Amazon Alexa Meets IBM Domino

I had the honor of becoming a contributor for the outstanding NotesIn9 Video Podcast produced by David Leedy. In this show, I demonstrate how I built and Amazon Alexa Skill for the IBM Domino based IdeaJam app. If you have any questions, please let me know. I would be more than happy to answer them! Thank you, David, for having me on. More videos on building Alexa Skills coming soon.

College Instructor Pro Tip No. 6

When an assignment has been available for 2 weeks and you ask for an extension on the day it is due isn’t cool.

College Instructor Pro Tip No. 5

Read through the assignment in its entirety. Read through it again and maybe a third time. If you only use the grading rubric to go by, you will possibly miss key elements of the assignment.

Video: College Student Worst Practices – Learning from the Mistakes of Others

More College Student Worst Practices

Continuing on from my list of “College Student Worst Practices” post:

Worst Practice No. 4:

Waiting until the day an assignment is due to ask the instructor for assistance. As soon as an assignment is announced or made available, read through it in its entirety at least once and maybe twice. Don’t simply do the assignment to hit the rubric marks as quite often there is more to the assignment than what appears in the rubric.

Worst Practice No. 5:

Expecting to learn everything you need to learn during class. Also, expecting to finish your work in class.

Worst Practice No. 6:

Not reading the syllabus. A course syllabus is a contract between the instructor and each and every student. It contains all of the things that a student will need to know about assignments, exams, late work policies, how a student’s grade will be determined, a statement about procedures and school policies for students with disabilities and much more. Neglecting to read it at the beginning of the class and every now and then is also not a good thing to do.

What does the syllabus really say? All of the things that you are going to ask tomorrow.

College Student Worst Practices – The First Three

Worst Practice No. 1:

From an email sent to students: “If you have read this far and want 3 extra credit points, send a message to me by Tuesday at noon.” 5 days later and only 2 people replied.

If your teacher/instructor ever offers you extra credit points for reading a weekly announcement email, respond to them as soon as you read the words “extra credit”.

Worst Practice No. 2:

Don’t wait until the assignment or exam due date to ask for an extension. It’s ok to ask for an extension (in my classes). Communicate early and often. It’s ok. I’m human and sometimes life happens and I get that.

Worst Practice No. 3:

If you are the smartest person in the classroom, and you know more than most people, don’t use that as the platform to challenge or prove that the instructor is dumber than you or that you are smarter than everyone else, use it as an opportunity to help others in the class that may be struggling.

My New Motto

While talking to my long time friend Dan Sickles about app dev and education, Dan said this:

Start them in the cloud as that’s where they will be living

Amen. I’m about to order the t-shirt.

 

Canvas LMS: How to Validate Links in a Course

I’m not sure if this feature is new or not, but it certainly makes validating all of the links in a Canvas course easy to check.

Start by logging into Canvas and going into the course you want to validate. In the left navigator, click on the “Settings” link:

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On the Settings page, look in the right navigator for the “Validate Links in Content” link and click on it.

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From the Course Link Validator page you can click on the button to start validating all of the links in all of your content in your course. It may take a few minutes for it to complete, so be patient.

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Once completed, you will see a list of all of the content with the associated links that are broken. You can then restart the link validation after you fix and links that the validator finds are broken.

I hope this helps you in developing quality Canvas course shells.