|Difficulty reading this?
and Download News Briefs
Blackboard Feature of the Week:
"Please Hold On to the Bar"
- Teaching with Technology:
Topic: "What's New for Spring 2007"
- For more, visit our
podcast notes page
for Episode 46.
Technology and Download News Briefs
are extremely pleased to announce the birth of Chloe
Rei Phillips to Shay and Irene Phillips on December
23, 2006. Shay is our valued Academic
Technology Blackboard and systems technician, Irene,
at one time, worked in our Academic Technology labs.
They have now had a blessed event. Chloe is
healthy and all are doing well.
Our Blackboard system has been updated with the
latest fixes. The fixes addressed a problem we
had seen related to using the Blackboard visual text
box editor on Mac OS X using Safari 2. It is
now possible to use the visual text box editor on
The power shutdown to the north end of campus that
we were expecting January 13 has been canceled until
further notice, according to the Facilities Office.
is making a call for entries in its 2nd annual
student film and video festival. "California
Community College faculty and students are
encouraged to submit their best student
work to compete for top prizes in the 2nd Annual
Student Film and Video Festival. CCCSAT will
recognize and reward students for achievements in
video, film, broadcasting and animation. Entries
must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2007
and submitted to CCCSAT with the official entry
Click here for entry rules, prizes and further
information, or email
Chris Brown with questions.
As many people know, our PCTV
department has a world-class studio, and they are
happy to produce faculty videos for those who want
to advertise their classes, explain concepts in a
brief video, even record an entire lecture series.
Now Bill Wisneski, PCTV Producer, has created a very
helpful video on what you need to do before showing
up to tape your session. To play it, click the
link below (Windows media player required):
"At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las
Vegas this week, Microsoft previewed its
long-awaited Windows Home Server (WHS) product, a
Windows Server 2003 R2-based server for consumers
that dispenses with the complexities of most Windows
Server versions and provides the core storage,
sharing, and remote access functionality that
digital media and home networking enthusiasts
for Windows). Are you ready to become a
home server manager? According to Microsoft,
it's "simple enough even for Mom." Home
network tasks like backup, sharing photos music, and
video. The product should begin shipping
commercially at the end of 2007.
Click here to watch the Bill Gates keynote,
announcements and demos (Windows
media player requires) from the Las Vegas
Consumer Electronics Show.
Click here for the Microsoft at CES blog.
Meanwhile, at MacWorld in San Francisco, Steve Jobs
announced two exciting new Apple products: the
Click here to watch the Steve Jobs keynote,
announcement and demos (QuickTime
iPhone comes in two configurations, a 4 GB model
that will retail for $499, and an 8 GB model for
$599. AppleTV (a device to stream downloaded
videos to your televisions) will retail for $299.
Lost in the hoopla over those impressive
announcements was a new
AirPort Extreme capable of 802.11n speeds.
Jpbs also announced that the iTunes store has
surpassed sales of over 2 billion songs, 50 million
TV shows, and 1.3 million feature length movies.
Finally, it was also announced that Apple Computer
Inc. is changing its name to simply Apple, Inc. to
reflect the more generic consumer electronics nature
of their business.
- From the
Pew Internet and American Life Project, a new
report reveals that "More than half (55%) of all
online American youths ages 12-17 use online social
networking sites, according to a new national survey
of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet &
American Life Project.
"The survey also finds that older teens,
particularly girls, are more likely to use these
sites. For girls, social networking sites are
primarily places to reinforce pre-existing
friendships; for boys, the networks also provide
opportunities for flirting and making new friends."
Click here for a PDF version of the report [10
Security updates of note this week from Microsoft
included a VML (Vector Markup Language) vulnerability for IE7
Click here for details and download
A new podcast directory called "PodcastBlaster"
is now available. Alpha browsing, category
browsing and search all work well.
Flexible electronic paper (you know, like in the
Philip K. Dick short story
Minority Report where bullet train passengers'
newspapers change contents before their eyes
revealing Tom Cruise--who is on the bullet train--as
the fugitive) will be mass produced by 2008.
"UK-based Plastic Logic has just secured $100
million in financing to build the world's first
large-scale factory for the production of flexible
electronic paper parts...Frontplanes have always
been quite flexible, but Plastic Logic's key
innovation was making the backplanes flex like a
plastic binder cover. The backplane is an
active-matrix, thin film transistor (TFT) display,
and Plastic Logic has developed a production method
that allows it to "print" the displays by depositing
them from a solution" (ars
technica). With the look and feel issue
resolved, it is only a matter of time and reduced
prices until the dead tree versions of paper
If you will recall, in
42 we announced an
opportunity to vote in an online poll for the
Merriam-Webster word of 2006. The results
are in, and the word is the Stephen Colbert
1. truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes
from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy
Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)
2 : "the quality of preferring
concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than
concepts or facts known to be true."
click fraud on the part of Colbert fans.
The more erudite (?)
American Dialect Society selected "plutoed"
as the word of the year, meaning "to demote or
devalue something or someone, as happened to the
former planet Pluto when the International
Astronomical Union decided the ninth planet no
longer met its definition of a planet."
Click here for the full press release from the
The Blackboard Feature of the Week - David Gray
Please Hold On to the Bar
This week has been, metaphorically, filled
with the “click-click” of the chain lift on the first hill
of a roller coaster. (Actually that sound is due to the
Anti-rollback device, according to Wikipedia.) Everyone’s
about to plunge into the twists and turns of Spring 2007,
but first let’s take a moment and be sure all things
Blackboard are ready.
Old Blackboard Courses:
- Remain available to instructors for
one year after the semester ends.
- Cannot be accessed by students two
weeks after the class ends.
- Should be Archived, just in case
something “unusual” happens. (Instructions for archiving
your course may be found
- May be removed from your “My Courses”
list in Blackboard if you wish. (Instructions for
removing courses from that list may be found
New Blackboard Courses:
- Must be made available before
students may access them. (Instructions for making a
course available may be found
- May need materials copied in from
prior semester courses. (Instructions for copying course
contents may be found
- And, looking into the distant future,
Summer 2007 courses will be available for faculty use in
Blackboard in mid-March.
Some tips to consider at semester start:
- Post an announcement of welcome and
general information in your course.
- Email all your students, with the
text of your announcement, as well as instructions on
how to log in to Blackboard.
- If you are teaching an online class
with an orientation, mention where and when the
orientation will be taking place.
- If you are teaching an on-campus
class, mention where and when the first class is taking
place, too. (Some people forget to check the schedule,
so… why not?)
If you have any problems using Blackboard,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 744-1150 x2862.
Otherwise, welcome to Spring 2007 and enjoy the ride!
Note: To get to David's vodcast site,
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry Gray
What's New for Spring 2007
Within the Blackboard environment we have four new
tools this semester which should have broad appeal.
We are pleased to announce that Palomar has
purchased an annual subscription to the TurnItIn
anti-plagiarism service. Use it by creating a
TurnItIn assignment within your Blackboard courses.
We have created a brief screen video describing how
to do this:
Horizon Wimba Voice Tools have been added to Blackboard:
the voice presentation tool and the "Wimba Podcaster."
presentation tool makes it possible for instructors to
display URLs while simultaneously, audibly narrating them.
They are ideal for conducting web tours or explaining web
page contents to students and can be configured to allow
audible/textual student replies. Replies can also be
public or private.
Podcaster is the easiest way to create a podcast aimed at
your Blackboard course students. Record and save your
audio right within Blackboard. Each podcast contains
auto-generated RSS subscription buttons for 1-click
subscription via iTunes or subscription in any RSS reader.
Now, if your students subscribe (and subscription couldn't
be simpler) they will receive all your audio podcasts via
iTunes (or their podcatcher of choice) without having to
login to Blackboard. Wimba podcasts are limited to 20
new tools join the four tools implemented last semester
(voice recorder, voice email, voice board, and voice direct)
to provide Palomar faculty members with the ability to
create new and engaging learning content over the web.
Click here for
a description of these two new voice tools from Horizon
detailed instructions on creating a podcast using the
Click here for
a flash demo of the Wimba Podcaster (flash player
a flash demo of all the voice tools,
complete Horizon Wimba user's guide for Live Classroom
and the voice tools can be found
Also from Horizon Wimba, Pronto is a stand-alone, course
specific instant messaging client. Each student can
download and install (PC or Mac) the Pronto instant
messaging client. When they login to Pronto they will
see all the other members of their class who have installed
the client, including the instructor. Students can
study together this way. Instructors can hold online
office hours, or make themselves available for student
questions. Group assignments, or just plain social
networking can also be accomplished as with any instant
messaging tool. Pronto has voice-over-IP support, so
conversations can be audible or textual. Once the
Pronto client has been installed, the user does not have to
be logged into Blackboard to use it. User contact
lists are automatically populated by all other members of
the user's classes who have installed the Pronto client.
addition to these four new tools, we continue to support the
innovations introduced last semester, including
checkout of RF personal polling devices (clickers),
CPS RF polling software downloads,
checkout of digital voice recorders,
Respondus and StudyMate software,
PCPDF, our web-based PDF conversion service,
our own podcast solution, the
of new features in Blackboard, the
faculty technology center, and many other items.
Send us your comments