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Opportunities Next Week
- The Blackboard Feature of the
"When Things Go Wrong"
- Teaching with Technology:
"What Online Students Say About Assessment"
Tech Talk Topic:
"The Five Best New Things About Outlook
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
Ultimate Steal. Microsoft is making an offer
students can't refuse. Students can now
purchase Office 2007 Ultimate edition for a mere
$59.95. Who is eligible?: "...students who are
actively enrolled at educational institutions and
have a valid e-mail address from the institution" (Microsoft
press release). Students, you will have to
use your Palomar email address for this one, so make
sure there is room to receive an email in that dinky
inbox. The promotion is active in the US,
Canada and the UK, and will become effective in
France, Italy and Spain beginning September 20.
It will run through next April. "Office
Ultimate 2007 includes the entire Microsoft Office
toolset that students are accustomed to working with
and more, including Microsoft Office Word 2007,
Microsoft Office Excel® 2007, Microsoft Office
PowerPoint® 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007
with Business Contact Manager, Microsoft Office
Access™ 2007, Microsoft Office Publisher 2007,
Office OneNote 2007, Office Groove 2007 and
Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2007."
Click here for the Ultimate Steal web site.
News flash: lower prices = higher sales.
The recent price slash on the iPhone, from $599 to
$399 for the 8GB model, has caused a sales surge
from 9,000 units per day to 27,000 units per day,
according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (DailyTech).
under: "Put down that wrench, Dave."
SpamNation, a prominent anti-spam site reported last
week that distributed denial of service (DDoS)
attacks are being launched by the Zhelatin gang via
Customers of Zhelatin can,
apparently, order attacks against sites. So
far, sites attacked include 419Eater, ScamWarners,
CastleCops, scam.com, scamfraudalert.com, and
Artists against 419. "The distributed
computational power of the Storm botnet is thought
to have surpassed that of virtually all major
technica). For an explanation of the types
of denial of service attacks,
click here for a thorough summary from CERT, and
here for a shorter overview from CastleCops.
Amazon is launching the Kindle on October 15.
What is the Kindle, you may ask. It represents
Amazon's entry into the eBook reader business.
Are consumers ready for an eBook reader?
Sony's Reader (which retails for $300) introduced
last year is doing not well, but respectably.
Sony continues to invest in advertising for it.
Now Amazon wants to get into the act. The
Kindle is based on the same E Ink technology as the
Sony Reader, which mimics the appearance of type on
paper. It also consumes very little power, so
there are no battery problems like their are with
laptops and other portable reading devices.
Unfortunately, like the Sony Reader, Kindle uses a
proprietary format tied to a specific vendor, rather
than supporting open standards. (NY
from Six Apart is the first blogging company to
offer blogging tools for the iPhone and the new iPod
Touch. "The TypePad iPhone application was
designed from the ground up to be optimized for
Apple's innovative multi-touch iPhone display.
TypePad bloggers can easily create new posts, edit
existing posts, manage comments from their
community, and configure settings to send photos
directly from their iPhone to their blog. The
TypePad iPhone application will also work on the
recently announced iPod touch" (TypePad
press release). Within a day, Moveable
announced an iPhone plugin for their service.
new YouTubable friendly Flip Video Ultra camera is
now available from Pure Digital Technologies (CNet).
The camera is a "..."higher-end addition to Pure
Digital's line of pocket-sized, easy-to-use
camcorders features upgrades to all its software,
including DVD quality video and advanced editing
features. Still affordable, the Ultra line has
onboard software that allows users to instantly
upload video directly to YouTube and other video
publishing sites like AOL." There is a 1GB
model, that can record 30 minutes of video, for
$150, and a 2GB model that sells for $180.
Patch Tuesday came and went for Microsoft and it was
barely noticeable. Only 1 critical and 3
important patches were released, and all were from
old, very little used subsystems of older OS
versions. For those deeply interested,
click here for the security bulletin.
And speaking of Microsoft, they released this week a
wide array of peripherals, focusing on webcams and
LifeCam NX-3000 and
VX-7000 products, both of which are heavily
marketed as being integrated with Windows Live
Messenger." There are three new mice:
the Bluetooth Notebook Mouse
5000; the 2.4GHz Wireless Notebook Mouse
7000; and the Mobile Memory Mouse
8000, and it comes with a warning: Prepare, ye
consumers, to "Meet the mouse with a mind of its
own." The Microsoft marketing
blather will explain it all (One
Also from Microsoft, Hotmail was
updated this week. The big news is 5GB of
storage for all users, 10GB for users of Hotmail
Plus, and a set of new features users have been
asking about for a long time:
The ability to
merge duplicate contacts
An easier way to
view blocked images
(devoting more page space to read email)
forwarding of your mail to other Hotmail accounts
(paid accounts can forward to Gmail, Yahoo, or
hosting for universities
Outlook meeting requests in the Hotmail Calendar
when you go on vacation
The ability to
go to your inbox by default, instead of the Today
The price has not yet been announced, but starting
next March BitMicro will be selling 2.5 inch SSD
drives with 416GB of storage, part of its E-Disk
Altima family of flash solid state drives (businesswire).
new technology, based on the diamond synchrotron has
been developed in the UK to read ancient scrolls
that cannot be unrolled because unrolling them would
destroy them. "Intense light beams will enable
scientists to uncover the text in scrolls and books
without having to open - and potentially damage -
The process uses X-ray tomography to "...recover the
structure where we can see the words that are
written inside the document."
File under: "The Blue Zune Does Not Exist."
Engadget (that sometimes accurate news source)
reported Wednesday that a blue Zune was to be
marketed at Target, and evidencing the report on a
"leaked" ad showing what appeared to be, in fact, a
blue Zune. According to a Target
representative, it was just a Photoshop filtering
boo-boo. It is really a black Zune in really
bad Photoshop light. All those who had leaped
to their feet may resume their seats.
Google has announced a $30 million moon contest. The
first prize winner of $20 million must land a craft
on the moon, the craft must rove at least a quarter
mile, and it must send video data back to earth.
A $10 million second prize is reserved for the first
craft that can arrive on the moon, send data back,
but cannot rove. The prize will be
administered by the X-Prize Foundation (USA
Safari Tech Book Online:
Search Engine Visibility, by Shari Thurow.
"Search Engine Visibility is about designing,
writing, and creating a web site primarily for a
site's visitors, and helping them find what they are
searching for via the major search engines,
directories, and industry-related sites." Palomar maintains a
subscription to Tech Books Online, and the books can
be accessed from any computer on the campus network.
Contact the library for information about off-campus
Listen to the news [mp3 -14:35]
- Academic Technology Training
- Elluminate Training
- Elluminate is our new econferencing system.
There are many excellent training resources
available through the
Elluminate training center. Live,
instructor led training seminars--conducted through
the Elluminate interface--occur regularly and
may be scheduled through their web site.
- @ONE Training
Feature of the Week - David Gray
When Things Go Wrong
Over the last two weeks the San Marcos
campus has been hit with several problems; power outages and
bomb threats just compound the troubles typical for the
normal flow of campus life. Using Blackboard as an aid to
communicating with your students can help when troubles
Now, don’t get me wrong, during a power
outage on campus there really isn’t much that Blackboard can
do to help. The Blackboard system is hosted on campus, and
without power it does no one any good. But during the bomb
threat situation yesterday we actually got phone calls from
students asking why they hadn’t seen an announcement in
Blackboard warning them not to come onto campus! So, it
isn’t too farfetched to claim that at least some students
are already looking to the Blackboard system as an
information source for campus events.
lesser problems crop up, such as a professor coming down
sick (and therefore cancelling class sessions) or the
professor’s computer going on the fritz (and therefore
making response times to emails take longer than normal),
posting an announcement in Blackboard can be very helpful.
But, of course, students won’t be in the habit of looking
for announcements unless you post them on a regular basis.
It is easy enough to check the box to
email a copy of the Announcement to all the students as
well, but… unless you are regularly emailing students from
within Blackboard they may not have their correct email
address listed. (To get the email addresses in Blackboard
updated students must go into the eServices system and
change their email address. The changes take place in
Blackboard about an hour later.)
So my suggestion for facilitating
communication when things go wrong? Get in the habit, now,
of posting announcements and email students, before things
go awry. When things go wrong, you’ll be ready. If things
don’t go wrong? Have you ever had a student complain that
they were having too much contact with you about your class?
Didn’t think so.
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
What Online Students Say About Assessment
What They Say
How To Do It (in Blackboard)
“Please give me feedback that is timely, helpful, and personal.”
Use Blackboard’s Assignment Manager for written assignments – you can
then easily give student feedback at the time you
grade the assignment.
Use the Comments field in the Blackboard Gradebook to enter short
comments with each grade.
If you give Blackboard tests you can set them up to show only the
score but later, after everyone has taken the test,
you can go back and modify the test setting to show
their answers and the correct answers thereby giving
students feedback on what they did well and which
questions they missed.
Provide a Discussion Board summary each week in which you reproduce a
few students’ comments and comment on why these were
Use the email tool in Blackboard to email a few students each week to
comment on their progress.
A short email stating that an assignment has been received is
appreciated much more than most instructors realize.
“Give me several different ways to demonstrate what I’ve learned.”
Provide a variety of smaller assignments rather than simply a midterm,
paper, and final. Blackboard instructors have
successfully used quizzes, surveys, web excursions,
group activities, written assignments, video
assignments, reflection journals, PowerPoint
projects, and live chat in addition to traditional
“Give me clear guidelines and expectations, particularly with regard
to how I’ll be graded.”
Provide clearly stated deadlines for all assignments and what the
consequences are for missed deadlines.
Set up Discussion Board forums with specific deadlines (e.g. closes
September 16th). Forums can then be
“locked;” students can still read but not post into
Post a grading rubric for the Discussion Board. Post examples of good
discussion board posts.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry
The Five Best Things About Outlook 2007
On first blush Outlook does not look like it has
changed as much as the other Office 2007
applications. You will notice a new "To-Do
Bar," and the new ribbon appears inside the mail
form, but not in the program shell itself; but there
are some significant, less obvious changes in the
Outlook 2007 feature set that are worth mentioning.
Instant Search. My candidate for
best new feature is indexed searching for email.
It speeds up the search enormously. If you are
Windows Vista you have this automatically, since
the same indexing service supports Vista and the new
Office programs. If you are still a Windows XP
SP2 user, you will need to download and install
Windows Desktop Search to get indexed searching.
Once you have done so, you will see an option to
enable "Instant Search" below the search box.
Do so and you will enjoy much quicker mail searches.
Flag for follow-up. Flag for
follow-up is now more powerful and works more
consistently across the program. It allows
setting reminders from the right-click menu, and the
reminder actions can be customized. Flag for
follow-up choices now include the ability to set a
reminder to check for replies to messages you send,
and to flag your recipient for follow-up with the
same reminder for you to check for replies.
Color categories. The ability to add
color categories is now greatly expanded. You
can apply the same color categories to emails,
calendar items and tasks, and can search by color
category to find all related items.
Integrated RSS. You can now
subscribe to RSS feeds right within Outlook, and the
feeds you subscribe to in IE are available to you in
Outlook. This makes subscription and reading
of news fees easier than ever. You can also
configure Outlook to download any RSS enclosures
(like mp3 podcast audio files) along with the news
Calendar overlays and calendar snapshots.
I couldn't decide which feature I liked best, so I
included both. Calendar overlays permits you
to open calendars other than your own (if you have
permission) and overlay it on your personal calendar
to locate conflicts and identify scheduling
commitments you might not have been aware of.
Calendar snapshots let's you send your calendar for
an upcoming period in an email to someone else in
one of three levels of detail so that the other
person can pick a time for your meeting. This
meets the need for scheduling with those who do not
While Outlook has changed less than the other
Office programs in the 2007 edition, it has still
changed some. These are my nominations for the
best new features.
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