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Opportunities Next Week
- Blackboard Feature of the
"You've Got Mail!"
- Teaching with Technology:
"Get a Life (a Second Life!)"
Tech Talk Topic:
"Using Google Notebook"
- For more, visit our
podcast notes page
for Episode 61.
Technology & Download News Briefs
Blackboard reminders: The Fall 2007 Blackboard
course shells are now available for faculty use.
If you are teaching at another institution, you can
easily export your Palomar Blackboard course and
import it to another institution's Blackboard
implementation. However, remember that links
to videos on Palomar servers must not be used to
teach courses at other institutions. There are
two reasons for this: 1) correct application
of copyright laws; and 2) use of Palomar paid
bandwidth. Each institution must insure
correct observation of copyright laws and
proprietary use of bandwidth. If you are
looking for a multi-institutional approach to
streaming video, contact
CCCSAT. They manage a server on which
streaming content can be placed so that it will be
accessible from various institutions.
Microsoft is offering, in alpha release (and a
closed, private beta),
Popfly, a "...new
application creation, mashup enabling tool and
social networking software for nonprogrammers" (eWeek).
"There's an obvious desire or need for people to
want to create online applications, but it's too
difficult today. So our goal is to democratize
development," said Dan Fernandez, Microsoft's lead
project manager for Visual Studio Express, of the
Popfly project." Think of it as Microsoft's
campaign to win over the MySpace generation.
Popfly is written in Microsoft's new
Silverlight authoring system (Silverlight is
Microsoft's new challenge to Adobe's Flash), and is
meant to complete directly with Yahoo's
In other news from Microsoft, the
Windows Vista Beta 2, RC1 and RC2 are set to expire
on May 31. You know this, if you have been
paying attention, because you have been receiving
notifications since May 18 from your OS.
Click here for instructions on what to do.
Google has agreed to scan/digitize over 800,000
texts from the University of Mysore in India in
their effort to expand the scope of
Google Book Search. "Written in both
papers and palm leaves, there are around 100,000
manuscripts in our library, some dating back to the
eighth century," said the vice chancellor of Mysore.
"The effort is to restore and preserve this cultural
heritage for effective dissemination of knowledge" (ars
Google this week banned essay writing advertisements
from across all their services. They have
informed companies that purchase these ads that they
will no longer be accepted. "Google's
forthcoming ban on adverts for academic
paper-writing services and the sale of pre-written
essays, theses, and dissertations" means that essay
websites join a blacklist of 'unacceptable content"
including adverts for weapons, prostitution, drugs,
tobacco, fake documents and "miracle cures'" (BBC).
was revealed this week that Google is now purchasing
FeedBurner for $100,000 in cash. Small
potatoes for a Google purchase (they purchased
doubleclick.com in April for 3.3 billion in cash,
and YouTube last year for 1.65 billion) but very
significant for those who use FeedBurner to
distribute their blogs, podcasts and vodcasts.
The purchase is expected to be finalized within 3
News). The name Google is starting to
provoke the same sorts reactions that the name
Microsoft used to. For instance, in an
interview given by Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the
Financial Times, he said, "We are very early in
the total information we have within Google,"
Schmidt is quoted as saying. "We cannot even answer
the most basic questions because we don't know
enough about you. That is the most important aspect
of Google's expansion." Ominous, but in
a non-evil sort of way.
Remember when the U.S. wanted to bomb Vietnam into
the stone age? The U.S. now wants them to move
into the 21st century by signing an anti-piracy
agreement requiring all Vietnamese government
offices to use licensed computer software, curbing
rampant piracy in that country (The
Sydney Morning Herald). The software
piracy rate in Vietnam is about 90%, one of the
world's highest. Microsoft CE) Steve Ballmer
witnessed the signing. It is a sign of the
times that we are now fighting over intellectual
property, rather than hearts and minds.
walmartfacts.com Dell will be selling desktop
computers in all 3500 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores
in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico beginning June 10.
The computers will run under $700 and be exclusive
Safari Tech Book Online:
ActionScript 3.0 Programming: Overview, Getting
Started, and Examples of New Concepts
by Bill Sanders. "ActionScript 3.0
Programming: Overview, Getting Started, and Examples
of New Concepts is a 76-page document designed to
introduce those familiar with general programming
principles to ActionScript 3.0." Palomar maintains a
subscription to Tech Books Online, and the books can
be accessed from any computer on the campus network,
or from off the network with a password
obtainable from the library.
Listen to the news [mp3 - 10:05]
- Academic Technology Training
- We have completed our training schedule for
Spring 07. We will announce the new schedule
in this space in a couple of weeks.
- Palomar Office 2007 Training
- The Information Services department will be
offering training in several of the Office 2007
products (Word, Excel and Outlook). Training
will occur on various days in June. Conact the
help desk at ext 2140 or
email@example.com for details.
@ONE training resources:
- Free training from
- Free Microsoft eLearning courses: for a limited time access
to these excellent e-Learning products on Office
2007 is available.
Click here to access a gateway to sign-up for
training in the new Office interface, Access 2007,
Excel 2007, Infopath 2007, OneNote 2007, Outlook
2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007, Visio 2007, and
Groove 2007. You may also download a free
e-book from this site titled
First Look 2007 Microsoft Office System in
The Blackboard Feature of
the Week - David Gray
mentioned last week, Blackboard Announcements can be sent
out as email quite easily. But what about non-Announcement
Blackboard does have a system in place to
send email to other users, typically instructors sending to
students and vice versa. Blackboard can send out email, but
it makes no provision for reading email; to read your email
you have to go to your own email system, such as a Gmail
account, Palomar Webmail, or the email that comes with your
Internet Service Provider.
But, wait; how does Blackboard know what
your email address is? Well, email address information is
part of your Blackboard account, just like your name and ID
number; this information all comes out of Palomar’s
eServices system. For employees the assumed email is the
Palomar provided one, for students the address would be
whatever they provided on their application for admissions.
However, folks want to change their email addresses, but to
get the email address in Blackboard changed you have to go
to the eServices system. Instructions for changing your
email address in eServices may be found online for faculty
clicking here , and for students by
clicking here. It may take up to two hours for the
change to percolate down to Blackboard, once it’s made in
eServices, so plan ahead.
that’s how email addresses are put into Blackboard, but how
does the actual Email tool work? For instructors, from the
Control Panel there is an Email link in the middle left of
the page, which offers a list of emailing choices. You can
select between mail to select users, all students, groups
(if you use Blackboard groups), and more. The two most
common uses are sending an email to all users, or to select
users. In both the cases the email form is similar, a place
is provided for a subject, a message, and choices on
attaching files or having a Return Receipt.
When the email is sent, your Blackboard
course ID is included in the subject line, so emails sent
from within Blackboard can easily be filtered by an email
program. (For example, if I type “Test Message” in the
subject line of my Fall 2007 class 77777, the email subject
would read “2077-77777: Test Message”.)
The message area does not support the
Visual Text Box editor, but does have a Spell Check button
in the bottom right corner. You will likely want to restrict
your email message to simple text, but some HTML code can be
included (either typed directly in, or copied and pasted
from an HTML editor), but be aware that some students do not
have HTML-enabled email readers; if you send an HTML email,
they may see some strange code included in your message.
It’s probably best just to keep it simple.
I wouldn’t suggest using the Return Receipt or the file
attachment tools. Return Receipts are just not as useful as
many people seem to think, in my opinion. And your average
student may not want to receive file attachments with
emails, as that is a prime way that viruses get spread. (For
that matter, I’d suggest that faculty not accept file
attachments either… unless you are really sure that your
Antivirus program is up to date.)
If you’re sending an email to all your
students, just hit the Submit button in the lower right
corner. If, however, you are sending to select users, you’ll
have a selection box at the top of the screen to pick out
who to send the email to. You can hold the Control key on
the keyboard and click on different names to select more
than one user, then click the “right arrow” button in the
center to transfer the names over to the Selected list.
Either way, when the email is sent, a copy of it will go to
your own email address, so you can keep copies of everything
you send to students quite easily.
So now… You’ve Got Mail!
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Get A Life (a
In the March, 2006 issue of Nature Vernor
Vinge presents some interesting ideas for how the internet
will be used as a research tool in the coming decades. He
points out that it has already changed education (along with
most other areas of life) by facilitating collaboration
among researchers. Vinge cites scientific and medical
projects that have been completed only because of their
ability to obtain the enthusiastic collaboration of people
(and their computers) around the world. He references a
sociology experiment on “social influence on music
preference” in which 14,000 participants were recruited from
One collaborative internet activity that
completely captivates large numbers of (mostly) young people
is MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games).
Two of the most popular are World of Warcraft and EverQuest.
Newsweek and other popular press periodicals have run
lengthy articles about them and the sometimes dangerous
devotion some have for these online games. There is
something about these online virtual worlds that many find
totally captivating. As an educator I am always interested
in cognitive activities that college students find
engrossing and engaging; I always wonder if this same kind
of engagement can be transferred to academic interests.
There is some evidence that Second Life, a
virtual world that emphasizes participation rather than
pre-designed adventures, can support educational activities
in the way I wondered about. Second Life has elicited quite
a bit of interest on the part of educators and, in fact, a
number of web sites exist for the express purpose of
illustrating how Second Life can be used in academic
pursuits. I was surprised to learn that many libraries,
museums, not-for-profit organizations, as well as colleges
and universities (including Harvard Law School, Stanford,
Ohio State University) are using Second Life. There are many
resources available to those who wish to explore the
possibility of using Second Life with their classes
including a Second Life Education Mailing List, a Second
Life Wiki, and other documents.
So what is Second Life? From Wikipedia:
“Second Life (abbreviated as SL) is an Internet-based
virtual world which came to international attention via
mainstream news media in late 2006 and early 2007.
Developed by Linden Lab, a downloadable client program
enables its users, called "Residents", to interact with each
other through motional avatars, . . . Residents can explore,
meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual
and group activities, create and trade items and services
from one another.
While Second Life is sometimes referred to
as a game, this description is disputed. It does not have
points, scores, winners or losers, levels, an end-strategy,
or most of the other characteristics of games, though it can
be thought of a game on a more basic level. It is a
semi-structured virtual environment where characters
undertake activities for the purpose of enjoyment.
Back to SL and education - Two examples:
the Milgram Experiment and Asperger’s Syndrome
Milgram conducted a famous psychology
experiment in which participants were directed to shock
other volunteers. The experiment established that ordinary
people would do things that they thought hurt other,
innocent volunteers if directed to do so by a legitimate
authority figure. This experiment cannot be replicated today
even though there would be great interest in the outcome
because of ethical guidelines not in place in earlier
decades. However, the experiment was conducted in a virtual
world in Second Life. The results? “Our results show that in
spite of the fact that all participants knew for sure that
neither the stranger nor the shocks were real, the
participants who saw and heard her tended to respond to the
situation at the subjective, behavioral and physiological
levels as if it were real.” One conclusion drawn by the
Acceleration Studies Foundation blog on this topic was that
a virtual world can elicit the same emotional and behavioral
responses as real world activities. This presents an
intriguing possibility of conducting social psychological
experiments in SL that could not be done in real life.
The second example gives a glimpse at
another possibility that SL might offer. From a CNET blog:
“In one experiment, a small island was set up for patients
with Asperger's syndrome, he said at PC Forum in Carlsbad,
California. People with the disease are uncomfortable with
social situations. The island created for them contained
artificial, difficult social situations. Some patients said
it helped them later in some aspects of real life, according
So, can SL be used to enhance the
educational experience I want for my students? I hope to
have at least a tentative answer in a future Podcast.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry Gray
Using Google Notebook
Wouldn't it be great to be able to take very
quick notes on web pages as you are doing research:
clip the URL, selected passages, images, your own
comments and queries, to a notebook that was
accessible without leaving the page you are on, and
then return to the notebook later when writing a
paper? That is the idea behind
Google Notebook permits clip-as-you go
functionality. After clipping, you can
organize and search notebooks, add your own
comments, invite others to collaborate with you, even publish them
to the web if you want your
notebooks be public. Here is how it works.
Begin by logging in to Google Notebook with your
GMail account information or your email address. (There is
helpful information on creating an account at the
Notebook web site).
Next, agree to the terms of service, and download
the web extension that enables Google notebook
within your browser.
Note that this web add-in does not yet
work with Windows Vista except in a Vista-compatible
Firefox (version 1.5 or above). It does
work with IE7 on the Windows XP platform.
Depending on your browser and security settings,
you may see a yellow security banner at the top of
If you see this, click the banner and choose
If you are using Firefox you will see the
familiar Firefox Add-on installation box:
After installation, Google and your browser will
talk, and eventually you will see the Notebook icon
in the status bar of your browser (the bar at the
bottom of the browser window--look in the lower
Click the "Open Notebook" link or the notebook
icon itself to activate the notebook.
You can begin clipping text, images or links
immediately, without leaving the web page you are
on. Just highlight the item you wish to clip,
click the "Clip" button in the mini
-notetebook. You can leave it docked to
the status bar, or click the arrow ("pop-out")
control to float it over your browser window.
(It is called the mini-notebook when it is docked to
your status bar or floating on your screen.
The full notebook appears on the notebook home
After clicking the Clip button, you will see a
note for the content placed in the notebook.
Each note will retain the title of the page from
which it is clipped, the URL of the page, and the
content of the note itself. Each note contains
a drop-down menu in its upper right corner in order
to delete it, move it (to another notebook or
section), or remove its URL.
Notes can be moved by dragging and dropping on
your notebook home page. To drag and drop, go
to the Notebook home page (by clicking the "Go to my
notebook home page" item on the Tools menu in the
mini-notebook), place your cursor in the far left
margin of a note (the cursor will become a four
headed arrow), hold down the mouse button and drag
and drop to a new location, either within the same
notebook or to another notebook.
To create a new note, click the "New note"
button. A blank note will be created.
Within any blank note, you can type your own text,
clip text from a web page, or add a section header
to help keep your notebook organized. Each
section header has its own drop-down control.
Clicking the minimize control next to the section
title will collapse all notes under that section
Each individual note also has a comments section,
where you can annotate the notes as you gather them.
Simply click within a note you have clipped and a
comments field will appear at the bottom of the
Text within notes can be more elaborately
formatted from the Notebook home page. Once
again, to quickly get to the home page click the
"Tools" button and choose "Go to my notebook home
Formatting options are minimal, but include the
ability to change font attributes or add links to
As you gather a great deal of material in your
notebook, you will lose track of things, and that's
where Google's search technology comes to the
rescue. The notebook is fully searchable and,
since it is web-based, accessible from anywhere.
Use the search box at the top of your notebook
home page to search its contents, or search the web
if you are looking for other material or URLs with
which to build links.
The Tools button from the notebook home page is
different than the one in the mini-notebook.
It contains options for printing, exporting to
Google docs, renaming the notebook, and so on.
For group projects, Google notebooks can be
shared by invitation of the notebook creator. The notebook creator grants
access to others who can then edit existing notes or
add their own. Initiate sharing by click the
"Share options" from the notebook home page and
enter the email address of those you wish to
collaborate with, then click the "Save Settings"
You will be prompted for text in an email to be
sent to those whose addresses you have included on
the invitation form. You do not need to put
the URL of the notebook in the email. It will
be placed there automatically.
If you decide to remove a collaborator later, you
will have that option on the Sharing options form
from your notebook home page.
Finally, your Google notebook can be published to
the web, if you wish to make it public. It's
URL can then be shared with others, and all public
Google notebooks can be searched. To publish a
notebook click the Sharing options from the notebook
homepage and click the Yes radio button under the
"Publish this notebook" label. You will be
given the URL of the web page to which it will be
published and prompted to invite others to view it
by entering their email addresses in a form.
Note that graphics will be displayed as thumbnails
unless you clear the "Use thumbnailed images"
That is a quick overview of how to use Google
notebook. It is a great tool for gathering
materials as you conduct research on the web, and
for conducting group class projects.
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