google Docs to allow multiple users (up to 50!) to work together on the same document, at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, so any changes made by its users will be immediately visible to everyone. Collaborations using Google Docs require all participants to create and link a Google account to their Canvas account.

Linking a Google Account

1. Log in to Canvas.
2. Click Account.
3. Click Settings.
4. Click Google Drive from the Other Services list.

5. Click Authorize Google Drive Access.
6. Sign in with your Google account.
7. Click Allow.
8. A confirmation message appears.
9. Google Drive appears in your Web Services list.

Setting up a Collaboration

1. Log in to Canvas, and then click a course.
2. Click Collaborations from the left-hand navigation menu.
3. Type a Document name, Description.
4. Choose the people or groups to Collaborate With, and then click Start Collaborating.
5. The new document appears. If you want to create a document for a specific group, create it within the group.

Collaborating Ideas

Here are a few ideas for incorporating Canvas Collaborations into your course.

  • Share lists or agendas for upcoming class meetings.
  • Create a text-based whiteboard discussion that everyone can add to at their own pace.
  • Assign student groups a collaborative assignment. Ask them to submit the URL to the document for a grade.

Contact LDT with questions about Canvas.

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The Digital Age of Reading – by Geriann Brandt Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, College of Arts and Sciences

How do educators impress upon their students the importance of reading? This appears to be such a rudimentary question, but it can be more of an arduous task than most may believe.  I’ve come to the realization that it’s not the students who should change their understanding regarding the importance of reading; it’s me.  Well, I should say the importance of ‘how’ the students read, not what they are reading. The student of the 21st century is not like my cohort age group when it comes to reading. These students are embedded in the Digital Age.

A recent December article featured in CNN News purported that most individuals in the U.S. do not turn off their hand held devices at night, and it is the first thing they look at in the morning. The same could be said for the college student. So why would I possibly entertain the idea that college students would place their devises on ‘sleep’ mode and pick up a book-a real book during their free time? It has come to my attention that I may be fighting a losing battle in regards to the promotion of a hand-held book. I honestly believe that only a true bibliophile can understand the cosmic joy of holding the tome, the smell of magic the pages retain, and eventually allowing yourself to (maybe) pass it onto another true reader. As I immerse myself more affectingly in my personal goals of academics, and of course, encouraging students to explore the pure joy of immersing themselves into a work of any genre of literature, I feel like I’m fighting against one word..the word is Digital!

Apparently, a new study generated by PlayCollective and digitalbookworld.com argue that children from the age of two to thirteen are reading more eBooks. Along with the 64 % surge in reading from the company’s 2012 survey, children who are engrossed in their eBook can easily place a finger on a word with which they are not familiar and a definition appears. Poor Webster. I’m assuming that I will be seeing many an edition placed haphazardly on tables at community garage sales.

Just this past week, the brilliant students at MIT felt so strongly about the power of words, they created a ‘wearable book.’  A book that allows the reader experience a sensory of the word… well, some of the words. As the reader continues through the journey of events found in the book, they will be able to feel what the characters are feeling. This is accomplished through actuators and sensors that connect to the wearable vest. Whatever the protagonist or antagonist experience, the reader will also experience the same physiological sensation. After reading the article I realized I felt the exact same sensations when reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for the first time, but without wearing a sensor vest.

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Joining the Technology Treadmill (a post by Mascheal Schappe, Assistant Professor of Math Education)

Hello, my name is Mascheal Schappe and I am an assistant professor for math education and educational leadership. I joined the technology treadmill about a year and a half ago when I became a full-time faculty member. After returning to the field of education full-time, one of the things I was most looking forward to was professional development. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to catch up, especially in technology.

Well, I jumped in with both feet and was learning right alongside my students during my first semester. By the second semester, I was asked to provide a bit of a workshop for my colleagues on the uses of iPads. By the end of my second semester, I was asked to give iPad training to two different school districts. While I am far from an expert, I do have the willingness to try and don’t get too embarrassed when I make mistakes or have to ask a question that everyone else in the room seems to already know.

In using the iPads for my own teaching, I have discovered some outstanding tools to use in my own classroom, such as the ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard App. This app allows you to quickly and easily create mini lessons that you can email them to students, as well as incorporate pictures into your lesson. For example, I answered a student’s question about why a test answer was incorrect by taking a picture of her answer and recording my voice to explain the correct answer while marking my points right on the picture of her answer. The student received the answer about an hour after she sent me the note as opposed to having to wait until class the following week. ShowMe is very simple and very powerful!

I have also discovered several apps that help my students with understanding math, as well as great apps for them to use in future classrooms with their own students.

My passion for this topic was fueled as our School of Education worked to get our students up to speed with current technology. We now have an iPad cart with 25 iPads that can be checked out and used in our classes, a portable SmartBoard to give our students more opportunities to get their “hands on” the technology, and in order to provide “hands-on” learning, one of our classrooms is blocked out for 14 hours each week, allowing our students time to practice using the SmartBoard, the document camera, and 12 computers with smart notebook installed. We also have 6 more iPads on the way!

Every time I visit a school, teachers are using some type of technology and quite often it is different than the last time I visited. In an effort to make our future teachers even more marketable, we have pushed technology into our math methods courses and each education faculty member is using more assignments requiring students to demonstrate their ability to use technology as a classroom tool.

So, here is where the treadmill comes in. Despite the fact that I have done quite a bit of learning, teaching and learning some more, I don’t feel like I have mastered anything! The possibilities with each piece of technology are endless, and every time I almost get a handle on something, the next, better version is upon us. Even though I know so much more than I did a year and a half ago I still feel like a novice. I am quickly discovering that in order to survive on this treadmill I need to pace myself, share with others, seek out what others have discovered and concentrate really hard on doing a few things really well!

– Mascheal Schappe is an Assistant Professor of Math Education and Education Leadership at Maryville University in St. Louis

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Social Media Usage Among College Students

I recently ran across an article entitled “Are College-Bound Students Leaving Social Media.” Basically, this article details what social media sites college students are most frequently using.

I think that their might be a fallacy among educators/administrators in how student social media usage is viewed. I think the long held belief is that FaceBook reigns “king”, and can serve as a one stop shop for reaching our students. I believe that notion worked in the 2010 world, where other social media sites failed to keep up. However, as this article details, we have a scattered landscape, and our students are moving from site to site as quickly as these sites pop up.

The Details:

FaceBook is QUICKLY loosing popularity among college students.

This article says that only 67% (2/3rd) of  students are actively using FB. This is down 12% YOY, and, in my opinion, will only continue to drop.

Why the sudden drop ?

Well, as my students put it, FB is no longer “cool” (*I know—not very “professional” sounding or scientific). So, why the sudden drop in “coolness.” Well, for starters, about 3/4 of their parents are now on FB, 1/2 of which joined specifically to, and I’m quoting an actual survey, “Keep tabs on their kids.

What is replacing FB ?

Many are arguing that Twitter is the new FB. Twitter usage has surged in the past few years, and now 1 in 3 college students are actively using the site. I’d expect this number to continue rising.

What is the next big thing ?

The next “big thing,” is clearly Instagram. In the first year on the survey, Instagram now has 15% of college students. This is a very strong entrance, and I’d expect this to also continue to rise.

What does this mean for faculty/administrators?

Well, this is a bit more tricky. Faculty who like to keep up with their students may see the need to try out Twitter/Instagram. Also, those who actively use social media as a part of their courses may need to change what sites are used.

It’d difficult to predict what will come next, however, If I were to predict the future, I’d say that the idea of one social media site “ruling them all” is long gone. I think students will continue to migrate to niche sites (i.e. Instagram) as quickly as these sites pop up.


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More than Fish Tacos – Snapguide for Teaching, Learning and Sharing (a post by Ashlyn Cunningham, Assistant Professor Occupational Therapy)

snapPrior to my becoming a tech associate, I was resolved to be the iPad stepchild in my own home for the last 3 years. Once I achieved techie status with my new iPad, it was no surprise that my husband (i.e.Mac fanatic) would begin sharing cool apps with me. Enter Snap-guide.

“Think of it as Pinterest, only it actually tells you how to create the stuff you see” he said. I have to admit, I spent several minutes swiping through various guides on how to identify fake Ray-Ban sunglasses, make a bacon candle (i.e. Man-dle) and create the ultimate fish taco. I enjoyed the visual appeal of the guides in addition to the written step-by-step directions. Bottom line – it is downloaded on my home screen next to Pinterest and Zite.

Snapguide’s tag line is “share what you know”, which is a great teaching philosophy. As an occupational therapy (OT) educator, I know that the best way to become an expert in a topic is by teaching it to others. Why not have my students become an expert at something related to OT and share it with actual occupational therapists working in our community?

My goal was to create one innovative assignment for my Occupational Therapy Evaluations class that used technology as means and ends – I called it “There’s an App for That: Snapguide Edition”. My students had a prior community experience where they shadowed an OT, allowing the students to observe therapist/client interaction, including the use of technology within the setting. Many of these therapists now use iPads in their practice, predominantly for interventions and treatment, but not for evaluation. I wanted to show OT’s that this technology could also assist in data collection and tracking of client progress.

To begin, my students were to identify an app that could be used by their community therapist for the purposes of evaluation. The app had to directly tie to a client group that was seen by the OT and had to have a component of measurement (in order to track client progress). This element could be as simple as timing the task completion or succeeding to the next level on a performance –based “game” (Angry Birds, anyone?).Since my students went to various agencies, clinics and schools, their app selection reflected the diverse needs of their community OT’s. Some of their selections had interesting names such as Cramps, Papi Jump and Dexteria, while others were more direct: Paper Toss, Little Writer and Jig Saw Deluxe.

Once the student decided on an app, it became his/her task to create a SnapGuide to teach others how to use the app for OT evaluation purposes. Students needed to break down the instructional steps of the app used and create a guide for the OT (or anyone) to follow. One trick the students had to learn immediately was how to capture a screen shot of their app at various stages /progress points (this is done by pressing the Home Button and Power button at the same time). Another challenge encountered was the student’s ability to share the app’s applicability to patients and convince the therapist that the app was beneficial (they learned the concept as the app’s “clinical utility”). Once their guide is finished, they will contact the therapist and share the information, possibly having to educate the therapist about Snapguide as well!

As of this writing, the students are still working on their Snapguides. My plan is for them to have a 2 minute “throw down” in class to demo their guide to their peers and show how easy it is to connect technology with occupational therapy evaluation (and how beneficial it is to track progress). Criteria for winning the “throw down” is based on the coolest app and the thoroughness of the Snap Guide. What is the prize for winning? A $10 iTunes gift card of course!
– written by Ashlyn Cunningham, Assistant Professor Occupational Therapy

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Apple TV’s: How to Mirror an iPad/iPhone

Over the summer we’ve added apple TV’s to all classrooms on campus:

The great thing about Apple TV’s is that it allows you to wirelessly project your iPad/iPhone on the projector in the classroom. Below are instructions for doing just that.

Apple TV Instructions

1. Turn on the projector in the room.

photoA2. Switch the input to “Apple TV.”

photo_1A3. The Apple TV will begin displaying on the projector.

photo_2A4. Turn on your iPad/iPhone, and double click the “Home” button. A menu bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Take your finger and “swipe” the menu bar to the right to reveal a new set of buttons.

iPad Home Buttonphoto  5. A new series of buttons will appear. Select the “AirPlay” button.

photo_16. This will provide a list of the available rooms with Apple TV’s in them. Select the room you are in, and choose to turn “mirroring on” for that Apple TV.photo_3photo_6

 7. Once you select to “Mirror” the Apple TV, a code will appear on the projector screen. One your iPad/iPhone, a place to insert that code will appear. This code insures that you have full control over what is being displayed on the projector. Input that code on the iPad/iPhone.

photo_3Aphoto_48. Once the code is input, select “Ok.” The screen from the iPad/iPhone will display on the projector.

***NOTE: If the iPad/iPhone has a blue line across the top of it, it means that it is being “mirrored” (displayed elsewhere).

photo_5photo_4ATo stop “mirroring” : To stop displaying the iPad/iPhone on the projector, go through steps 3, 4, & 5 above and turn off mirroring.

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A Map of Learning Theories

I’ve come across a great detailed view of the different type of learning theories.

Learning Theory Map

Learning Theory Map

This definitely helps to visualize the different theories that exist. To see an enlarged version of this, click here.

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Four Pillars of Flipped Learning

The Flipped Learning Network just released a new study entitled “A Review of Flipped Learning.” This study was done by Noora Hamdan, Ph.D. (George Mason University), Patrick McKnight, Ph.D. (George Mason University), Katherine McKnight, Ph.D. (Pearson’s Center for Educator Effectiveness), and Kari M. Arfstrom, Ph.D. (Flipped Learning Network), discusses what the flipped classroom is and identfies the key “features” or “pillars’ of a flipped classroom.

The four pillars, or features that allow the flipped classroom to “occur.” :

1. Flipped learning requires flexible environments:

Instructors need to create “flexible” learning environments where students can choose when/where they learn. Instructors need to be aware that in-class time chaotic, as opposed to a traditional lecture where students passively listen. Finally, instructors need to be flexible in their expectation of students “timelines” for learning.

2. Flipped learning requires a shift in learning culture:

In a traditional classroom the instructor hold all of the information. The flipped classroom moves from a teacher centered classroom to a student centered one. Students move to be the center of learning and knowledge. Students can get information about topics anywhere, so time in class is spent furthering their understandings and making sure they are on the right track.

3. Flipped learning requires intentional content:

Instructors need to evaluate what content they need to teach “directly,” and which topics students should be able to explore on their own, outside of class. Classroom time should be spent on student centered teaching using “active learning strategies, peer instruction, problem-based learning, or mastery or Socratic methods.”

4. Flipped learning required professional educators:

Flipped learning is not a way to replace instructors with standard video lectures. If anything, the flipped model needs  “good” instructors more than a traditional model. Instructors need to be well trained in “how to shift direct instruction from the group to the individual learning space, and how to maximize the face-to-face time between teachers and students.” The flipped model needs instructors who can observe, provide timely feedback, continuously assess work, and help students master content. This is something only professional educators can do.

The rest of the article goes into some really great research that is the foundation of the flipped classroom (“A Review of Flipped Learning.“). A great read if you have a few moments.


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