What’s New in Academic Technology?

We were busy this summer bringing new tools to make teaching and learning easy and fun. Here are some of the new additions available to you for the Fall semester:


Panopto is a video content management system for uploading, managing and sharing video and audio files. It’s a central, secure place for recorded lectures, flipped classroom videos, and more.  Students can take notes in Panopto while watching recorded content and bookmark parts of a video so that they can easily find specific portions that they may wish to watch again.  Panopto has a powerful search function and can search for any word that is spoken or shown in any video in your library and fast forward to that precise moment in one click.

Panopto was used in several courses this summer and we’re seeing interest grow this semester.  Three use cases for Panopto are below:

  1. Panopto Lecture Capture uses installed room equipment to automatically record both video of lectures and projected content (PowerPoint slides, for example) for later viewing. Lecture capture equipment is installed in over 15 spaces on campus and allows you to create a repository of instructional media to be used in online and blended courses and share your lectures with audiences worldwide.  Single lectures, select days, and even entire courses can be scheduled for capture. You may request Lecture Capture in courses.brown.
  2. Panopto Personal Recording is a key tool for the flipped classroom model. It uses a stand-alone software application that runs on Windows and Mac computers; a smartphone and tablet app is also available. With Personal Recording, you can record your voice (audio), your local computer screen (a PowerPoint presentation or other material) and a webcam video.  Recordings can be published and made available for student viewing via Canvas and other distribution channels.
  3. We are using Panopto as a streaming solution to deliver Online Movies for courses.

REEF Polling

REEF Education is a mobile based classroom polling solution that allows students to use laptop or smartphones instead of the physical Clickers. Instructors can download the app on Windows or Macs. Classroom polls can be conducted with help of a floating toolbar on top of the content you are presenting. Four question types are available: multiple choice, short answer, numeric, and image based.

Unlike use of iClicker base that saves data on your laptop, REEF saves data in the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere. The question and answers are also available for students for review. If you would like to incorporate REEF polling in your class next semester, contact ITG@brown.edu

Library Resources-Canvas integration

Your subject librarians have been creating library guides for students over the years. Now you can provide direct access to library resources curated specifically for a subject area or a course through your Canvas course site. These library research aids provide students with links to journals, databases, and other relevant materials. Students can also easily get direct support from the subject librarian for your area of study. For more information, email sarah@brown.edu. To make this resource available to students, enable ‘Library Resources’ in the Navigation tab under the settings menu of your course.