Over the last ten to fifteen years, ITS has implemented classroom technology in nearly 100 classroom spaces on the Augustana Campus. However, over time – and as product lines changed – classroom capabilities varied significantly across campus. In the past two years, ITS has standardized on one system – Extron – for classroom equipment. Our goal – make classrooms as easy to use as possible while giving you the flexibility to plug in newer tablets and laptops. So far, we’ve refreshed Old Main, Olin, Hanson Science, and most of Sorensen – so we’re close to halfway done! Our goal is to establish the Extron standards across all 100 classrooms while at the same time switching to newer projection that eliminates toxic mercury lamps, or to larger LCD displays in smaller rooms. If you have questions about the new classroom standards, contact Shawn Beattie or Diane Heist in ITS.
In ITS we often get asked about tools for creating videos for flipped or blended classrooms. Here are our current favorite five tools:
1. Movenote (free – PC, Mac, iOS, Android) – very easy tool for annotating PPT, PDF, or images with audio/video. Very low learning curve, and it generates a link or MP4 output.
2. Screencast-o-matic (PC, Mac) – awesome tool for creating screencasts with or without webcam. Allows you to annotate recordings of any area of your screen for talking over PowerPoint or any software you’d like to demo. It generates a link or MP4 output. (sample)
3. Camtasia (PC, Mac) – the “swiss army knife” of screen capture and video editing. Allows inline quizzing as well. The feature set is extensive and may overwhelm some users, but it is powerful and a good option if you plan to do more than just a few videos or wish to do longer videos.
4. Jing (PC, Mac) – an oldie but a goodie. It is a free application that lets you quickly record video.
5. Explain Everything (iOS, Android, Win8) – for tablets, this is our pick. Whiteboard app with the ability to record audio and/or video from your tablet camera and manipulate slides and objects on-screen. Generates an MP4 to your Google Drive.
Microsoft has changed their agreement so that schools like Augustana with a Microsoft Campus agreement may offer Office 365 including Office Professional Plus (2013) or Office Professional 2011 (Mac) to current students.
To sign up, students may follow these steps:
1. Go to www.office.com/getOffice365 and click on the Find out if you’re eligible button.
2. Enter your Augustana email address.
3. Open your email and verify your address by clicking the link sent by Microsoft.
4. Choose an Office 365 password.
5. Click “Install Now” to download a setup application for Office Professional. (You can install on up to 5 PCs or Macs)
6. When prompted, choose that you are an Office 365 subscriber and enter your email address and Office 365 password.
That’s it! As long as you continue as an Augustana student or employee you will have access to this Office 365 benefit.
ITS now has a YouTube channel! Why, you ask? So we can share insightful how-to videos as well as videos about new IT resources here at Augustana. We hope you find them informative and useful. Our channel: http://www.youtube.com/ITSAugustana
Due to a security issue with Internet Explorer,users are being advised to use an alternate browser (Chrome,Firefox,Safari). These browsers should work with most campus services, and Google Chrome is the preferred broswer for using our Google Apps for Education services (mail, calendar, Sites, calendar). The issue with Internet Explorer can cause users to gain access to your private information. For more on the issue, see http://usat.ly/1mRATge
Now that most users at Augustana are using Windows 7, a great new feature available is Windows DVD Maker. You can find it under Start/All Programs, or use the Search feature. A great tutorial on how to use it was posted at SevenForums.com — I am embedding it in this post.
Google Drive was recently announced as a new feature and enhancement to Google Docs. It allows each Google user to store her files on Google’s servers and have a special folder synchronized so that when you place new files there, they will be moved to all other devices running Google Drive. Google Drive is not yet enabled for our Google Apps domain. It will be at some point soon. It can be enabled for your personal Google (gmail.com) account, if you have one.
If you have used Dropbox, Google Drive works in much the same way. You install a Mac or PC client, and a folder is created on your hard drive. Initially, it is loaded with all of the files in your Google Docs area that you own. On the PC it creates a system tray icon where you can log in/out or other functions. On the Mac, it appears as a drop-down menu up in your menu bar. Read more…
Users being upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 will receive, among many other upgrades and enhancements, a great built-in way to take screen shots. Since the early days of Windows, using the Print Screen button, located in the upper right corner of your keyboard, was a quick way to grab the entire contents of your screen into your system’s clipboard. You can still do that under Windows 7, but a new tool, the Snipping Tool, is also available. To find it, go to your Start button and then type “Snip” in the search area. The first tool that comes up should be the Snipping Tool. When you launch it, it allows you to create a new snip by dragging a box around any area of your screen. Then, you can either save it as a graphic file or copy it to your clipboard. Very handy!
Veteran Mac users will note that this capability has been built-in to the Mac OS for years. On the Mac, use Command-Shift-3 to take a whole-screen shot (which is dropped as a file on your desktop) or use Command-Shift-4 to snip out a region of your screen.
As many of you prepare to leave campus for the summer, this is as good a time as ever to consider backing up your files. Geographic diversity – keeping files in multiple physical places – is a very good idea for your most important files as protection against hard drive failures and natural disasters. One way to do this is to copy files to a USB drive and take it home (or, for your home files – keep a copy in a locked drawer at work). Our network drives (H, O, etc) are backed up to tape. But another way is to back up to “the cloud,” as many people refer to internet-based storage services like Google Docs and Windows Skydrive. Here’s how: Read more…