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2201 S. Washington St
Amarillo, TX 79109

Phone: (806) 371-5920



Please report problems with this site or content errors to Heather Voran .

The CTL Corner

New Zoom Features Image

New Features in Zoom

Published October 14, 2020 By Heather Voran

Zoom has recently added several new features that we think faculty and students may benefit from using. In order to access them, however, you and your students must first download Zoom version 5.3.2

To do this, go to and click on Resources as shown in the picture below, then click Download Zoom Client

Download Zoom Client  

Once the Zoom Client has been downloaded, double-click the icon and follow the directions to install it on your computer

The main feature that we think you will find interesting is the option for participants (both faculty and students) to self-select breakout rooms.

Other new features, according to the Zoom website, include:

  • Meeting/webinar features
  • Poll reports available during a live session 
  • The meeting or webinar host will now have the option to download the full poll results when the poll is ended. This will launch their browser and begin the download of the CSV.

Community Building Resources

Community Building Resources

Published October 13, 2020 By Heather Voran

How do you build community in an online or remote environment? Take a look at these resources put together by AC Instructional Designer, Michaela Dodson.



Flipped Learning

Flipped Learning

Published October 13, 2020 By Heather Voran

by Michaela Dodson

As you will remember, three years ago Jon Bergman spoke here at ACES about the benefits of using a Flipped Learning model. Often used interchangeably Flipped Classroom and Flipped Learning are similar, but they do not mean the same thing.
Flipped Classroom “Many teachers may already flip their classes by having students read text outside of class, watch supplemental videos, or solve additional problems – but that doesn’t necessarily lead to flipped learning.” (Flipped Learning Network)
Flipped Learning “is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides the students as they apply the concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.” (Flipped Learning Network) Read the rest of Michaela's article here.

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EdPuzzle and Khan Academy

Published September 18, 2020 By Heather Voran

You may have heard of Edpuzzle, where you can take an existing video and make it an interactive lesson. Check out this Edpuzzle Blog post to learn more. But that is not what this post is about. 

Do you know about Khan AcademySal Khan's nonprofit video platform helps students get results both in the classroom and on official exams.

Khan Academy has its own channel on Edpuzzle. You can create custom video lessons using Khan Academy content from right within the Edpuzzle app or website. Create an account on Edpuzzle, log in, and check out the Khan Academy page here: 

Edpuzzle also offers a free Tech Integration Certification Course. If you are interested, click the blue button below:

Edpuzzle Tech Integration

 Read more

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Free NISOD Webinar and Publications

Published September 16, 2020 By Heather Voran

What is nisod?

NISOD stands for National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development

NISOD is specifically geared toward Community Colleges and provides many free and low-cost professional development resources for member colleges.

Contact Heather Voran for Amarillo College's NISOD login information to access these and other free professional development resources.

UPCOMING Complimentary Webinars


October 1, 2020

Webinar: Questions That Create Connections: Fostering Deep Learning in Person and Online With Polling and Quizzing  


September 8, 2020

Battlefield of the Mind: A Closer Look at Test Anxiety

September 1, 2020

Brackets Are for More Than March Madness: Using a Snowball Pitch Activity to Foster Student Engagement and Learning

August 24, 2020

Problem Solving for the Future: Teaching Using Scenarios and Backcasting

August 18, 2020

Humility and Humor: A Holistic Approach to the New Online Reality

August 11, 2020

Mastering the Third Culture: Helping Students Navigate the Technology-Based, At-Home-Learning Environment

Seeking innovation Abstract authors

NISOD is always seeking submissions for their flagship publication, Innovation Abstracts, which highlights inspiring and innovative practices, programs, and ideas happening on community college campuses. Each week, Innovation Abstracts is sent out in the newsletter NISODirect, which has a circulation of over 10,000. Faculty, staff, and administrators all over the country tune in to read, share, and put into practice the ideas explored in these articles. Submissions that focus on equity in the classroom, mental health and trauma support, resources for first-time community college instructors, and online learning strategies are especially welcome. Click here to submit your work to this nationally-circulated publication! If you have any questions, please contact NISOD publications manager Cody Bowie,



Scavenger Hunt Winner!

Published September 11, 2020 By Heather Voran











Dan Porter

Winner of the CTL Website Scavenger Hunt


Scavenger Hunt Clip Art N12

Scavenger Hunt - CTL Website

Published September 9, 2020 By Heather Voran
Be the first to send an email to with the titles of the pages where each of the items below are found, and WIN a bundle of AC SWAG:


  1. An embedded video of Alan Kee's summer presentation called Help for Stressful Life Situations: An REBT Approach to Coping with COVID-19.
  2. The phrase "Start with the end in mind by applying backward design".
  3. The link to a document called "Hire to Retire Pathway".
  4. The link to request a development shell.
  5. A list of the five instructional models for teaching this fall (you don't have to list them, just tell us where you found them).
  6. The "Manager of Blackboard Support & Services"?
  7. The phrase "examine theories of motivation and cognitive engagement in learning".
  8. The guiding principles of CTL.
  9. A video instructing you how to link files from Google Drive to Blackboard.
  10. The phrase "We need to engage our students more, and certainly, there are many technologies that will do that."

 Read more

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I Don't Understand This Assignment

Published September 9, 2020 By Heather Voran

Most of us have heard this comment from our students, addressed by today's article in Faculty Focus by Dr. David Coker, adjunct professor of education at Fort Hays State University Online. 

"When creating clear directions for students, consider these four components: develop a minimum and a maximum for each criteria, give students a laundry list of expectations, use a checklist for the template, and model expectations." See When the Directions Are the Problem.

 Read more

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Free Softchalk Short Courses

Published September 8, 2020 By Heather Voran

If you’re a new SoftChalk user, these live, one-hour online training webinars are just what you need to get started! The training typically includes a presentation and examples, as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions and receive assistance from the instructor.

Upcoming Short Courses in September:

  • Getting Started 1: An Overview of SoftChalk Cloud
  • Getting Started 2: An Overview of SoftChalk Create
  • ToolTips, Images and Hyperlinks
  • Navigation Features and Sidebars
  • Embedded Media
  • Quizzes and SoftChalk ScoreCenter
  • Interactive Presentation Learning Activities
  • Interactive Scoring Learning Activities
  • Using the SoftChalk Create ThemeBuilder

learn MORE

 Read more

Google Blackboard

Easily Link to Files to Blackboard from Google Drive

Published August 26, 2020 By Heather Voran

Blackboard has a great new feature that you may not know about. It's called Browse Cloud Storage

Have you ever received a message in Blackboard that a file won't upload because your course is full? Or have you had students create presentations or assignments to upload to an assignment dropbox, only to find the file is too big for Blackboard? These scenarios can be frustrating for everyone involved. 

You may not be aware that Blackboard charges Amarillo College by the amount of space we use, not the number of students enrolled. Because of this, the storage space in each Blackboard course is limited.

By contrast, the storage on all employee and student Google for Education accounts is unlimited, so we really encourage faculty and students to store documents in Google Drive and link them rather than uploading them directly to Blackboard. This used to be a relatively time-consuming process, but not any longer!

 Read more

Michaela Dodson

Welcome Michaela Dodson to CTL

Published August 15, 2020 By Heather Voran

Please welcome Michaela Dodson, CTL Curriculum Specialist and Instructional Designer. Michaela knows the true meaning of "Trial by Fire" as she started just a few weeks before CTL went into 24/7 work mode preparing tech-supported learning resources for Spring II classes.

She has already become a valued member of the CTL team, and we are so glad to have her with us! Please welcome her when you have the chance.

Teaching Strategies

2020 Fall Resources in Blackboard

Published August 14, 2020 By Heather Voran

The Faculty Tools section of Blackboard continues to grow with new resources to guide you and your students through our return to classes for Fall 2020. Here is just a sampling of the information available to you:

Learn about the five instructional models for teaching this fall:

  1. Face-2-Face Instruction while socially distant/masked
  2. Face-2-Face Alternating Days and/or synchronous online
  3. Fully Online (Asynchronous)
  4. Asynchronous Online with Rotating Tutorials
  5. Tech-Supported

See the Top 10 Best Practices for Course Design

What is Resilient Pedagogy? Find out by going to Blackboard - Faculty Tools - 2020 Fall Resources!