The start of fall semester 2011 is quickly approaching and myself and the Technical Interns at Center for Teaching & Technology are working hard to make sure all of the technology classrooms are in working order and all of our equipment is charged up. Over the summer, work was done in rooms 128 and 130 Erickson Hall to improve the rooms. 128 Erickson Hall had minor changes completed including removing the out-of-date mini-dv decks on the computer tables and the unused shelving on the underside of the desks. The room also had an instructor station installed with an Elmo document camera. Finally, an HD Polycom video conferencing system was installed for distance learning opportunities. Room 128 Erickson still has the same number of iMac workstations and movable tables for different classroom configurations. In addition, it also has an Echo360 lecture capture (recording) system. Please email Terri to schedule your course to be recorded or a one time event.
Room 130 Erickson Hall has been completely remodeled. You can see the new look by looking at the photo slideshow below. There are now 8 iMac stations around the rooms, the SMART Board has been moved to the back wall, an HD Polycom video conferencing system has been installed, as well as an Echo360 lecture capture system. For those that were familiar with the large number of iMacs in the old configuration, we have added a MacBook Pro cart that can be checked out through the Technical Interns. It has 10 MacBook Pros and 10 iPad2 tablets. Lastly, the room will also be getting new whiteboards in early fall semester that will cover three walls and include moveable magnetic marker holders and magnets for pinning up documents, posters, or other student work.
Other notable changes in Erickson Hall include a new projector in room 113 (the old one stopped working over the summer), new videos posted by the Technical Interns about how to use the touchscreen interface in the technology classrooms, and software upgrades to Vidyo and Echo360. The how-to video for the technology classrooms can be found on YouTube or can be watched on mobile phones by scanning the QR code with a barcode app on the touchscreen interface in the classrooms. The technical interns also created how-to videos for SMART Boards and M-Audio Digital Audio recorders.
Chances are many of you have any one of the devices mentioned in the title of this blog post with you all the time, somewhere at home, or are considering purchasing one of them. Apple is dominant in that market, but phones built on the Android platform (and soon more tablets) are popping up in the hands of consumers. Productivity apps on both platforms make tasks like file sharing, group texting, to-do lists, document editing and collaboration, voice-to-text recording, and project management seamless and convenient. Many of the apps are linked to cloud based applications enabling users to access their folders, files, and to-do lists on their mobile device or any computer connected to the Internet. In this hour-long session, apps like Evernote, Dragon Dictation, DropBox, GroupMe, and Wunderlist will be demonstrated. In addition, I’ll touch on some PC/Mac applications that also help with productivity.
MSU Virtual University Design and Technology (VuDAT) invites you to attend the next session in our ongoing Breakfast Series: Conversations on Online Pedagogy and Best Practices
DATE: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
PLACE: MSU Main Library, North Conference Room, 4th floor, west wing
TIME: 8:45am – 10:00am (8:30am for refreshments)
TOPIC: Moodle 2.0 Preview
PRESENTER: Tory Sawyer and Ryan Yang
Join VuDAT in a limited preview of Moodle 2.0 and its features. Moodle is an open source course management system which is used to create learning communities or courseware. Moodle is being considered as an open-source alternative to ANGEL. The presentation will compare ANGEL and Moodle features and provide a brief overview of adding resources and activities to a Moodle course. A quick look at file management, the gradebook, quizzes and repositories will be included. Please join us if you are interested in exploring the possibility of Moodle.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, the College of Education ran a pilot program using the Echo360 lecture capture appliance in rooms 133D, 133E and 113 Erickson Hall with faculty members from CEPSE and Teacher Education. The Echo360 lecture capture system in 113 Erickson Hall was used my Professor Mike Steele for his TE802 and TE804 courses in math education. In addition teaching the students enrolled in the East Lansing sections, Professor Steele was also synchronously instructing students participating in the 5th-year internship program in Chicago Public Schools. A full rich-media output of the lectures, including the Adobe Connect Pro communication with the Chicago students, was made available to all students within 24 hours of the class meeting. An RSS feed of the lectures was also made available to students so they could subscribe once to the lectures and have the feed reader of their choice bring the new lectures to their computer.
In room 133D, Professor Harold Johnson was using the lecture captures for CEP432 and CEP431 and as part of his PILI project. (Pacific Island Learning Initiative in Deaf Education) Similar to the Teacher Education courses, the rich-media output was used to capture the camera in the classroom and the computer output. However, instead of the camera being on Professor Johnson, sign language interpreters from the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) were recorded for students taking the course from a distance that are hearing impaired. This made the lectures available to all students enrolled in the courses.
Rooms 133E and 128 are also available for the coming academic year starting in September 2010 for classroom capture as well as the 133F technology conference room for guest lectures, colloquium, meetings, and other special events. In addition to the rich-media output shown in the examples above, the Echo360 lecture capture system offers an enhanced podcast with chapter markers for iPods and iPhones, a vodcast (slides/audio in a browser), and an audio-only MP3 output. The vodcast is also available for download to be played locally on a computer offline.
The Center has one iPad that the Technical Interns in Education have been busy exploring in the past few weeks for the best free Apps and even some paid Apps for education. This project will continue throughout the summer with the goal of having a Brown Bag presentation before fall semester or early into fall semester. While we’d love to have more iPads for College of Education faculty to check out and begin their own exploration, the iPad is in high demand across globe and they are currently on back-order along with the various accessories for the iPad. Hopefully by the time fall semester starts, we’ll have a couple more floating around for checkout.
In the meantime, we’ve put together some resource links for the iPad including app reviews, app recommendations, and reviews of the iPad. Also, TIES Andrea and Molly have created a video review of how to use the iPad and some of the apps, including the iBook reader. Lastly, Mashable.com has an article on Steve Job’s address at the D8 conference in Los Angeles this week addressing the phenomenal growth in the sales of iPad and if tablets (like the iPad) will someday replace the PC. In it, Jobs is quoted saying, “When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this is going to make some people uneasy.”
Thanks to Jessica Knott (@jlknott on Twitter) at Virtual University Design and Technology (vuDAT) for blogging about this resource from TechSmith that has great tips for recording audio for screencasting. If you want to try it out, come see the TIES in 133 Erickson Hall or shoot me an email. (email@example.com)
A very popular item for checkout at the Center are the many different models of the Flip camera by Pure Digital. Currently, we have the Flip Mino, Flip Mino HD, Flip Ultra, Flip (original) and Flip Ultra HD. By have, I mean that at any given point, one of these models will be in the back inventory room. However, because they are so popular, we currently have a one week limit on checkout time. So, what is the big deal about the Flip cameras? They are incredibly easy to use. Essentially, these are the steps to using it:
Turn it on
Press the red record button to start recording
Press the red record button to stop recording
Zooming in and out is limited to a digital zoom, which can make your image fuzzy, but for the most part, the video quality with these cameras is outstanding. Audio is decent as well. Getting videos off of the camera is also simple and the source of the name Flip camera. On the side of every camera is a button that you depress and out flips a USB connection. Plug it into your PC or Mac and it’ll ask you to install software called FlipShare that comes with the camera to transfer videos and edit them. Transfer the videos to your computer and you are done. If they need to be produced for the internet, the software has built in options for YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or Other websites which will give you a file to post to a private server like MSU’s Storemedia.
FlipShare Software Sharing
Back in January, I attended the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas and was fortunate enough to meet Shawn Miller from Duke University who made several presentations on the Duke Digital Initiative projects, which include a loaner system for Flip cameras. Shawn was kind enough to share some tutorials with me that he created for the faculty and students at Duke University on how to use the FlipShare software. His blog post with all of the tutorials can be found at the CIT Blog. I’ve embeded a few below.
On November 19, 2009, Michigan State University launched Google Apps for Education Edition which includes Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Sites. Gmail will not be supported through the MSU Education agreement with Google. Google Docs includes: Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Forms.
Google Apps will be available to students, faculty, and staff at MSU by way of logging in with their MSU Net ID and password authentication. There are two guidelines posted at http://lct.msu.edu to help clarify appropriate usage for Google Apps and other cloud computing resources:
In recent weeks, MSU renewed their contract with Adobe Inc. to continue the web conferencing service Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. (formerly Breeze Meeting) This online meeting technology offers the ability to hold meetings or share courses across the world. Adobe Connect features include: up to 16 web cams visible in a single connection, voice conferencing using Voice Over I.P. (VOIP), a whiteboard, sharing computer desktops, presenting a PowerPoint, break out rooms, sharing a link to a web site, chat and recording for future playback for those that cannot attend. Adobe Connect works with both Mac and PC operating systems.
Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro is different from Adobe Presenter. Presenter is a plug-in for PowerPoint that helps one create an audio narrated PowerPoint presentation which can be embedded into a course site in the ANGEL Course Management System. Unlike Adobe Connect, Presenter is for PC users only for content creation. Both Mac and PC end users may view the content though.
MSU has a limited number of licenses for both Connect and Presenter, so access is granted on a request basis. If you have a need for the Presenter Plug-in, email Distance Learning Services: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 517-355-2345. To request access to Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, email Virtual University Design and Technology: email@example.com Please allow for 24 – 48 hours of response time from either email address.