Instructional Technology News – July 12

A quick introduction, Blackboard course content cleanup, Panopto recorder update, Blackboard Learn unavailable Aug. 5-13, and hello Flipgrid/goodbye VoiceThread.

New CIT Assistant Director Melissa Green

Thanks to Meagan Bennett for last week’s introduction and for shepherding our Instructional Technology News over the past year. I’m Melissa Green, and I’m thrilled to serve as the new Assistant Director of the Center for Instructional Technology. This role focuses on instructional technology education and outreach for our campus. Along with technology accessibility and thoughtful integration of technology in teaching and learning, building community is a passion of mine, and I look forward to growing this community together. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our news updates and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Blackboard cleanup begins THIS THURSDAY, July 15

Beginning July 15, the Center for Instructional Technology will remove old course content from the Blackboard Learn system. This is in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, which states that materials more than two years old will be removed from the system. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.  Visit the CIT website for more information on how to back up Blackboard content: How to Back Up Blackboard Content as an Instructor

Panopto recorder update required after July 15

Panopto for Windows and Panopto for Mac users: A July 15 Panopto update will require you to update your software. Step-by-step guidance and instructions for upgrading are available on Panopto’s website:

Blackboard Learn unavailable August 5-13

Blackboard Learn and certain tools accessed through Blackboard Learn (Panopto, Collaborate, and Turnitin) will be unavailable from Aug. 5 until Aug. 13 for a database migration and upgrade. This move will help provide a more stable, scalable, secure, and updated Blackboard Learn experience for UA users.

More information is available on the CIT website, and our CIT team will be sending additional communications to all Blackboard instructors.  We began communicating about this upgrade and downtime in April, but as always, we appreciate your assistance sharing this information! We know there is never a good time to bring down a critical system like Blackboard Learn, but we are looking forward to this migration and the capabilities it will offer.

Flipgrid to replace VoiceThread

UA is transitioning from VoiceThread to Flipgrid as our video discussion and collaboration tool. Flipgrid offers a modern, fun and accessible video discussion option for UA instructors and students, ideal for engaging students asynchronously. Learn more on our website, and start using Flipgrid today: Flipgrid to Replace VoiceThread

VoiceThread will be removed during the August 5-13 Blackboard Learn upgrade. If you previously used VoiceThread for recorded lectures, you can export that content and upload into Panopto, then share it as a link in Flipgrid. Step-by-step instructions on how to export VoiceThread content are available on our website:  How to Export VoiceThread Content

We’re here to help! Contact the Center for Instructional Technology for help with instructional technology needs, questions and concerns.

Panopto Mandatory Recorder Update – July 15

Thursday, July 15 Panopto will require Panopto for Windows and Mac to be upgraded. When prompted, please update your software. Step-by-step guidance and instructions for upgrading on both Mac and PC are available on Panopto’s website.

Panopto Scheduled Maintenance – June 26

On Saturday, June 26, the Panopto Cloud will be updated with the latest features and improvements. These updates will require downtime. We expect up to 4 hours of downtime starting at 8pm Central.

Instructional Technology News – June 10

Blackboard cleanup to begin July 15.

Beginning July 15, the Center for Instructional Technology will remove old course content from the Blackboard Learn system. This is in accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, which states that materials more than two years old will be removed from the system. Students and instructors should save any materials they wish to keep.  Visit the CIT website for more information on how to back up Blackboard content.

Blackboard is moving to the cloud!

August 5 – 13, Blackboard Learn will be unavailable while UA’s instance of Blackboard Learn moves from being hosted in Blackboard’s data centers to being hosted in the cloud, also known as software as a service (SaaS). Moving to the cloud allows for flexibility, scalability, resilience and innovation. With this move, Blackboard will get a new look – Ultra Base navigation.

If you’ve used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, you’ve already experienced a taste of the Ultra look. The Ultra base navigation offers a modern, intuitive and personalized look characterized by simple workflows and an accessible fully responsive design. For more information, visit our website. As we approach the SaaS migration in August, we will post additional tutorials, guides and information.

Flipgrid to replace VoiceThread.

UA is transitioning from VoiceThread to Flipgrid as our video discussion and collaboration tool. Flipgrid offers a modern, fun and accessible video discussion option for UA instructors and students, ideal for engaging students asynchronously. By using Flipgrid, instructors can increase feelings of social connections and community among students while providing students with the opportunity to develop their voices. All UA students, faculty and staff have access to Flipgrid through UA’s Microsoft license agreement. Learn more on our website, and start using Flipgrid today!

Flipgrid to Replace VoiceThread

Flipgrid is available to UA students, faculty and staff. Flipgrid offers a modern, fun and accessible video discussion option for UA instructors and students, ideal for engaging students asynchronously.

By using Flipgrid, instructors can increase feelings of social connections and community among students while providing students with the opportunity to develop their voices. All UA students, faculty and staff have access to Flipgrid through UA’s Microsoft license agreement.

Flipgrid can be embedded in a Blackboard Learn course or viewed from a browser or the Flipgrid app, which is available on mobile devices. Instructors can create welcome videos with the tool, and students can use it for presentations. Instructors can create Flipgrid assignments and allow students to…

  • Verbalize their thinking process
  • Create and deliver short how-to videos
  • Create or participate in a digital video scavenger hunt
  • Verbalize goals or reflect
  • Provide digital or oral reading responses
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Provide feedback through peer reviews
  • Summarize and highlight student work or discussions
  • Plus, so much more!

Get started with Flipgrid at flipgrid.com. Click the Educator Sign up button and choose to login with a Microsoft O365 account. Enter your myBamausername@ua.edu email address, or Crimson email address, and password to sign in. More information and guides for using Flipgrid is available on the CIT website.

UA is transitioning to Flipgrid as our video discussion and collaboration tool. Effective for the Fall 2021 semester, VoiceThread will no longer be available to UA students, faculty and staff. If you previously used VoiceThread for recorded lectures, you can export that content and upload into Panopto, then share it as a link in Flipgrid. We have step-by-step instructions on how to export VoiceThread content on our website.

Have questions?