I know you are all busy with end-of-semester tasks. I would like to talk to you about a demo system that we have in Mitchell room 203. These are moveable whiteboards that can be hung and un-hung from rails mounted in the classroom. These boards are excellent for in-class collaborative work or even just to extend your teaching surfaces around the edge of the room. When you think of what this system is, think of permanent 2′x3′ post-it notes that I have seen many of you use in the classrooms.
Here is a photosynth picture of the boards in-place in MH203 (silverlight plugin required):
We are evaluating these boards and will perhaps be installing them in some locations around campus. The first likely locations will be the classrooms in the East campus building when it is renovated. See the product information sheet on this system:
Open House and Request for Comment
Do you like what you see? Want to come see it in person? Take a break from grading exams and term papers and check it out this Friday, December 14th from 10am-12pm in MH203. If no one shows up, I get two hours of uninterrupted time to work on other projects. You can check the boards out or come and chat about other technology-related subjects. You can RSVP with the link below or just show up
If you can’t make it this Friday, you can check the classroom out anytime it is open. Feel free to comment on this blog post if you have feedback or input about this system.
We saw these during a webinar on collaborative learning spaces. A special thanks to Dr. Nate Phinney for setting that webinar up.
Hello Faculty & Staff:
This summary is a little late this year (only 6 months) but thank you all for another great May training series! We had 77 faculty and staff members sign up for 24 sessions. Total actual attendance was 126.
We are extremely pleased with the feedback we received about the courses and are encouraged by the increase in faculty participation this May. A special thank you to the Faculty Development committee for suggestions for topics as well as promoting the series.
Response rate for the survey follow ups was 69 out of 126 (55%). The feedback for each workshop was similar so we are only displaying the aggregate results for the three categories of evaluation, Workshop, Instructor, and Support Resources:
The evaluation model is new this year and is based upon Nova Southeastern University’s course evaluation tool.
Hello Students, Faculty and Staff:
It has been a very busy fall semester in the Media Services and Converged Media Area of the Cattell Library (that is in the lower level if you don’t know where I am talking about). Read more below about the following:
- Map of the space
- “Scantron” bubblesheet scanners have moved (but just across the hall)
- More info on the Media Services / Help Desk Split
- Television Studio use
- Scheduling the Video Editing & Recording Suites
- Story Development Center sees increased use
- Cell Phone Extenders have been installed
- Updates to CL49 Classroom
- Media Conversion Services
- CL24 Windows Computer lab
- CL46 Apple Computer Lab
Each of the spaces we talk about in this entry are color coded on the map.
“Scantron” bubblesheet scanners have moved (but just across the hall) GREEN
Faculty and staff who utilize bubblesheets to grade student tests should know that the scanners have moved across the hall to CL34. These used to be located in CL47 but you had two separate light switches and some steps to climb.
More info on the Media Services / Help Desk Split DARK PURPLE
As was announced in September, the Information Technologies Help Desk is now located in Haviland Hall (residence hall near the track and physical plant (Strand) Building). Media Services equipment check out, media conversion services, craft paper, lamination, etc. is still being handled from the library in CL25. You should still call the IT Help Desk at 330.471.8428 for most requests. You can also open up requests directly through the web-based Help Desk system at https://helpdesk.malone.edu or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org but, if you have a question that Media Services can answer directly, please call us at 330.471.8429 (one number higher than the IT Help Desk).
What equipment is available for checkout?
Visit FAQ77 for an exhaustive list of gear available for checkout. There is a very high demand for camcorders during the semester. To ensure equipment availability, make a reservation by calling us (330.471.8429) or email us.
We are still only partially staffed and are looking for student workers. If you are or you know of a student who is looking for a Federal Work Study position or has hours left on your contract, please stop by and talk to us.
Media Services Desk Hours
The desk is staffed by students Monday through Thursday from 8am – 10am and from 3pm to 5pm Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. As we mentioned earlier, it is not staffed the entire day so if there is no one at the desk, please follow the signs and instructions posted to obtain assistance.
Television Studio use AQUA
The television studio and other rooms are schedule-able via calendar. The athletics department is recording its weekly football preview show which is streamed and hosted on malonepioneers.com every Monday. A two-person interview set is always set up and ready for use. Lighting is provided. BYOCM (bring your own camera and mics) or reserve and check them out from the Media Services desk. As we continue to configure the space, other preset vignettes will be added. If you are interested in using the studio for recording, please contact us to make arrangements. The current schedule is shown below:
Scheduling the Video Editing & Recording Suites BROWN
There are three video editing suites and one audio recording suite available for individual reservation. Stop by and we will give you the tour. The spaces can be scheduled ahead of time by students in their Malone calendars (when creating a calendar item, select “resources” on the right).
Story Development Center sees increased use YELLOW
The Story Development room is a Communication Arts space configured primarily for student usage (see picture at right). This is schedule-able through Kerrie Evans in the Comm. Arts department office 330.471.8201.
Cell Phone Extenders have been installed UNMARKED
One of the frustrations of learning and teaching in the lower level was that there was little or no cellphone coverage. That is no longer the case. The Information Technologies Department has installed cellphone booster/repeaters in both the West and East ends of the library lower level. There is now [almost] complete cellphone coverage throughout the space. Special thanks to IT networking staff (Jim and Shawn) and special thanks to Physical Plant staff (Kris, Jon, & others) for providing power.
Updates to CL49 Classroom over fall break RED
We had mentioned this in an earlier helpdesk blog post. The CL49 classroom now has a cinema-class high definition data/video projector and surround sound system that was installed over fall break. The room will still be usable as a normal classroom but will now have extra features available for film/movie screenings. The chalkboards have been moved to the North wall (adjoining the hallway) and a larger screen is center-mounted on the East wall. Keep this room in mind if you are scheduling movie showings for a course or activity. Contact the registrar’s office to reserve.
Media Conversion Services DARK PURPLE
Media Services will continue to offer media conversion services to faculty, staff, and students. Please verify that the work you want us to convert is unencumbered by copyright or will be used in a legal fashion under the guidelines of the TEACH act and copyright fair use.
CL24 Windows Computer Lab BLUE-GRAY
This is old news to many of you. The CL24 computer lab was updated last summer so that the computers are on the perimeter of the room. The room is a scheduled classroom. Contact the registrar’s office to reserve.
CL46 Apple Computer Lab LIGHT PURPLE
Over fall break, the computers in CL46 received a memory (RAM) upgrade from 2GB to 8GB. They also receive updated Operating Systems and Applications.
Malone Wallpaper and Templates
Want to give your audience a Malone experience in your next presentation? We have Malone-ified Word and PowerPoint templates, and Wallpaper for your computer desktop, available to download in Malone Xpress.
Here is where to go to get them:
- Sign in to Malone Xpress
- Select the Information Technologies tab
- Under Things to Download, click on the file that you would like to use
This entry is meant to be an exhaustive information update regarding classrooms for Malone’s campus for Fall 2012. Please browse to the section that is relevant to you.
Technical staff will once again be visiting faculty in their classrooms during the first Monday (Aug 27) and Tuesday (Aug 28) of classes. A separate message will be sent to faculty and staff with details about which tech will be in which buildings.
Upgraded Classrooms for Fall 2012
The following classrooms have been or are being upgraded for fall 2012:
- FH65 (Hoover Room)
DH1-4 and FH65
All of these classrooms will be receiving the new LED-based projectors, 10-button control systems, wireless video streaming via Airplay, and will be set up for wide-screen display.
CL49 has not yet been upgraded but the plan is to configure the room with the screen centered in the room (previously the screen in the room was set up in the corner) and be optimized for High Definition (blu-ray included) and surround sound movie playback. Keep this in mind if you are planning any movie watching activities or have classes which are heavily oriented towards film in future semesters. The room capacity is 60. This room will also have wireless video streaming via Airplay and will be widescreen. The room will remain a generally schedule-able classroom and the projection will still operate similarly to other classrooms.
We hope to complete this upgrade over fall break or earlier.
All Classroom Information
For an exhaustive list of classrooms and how they are equipped, please visit FAQ111. This FAQ includes video overviews of each classroom type.
Information for Adjuncts, New Faculty, and Those Who will be Teaching in an Unfamiliar Classroom
We encourage you to visit your classroom prior to the beginning of classes. You can do this on your own OR you can make an appointment with Media Services staff to show you how to operate the classroom technology. To make an appointment contact the Help Desk at 330.471.8428 or emailing email@example.com from your Malone email address.
Please note that there are video overviews of each classroom type located at the bottom of FAQ111.
Classroom Technology Best Practices
The following “best practices” were copied from FAQ136:
- Make sure that you are in the classroom early enough to get all the equipment up and running that will be used for that day
- Always have a back up plan in case the equipment is not working correctly
- If there is an issue with the equipment, TELL US! Or let your administrative assistant know so that he or she can tell us.
- If you are using a new technology, say wireless video streaming or classroom polling, be sure to practice ahead of time. Make arrangements with Media Services staff to jump start your understanding of the tech and its impact upon learning and content delivery!
- When you are finished with your class or intend to take a break for 15 minutes or longer, please go through the proper shutdown procedure for the projector/multimedia system. For classrooms with integrated multimedia controls, instruction sheets have been posted. Please note: when proper shutdown procedure is not followed, the equipment can become unresponsive, requiring a trip to the classroom by Media Services staff to do a physical “hard reset” to get it working again, which causes delays/disruptions for the next class.
- If you make any changes to the room’s equipment (i.e. Hooking up a laptop or external video camera) please restore all equipment to its original “normal functioning state” when you are finished.
- Please do not leave projectors on when not in use and refrain from personal entertainment/non-university-related use of the projectors. Please note: replacement lamps for projectors cost between $200-$400 each, which makes them an expensive resource to be stewarded properly.
We invite you to take a quick moment to review the following Tech Tip on the Password Policy for setting up secure passwords.
Strong passwords are the front line protection for all user accounts at Malone. A poorly chosen password may result in the compromise of Malone University’s entire network. Therefore, the Malone University community–including faculty, staff, students, contractors and vendors with network accounts and/or any form of access that supports or requires a password for any system within Malone’s network–is responsible for taking the appropriate steps as outlined HERE to select and secure their passwords.
Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Blessings to you as you finish this semester. We have had a number of people contacting us about recovering lost files in the past couple weeks. We wanted to share some tips about how to prevent the loss of these important files.
Strategies for keeping your data safe.
Save files to an alternate location
As a Malone student, you have access to a couple places to back up your files. The first place is your “H:” or personal network “Home” drive. When you are working in a computer lab on campus, you can save directly to the H drive. Your H drive is backed up nightly and will follow you to whatever Malone computer you sign into on campus. It is a great option especially if you use the computer labs or classroom computers a lot. You can also access your H drive from your personal computer– on or off campus– using the “Remote Access” service. Instructions on how to use Remote access can be found in FAQ140 and FAQ40.
A secondary option is to upload your file to your Google drive account. You can upload files without having to convert them to Google format. Google provides an overview of using this feature if you are interested in using it. Each student is allocated 30GB of space for this purpose.
Set up a cloud-based backup of your files or of your entire computer
There are a few options for doing this. There are free and paid versions of this type of service.
“Magic Folder” Services
There are several out there. Our favorites are dropbox.com and box.com but there are many others. There are advantages and disadvantages to these services. In these sorts of services, you typically choose a folder on your computer that will be “synchronized” to the service. Be careful to review and accept the company’s privacy and copyright/data-ownership policies before proceeding with a particular service. Many have free accounts available and you can purchase additional space as a yearly subscription.
Magic folder services are handy because the backup is done without you having to intervene. As long as you save the file to the synchronized folder on your computer, the service will automatically copy the file to “the cloud” when you have an Internet connection. When you are away from your computer, you can then retrieve the file by visiting the service’s web site and signing in with your account.
Backup your entire machine
Internet Cloud-based options are often subscription based services, the likes of Carbonite or Mozy. These will back up your entire hard drive rather than some select folders. This is very handy if you have a large music collection or want to make sure that you have EVERYTHING. Remember that the first time you back up to one of these services it will take a LOOONG time. Subsequent backups are quick because it only tracks the files that have changed since the last time you backed up.
You can also opt for an external hard drive back up. Apple users can back their computers up using a service called “Time Machine.” For Windows-based computers, most external hard drive manufacturers will have utilities that can be downloaded or used for backing up your machine.
Looking for a reliable external hard drive? We have had very good luck with Western Digital mybooks. For added safety of your data, use an external dual-drive that copies data to both disks. This is called a mirrored RAID in geek speak. Shop around for the best price and beware of reconditioned drives as they normally do not carry a long warranty.
Email a copy of your files to yourself
One of the easiest ways to make sure you have a copy of that important paper is to email a copy of the file to yourself. Just be careful to keep track of which version is the latest version– you don’t want to turn in an older draft as the final paper.
Tip: When you download a copy of the file from email to edit it, remember to “Save File to Desktop” rather than opening and editing it directly. If you don’t save the file to your desktop or to some other known location on your computer first, you might not be able to find it again. This one tip can save you hours of heartache
Recovering lost files
Inevitably, your computer hardware will be lost, stolen, or will suffer some catastrophic failure (otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered writing about backing your files up). When this happens, it is time to recover your data. The amount of time and pain this will cause is directly related to how much attention you paid to backing up your files and having a plan.
From your backup service
If you have a backup service, you can usually sign into their service web site and browse and retrieve your missing files. Backup services will often keep multiple versions of your files too, so if your file was overwritten or corrupted somehow, you can look at the document history and try earlier copies of the file.
From temp files on your computer
Sometimes when an original file cannot be found, there will be pieces of, or older versions, of the file still on your computer. You can look for temporary files that have similar names to the original. In Microsoft Word, these files will sometimes have a tilde (~) in front of the file (this changes from version to version, you can do an Internet search to find more strategies for recovering a file from temporary files.)
From a paper copy
If you don’t have a backup but you happen to have a paper copy of a draft, you can save some work. Short of typing your paper back into the computer manually, you can scan the draft using a copier on campus and then use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to translate the picture of text (the scanned copy) into text that can be edited in a word processor. Here are the steps:
- Go to the closest public copier (library has one and so does Media Services in the lower level of the library) and scan-to-email your paper draft. If you need help with this, ask the nearest librarian or come the IT Help Desk located near the Media Services copier. You can scan using the “text/line art” settings, no need for color here.
- Retrieve the file from your email. You now need to “OCR” the scan. You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro — this is installed on the computer lab computers– using the “Recognize Text” option or you can upload and convert the document into Google docs. In the upload options, specify “Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents” option.
- Once the conversion is complete, you can copy and paste the text into your preferred word processor.
With the help of the IT Help Desk!
If you are unsure how to proceed, we will do our best to assist you. Please stop by the IT Help Desk “garage door” in the lower level of the library during business hours.
Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Learning how to discover, develop, and share ideas and then doing it is what higher education is all about. When we work within the context of Malone’s Mission Statement, that means that we could be changing the lives of the people who surround us. Presenting concepts and ideas in a clear and coherent way is how we “close the loop” in our personal, academic, and professional endeavors.
We hope that what you see below will help you in your quest for delivering content clearly and effectively.
Improving “the look” of Presentations
Malone University Presentation Templates
Especially if you are representing Malone at a conference or to an outside group, you may want to use a ‘Malonified’ PowerPoint or Keynote template. You can download these from the Information Technologies tab of Malone Xpress.
Poster Presentations: Wide-format printing and tools for authoring
There are a thousand different methods for putting together a poster presentation. The Information Technologies and Media Services Help Desk can assist you in the creation of items for your board. You might also choose to create your presentation using a layout program like Adobe InDesign available in several of the computer labs and can be installed on other Malone-owned computers.
When you have completed your file, you will need to PRINT IT. You can print up to 11″x17″ full color prints on campus. We have partnered with a local company called Repros to do larger. Visit FAQ183 to get pricing information and contact information. They can print 24″x36″ or even 36″x48″ posters in less than 24hours turn around time.
Alternatives to PowerPoint
That data projector can show things other than PowerPoint. There is a variety of presentation software out there. Some of them are web-based and others are installable programs. If you are in a classroom that has a SMARTBoard, you may want to checkout SMART Notebook.
The Worst PowerPoints Ever
The projector manufacturer InFocus had a contest to find the “Worst PowerPoints” ever. Check out the winners here. My favorite is the winner for worst powerpoint slide. I am happy to say that it was created by an IT department!
Improving the Delivery of Presentations
Use of Kensington Wireless remote
One of the worst things about using PowerPoint is being tethered to the computer in the room when it is time to advance your slide. You can overcome this through the use of a wireless presentation remote.
We like the models from Kensington. They are inexpensive and ultra-reliable. They also stow easily in your satchel, pocket, or purse. We sell these (at cost) through the IT Help Desk or you can purchase them online or at stores. One of the great features is that they are omnidirectional. This means that you can put the remote in your pocket and click to advance your slides without having to take it out or point it at the computer. Don’t forget to grab your receiver when you leave the room!
We and others have written about backchannel communication before. There are tools that can be used to pull these conversations into the foreground. My new favorite tool for live tweeting during an event is Twitterfall. You can give your audience a #hashtag and set up twitterfall to monitor any posts that use that tag. You might also use the freeform text poll in a service like PollEverywhere.com. Read more about that in the next section.
For more information on using Twitter in the face-to-face and online classrooms, take a look at Dunlap and Lowenthal’s article in the Journal of Information Systems Education titled: Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. This is a link to the journal through EBSCO, if you are off campus, you will need your library barcode off your id to access it. Many thanks to my classmate Adonis Baptista for sharing this with me.
Poll the Audience
Using technology to poll the audience is another popular trend in the classroom. You can use hardware solutions like TurningPoint. There is a 25 user TurningPoint kit available for checkout from the IT Help Desk. You might also use a web service like PollEverywhere.com. You can sign up for a free account for educators to use the service or pay a yearly subscription to gain access to additional features.
It is important to think about the concept of Cognitive Loading when preparing to give a presentation. You should also consider your delivery method when constructing your content. A presentation given as a recording, say on eCollege, should look very different than a presentation given in a live setting. Cognitive loading involves using the two available input channels to the mind, audio and visual, to their maximum capacities.
Live Presentations should have a certain amount of repetition and redundancy built in to assure that your audience receives your message whereas…
Recorded Presentations should have ALL extraneous information and repetition removed. Remember that a recording can be rewound and played again. You might even encourage your audience to rewind (read: give them permission) when they are not sure they understood info given the first time.
For more information on preparing recorded presentations you can check out resources like Mayer’s Multimedia Learning or one of his newer titles that is available from the Malone Stacks. Here are the seven highlights covered in the text:
- Multimedia Principle: Students learn better from words and pictures than from words or pictures alone. Make use of both channels, visual and verbal.
- Spatial Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
- Temporal Continuity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
- Coherence Principle: Students learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
- Modality Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.
- Redundancy Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text. Eliminate redundant material.
- Individual Differences Principle: Design effects are stronger for low-knowledge learners than for high-knowledge learners and for high-spatial learners than for low-spatial learners.
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Beginning after hours on Tuesday February 7, all faculty, staff, and students must have four question and answer pairs set up in the Malone password management system. If you have not already done so, you will need to set up your four question and answer pairs in our password management system before you will be able to sign in to any online services including:
- Malone Xpress
- Online Learning
Many of you have already done this back in the fall. This change will not impact you if your question and answers are already set up.
Proceed to https://userid.malone.edu/manage to check or set up your question and answer pairs.
We encourage anyone who is not sure that they have already set up their question and answer pairs to go to the web site above and do this prior to the cut off date. This is especially important for those of you who teach in the classroom and online. Make sure you aren’t caught having to set these up at the beginning of a class you are teaching.
How do I know this isn’t a phishing email and you aren’t just trying to get my password?
It is a good question to ask before clicking a link sent to you in email. There are several ways to check whether a link in an email is legitimate. In this case, you can 1) float your mouse over the link and make sure that the address that appears matches the address listed. Pay special attention to the part of the link immediately preceding the .com or .edu part of the address, for example: google.com is good but google.xyz.com is not good. You could also copy and paste the address into your web browser or manually type it in, making sure that you are visiting the place you want to visit.