is the foe of heresy." ~Ernest
Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls
On the show:
Blackboard will be down a couple of times over
winter break; we adopt a new blog/podcast
format; Office 2010 beta is available; NORAD
tracks Santa; Dickens' Christmas Carol MS is
online; lots of news from Google; print
publishers unite to dictate web formats; and a
online tech book on Twitter, proving there is
nothing so simple that it cannot merit a how-to
book. David will update us with what to
expect from Blackboard now and next year.
Haydn discusses ending the semester well.
I will discuss the Windows Key in windows 7.
Technology News Briefs
Important notice to Blackboard users.
Blackboard will be down from
December 27, 2009 at approximately 5pm until
December 30, at approximately 9am to accommodate power upgrades on
the San Marcos campus. Blackboard will also be
down from 6am January 4, 2010 until early on January
7, 2010, so that we can perform a full system backup
and apply security and other software patches.
We have also begun three new blogs and will be
moving our podcast contents to them. Just
paste the subscription address into your newsreader
(and if you don't have one we recommend
Google Reader) to subscribe to the regular
posts. Each blog will include a monthly
podcast feature, and at the end of each month the
features will be rolled up into what will be a
monthly Academic Technology Podcast feed. The
program notes and newsletter page will be the same,
and will remain on this site. If you
have been a follower of our program notes, or of the
features we have offered over the last several
years, you will find them moved to these blogs,
which will be posted to frequently. If you
subscribe simply to the overall podcast, nothing
The blogs are:
The Office 2010 beta is now available for public
Anyone can download and install the new Office
during its testing phase. Please note that
this is not recommended for Palomar College
production computers. Microsoft has moved
forward with Office Live version of its core
applications, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and it is
now possible to save from the desktop client to a
Microsoft SkyDrive in order to work collaboratively
with others. The big change is the extension
of the Fluent User Interface, including the ribbon,
to Outlook. Click here to view a quick
overview video, or play the embedded video below.
Product specific videos are available from the web
site linked above. Microsoft has confirmed a
June 2010 release date for the finished product.
the topic of Christmas, the
Morgan Library and Museum are currently
exhibiting the full Dickens 1843 holograph online.
Click here for the NY Times story of the
here to examine the manuscript online.
News from Google:
Google unveils a news by topic service.
Called the "Living
Stories Project," Google labs is demonstrating
its friendliness (really) tp big publishers, like
the New York Times and Washington Post. The
idea is to group stories by topic, as newspapers
have done for some time now on their web sites, but
in a way that might actually get them read.
Google Chrome is now available, in beta, for the
Click here for more information,
here to download.
Google has dramatically lowered the cost of
extended storage. While Google has always been
a leader in giving away massive amounts of storage
free with thier applications, like GMail or Picasa,
they have now made it possible for storage hungry
clients to purchase additional storage for nominal
amounts. 20GB will cost only $5 per year.
Click here for more information,
here to purchase storage.
Google has unveiled technology that adds
automatic captions to many YouTube videos.
Useful, indeed for the hearing impaired, but more
importantly, perhaps, extending the reach of
YouTube, for better or worse, to 51 languages via
use of the Google translation system.
Click here to view the announcement video.
Jing has been updated include some under the
hood improvements, but more importantly, an output
to Twitter button.
Click here for the video announcement and, if
you do not have it, get Jing itself.
Five major publishers, Time Inc., Conde Nast,
the Hearst Corp., Meredith, and News Corp., have
announced plans to build an "industry-standard
platform to present their work on the Web, phones
and ereaders in a richer, more flexible and more
lucrative form than is possible today" (NY Times),
emphasis on lucrative, no doubt. Time
has released a
YouTube video that gives the idea.
Publishers have apparently concluded that to go on
making money with their publications--if the term
publication continues to have meaning--they must add
value because customers have come to expect their
offerings heretofore for free. They have been,
as it were, the architects of their own demise as
far as their print publications are concerned.
Featured Safari Tech Book Online:
Sams Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes, by
Tee Morris. "By working through the 10-minute
lessons, you learn everything you need to know to
quickly and easily use twitter. Step-by-step
instructions walk you through the most common
questions, issues, and tasks... "Did You Know?" tips
offer insider advice and shortcuts... "Watch Out!"
alerts help you avoid problems." Palomar maintains a subscription to
Tech Books Online, and the books can be accessed
from any computer on the campus network without as
login, or with your Palomar login and password from
anywhere in the world.
Academic Technology Workshops
Academic Technology training schedule for spring
2010 has been published.
Click here to access the description of
here to access the schedule. We have also
summer 2010 tech camp, four full days of tech
learning and fun. Sign-up for workshops or the
summer tech camp with the PD office. Tech camp
seats will fill soon, so sign-up early.
things are going “out” on Blackboard soon. Here is the
information on what and when things will be happening:
Fall 2008 course removal – December
21st, 2009. All the courses from a year
ago Fall will be gone on Monday,
Blackboard off for power outage –
December 27th – December 30th, 2009.
There is a planned power outage on the
Palomar main campus, so the Blackboard
system will be turned off after ? PM on
Sunday, December 27th, and will remain
off until ? PM on Wednesday, December
Blackboard off for maintenance –
January 4th – January 7th, 2010.
Blackboard will go offline at 6 AM on
Monday, January 4th for system
maintenance and application of fixes to
the Blackboard system. Although we will
get the system back up again as soon as
possible, it may remain down until 7 AM
on Thursday, January 7th.
A couple other noteworthy changes are going to take
effect soon, too:
eServices password policy –
Passwords in eServices are going to have
a stronger password policy applied to
them. This means that students will
likely have to select longer and more
complex passwords, change their
passwords on a periodic basis, and use
those new passwords when logging into
the Blackboard system. That also means
for faculty that the eServices password
will change the password of their
faux-student account in Blackboard,
although changing their eServices
password will not update their
instructor account in Blackboard. More
details on the new password policy may
be found online at ?.
Blackboard version 9 is coming!
Starting with the Fall 2010 courses,
Palomar will begin using version 9 of
Blackboard, which will be a
significantly changed interface than
what we’ve been used to previously. (I
liken the difference to the change
between MS Office 2003 and 2007,
really.) Between the new interface and
the new tools that are becoming
available, we really recommend that all
faculty currently using Blackboard try
to attend one of the “New to Nine:
Coming Changes to Blackboard” workshops
we will be offering in April. Things
will be very different, folks, so don’t
say we didn’t warn you!
the index of Dave's previous
"Blackboard Feature of the Week"
Teaching with Technology - Dr.
Ending the Semester Well
In this podcast episode I want to
provide two tips related to ending the semester well.
The first was the use of an anonymous survey to solicit
candid student reflections about a class that was
concluding. While we all have formal instructor
evaluations conducted on a regular schedule - typically
every couple of years or so - some instructors like to
construct their own questions and survey their students
on a more frequent basis. While there are different ways
to deliver these student surveys, the Blackboard system
has a particularly appropriate device – the Survey tool.
Blackboard surveys are anonymous in that, while the
instructor can see who has responded to the survey,
he/she cannot see who has said what. In other words,
survey responses are listed but are separated from the
individual who made them so that the instructor can see
all the comments but not who made them.
Professor KalynaLesyna used the Blackboard
Survey tool, chose Essay for question type and
constructed the following survey (the questions asking
about what students liked are listed here; similar
questions about what they didn’t like were also on her
What did you
about this class? Think about the following types
of issues when you write your answer:
how the class was set up, whether it was
well organized and easy to navigate
the assigned videos and readings
whether you felt the instructor gave you
enough guidance and reminders about
upcoming assignments with announcements
whether you thought the instructor
answered your emails promptly
the study guides for the tests and
the tests and quizzes you took
the writing assignments
the Quotes of the Day
documents (did you like the separate
ones, or would you prefer one really
and class calendar
whether you thought the class was too
easy or too hard (should take about 9
hours of work per week)
else you want to comment on
offered a few extra credit points to students who
completed the survey but did not require any particular
length of response. Even though the number of extra
credit points was really inconsequential that offer may
have provided the extra bit of motivation for some to do
the survey. In any case, the results were pretty
dramatic. First of all, Kalyna
discovered to her surprise, that students wrote far more
here than they write during the in-class evaluation that
is given by the institution. Second, and particularly
encouraging, was the return rate. Anyone who has done
survey research knows that return rates tend to be very
low – in fact our online class evaluation returns,
conducted by the TERB Office, are in the 10%-20% range.
Kalyna’s return rate was
55%. Finally, other research findings suggest that
whether or not students complete a
evaluation survey, they appreciate the fact that the
instructor is interested in their opinions.
The second tip is actually a report
about the components of a well-designed online class.
This semester the Senate Academic Technology Committee
researched other institutions’ documents that defined a
“good” online class. Relying mostly on those documents
as well as our own ideas and modifications, the
committee developed a checklist for things an
accomplished online class should have. Next semester
this checklist will be pilot-tested to see how useful it
is in assisting instructors to evaluate their own online
the index of Haydn's previous
"Teaching with Technology" segments.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry Gray
The Windows Key in Windows 7
Windows 7 has a lot of great new features.
One of my favorites is the new Aero snap, a simple
way to snap two open windows to the edges of the
display so that each is tiled 50-50 across the
screen, making it easy to drag and drop between
them. This could be achieved in previous
versions of Windows, of course, but how to go about
doing it was one of the mysteries of the universe.
In fact, there are a host of new shortcuts (some
existed in previous versions of Windows) that can be
accessed by holding down the Windows key (that key
between Ctrl and Alt at the lower left of your
keyboard with the little Windows flag on it and
(maybe) the word "start" on it--some keyboards will
have another Windows key between Alt and Ctrl to the
right of the space bar too) and pressing some other
key or key combination. Here are the most
useful. I will represent the Windows key below
by the word Win, and a plus sign after it indicates
to hold down the Win key and press another key, or
keys. When I refer to the "active window," or
"currently active window" below, I mean the window
that has the focus on the screen. Only one
window can have the focus at any one time.
Where I mention a letter key, it can be either upper
or lower case.
Win + Up
currently active window
Win + Down
currently active window is maximized, resize
it to its former dimensions; if it is not
maximized, minimize it to the task bar.
Win + Left
currently active window to the left edge of
the screen and give it half the available
Win + Right
currently active window to the right edge of
the screen and give it half the available
Win + Shift +
Left or Right arrow
This one only
applies if you have dual monitors. It
moves the windows to the other monitor.
become transparent so that the desktop is
visible (for those of you who follow the
despicable habit of placing files and
folders on your desktop). This
activity is called "Aero peek." When
you release the Win key the windows will
Win + Home
but the currently active window to the task
bar. Win + Home again restores windows
as they were.
Win + (+ or
the Windows Magnifier and zooms either in
(+) or out (-).To do this multiple times
(zoom to 400%, for example), release and
repress the Win key between keystroke
actions. To exit the Magnifier, click
on it's icon, if the Magnifier window is not
Win + D
windows and show the desktop. Win + D
again toggles them all back to where they
Win + E
Windows Explorer with My Computer showing.
Win + F
Open the Find
Win + L
display. You will have to enter your
password to work with the computer again.
This one is great if you intend to step away
from your computer for a while.
Win + N
OneNote side note, assuming you have
Microsoft OneNote installed.
Win + P
presentation options--this one is made for
those using a projector--to computer only;
duplicate; extend; or projector only.
Win + R
Win + U
Open the Ease
of Use center.
Win + Pause
Win + F1
Windows Help & Support center.
windows key alone opens the Start menu.
Watch the following screencasts for a demo of
these various features:
an index of previous "Tech Talk
music for today's show was provided by
and is used through their Creative
Commons license for podcasts. Today's featured album was "Seasons"
Eternal Jazz Project.
"It's an eternal process: composing,
playing, putting different people
together, and then recording or playing
live. That's why we call the band the
'Eternal Jazz Project.'"
women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought
half as good. Luckily this is not difficult." ~Charlotte