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Opportunities Next Week
- The Blackboard Feature of the
"Some Kind of Joke?"
- Teaching with Technology:
"Two Announcements; Two Ideas"
Tech Talk Topic:
"Google Notebook Revisited"
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
Extravaganza!! That's what it is being
called. On November 28 the Online Teaching
Secrets & Tips workshop will be held in the PCTV
studio (P-33). Dr. Haydn Davis will conduct
the workshop where skilled online teachers will
share their most helpful secrets and tips. He
will have a handout compilation of the secrets,
tips, and tricks available for those who attend the
venue has been moved so that PCTV can film the
event. The workshop may be broadcast at a
later date, and video segments will be available on
the web. For more information, contact Dr.
firstname.lastname@example.org, or (760) 744-1150 ext. 2341.
If you wish to have software installed in the
Academic Technology computer labs for the spring
2008 semester, bring the software on distribution
media, or URL, along with verification of network
licensing, to Myrna Valencia or Chad Abshier in room
LL-103, the main public computer lab on the ground
floor of the San Marcos campus library. If you
have questions, email
Chad, or call ext. 2657.
Palomar faculty members, don't forget the full
catalog of Lynda.com training materials is available
to you on workstations in room LL-111.
Lynda.com is modularized, self-paced, screencast
training that is fun and effective. The
training is practical, how-to instruction that spans
the world of contemporary software: graphics and art
programs, video and audio editing, office
productivity, and much more. LL-111 is a
drop-in lab. Reservations are not made, so
just come by when you can.
The library has a new "Ask a Librarian" program.
The service is available 24/7 and provided through
the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community
College Learning Resources Cooperative. You
know, the SDICCCLRC. The reference librarians
with whom you connect could be anywhere in the
world, and will field whatever reference questions
you may have. The session is conducted via
chat, and librarians can, if they wish, take you on
a shared, guided web tour as part of their answer to
your question. The service is accessed on the
front page of the library web site:
http://www.palomar.edu/library, or wherever you
see this icon:
Click it and give it a try. Share this resource
with your students.
- The Pew Internet and American Life Project
reports that "Half of all Americans now have
broadband at homehttp://www.palomar.edu/atrc." [Pew
PDF report], which makes it a technology adopted
faster than the CD player, the VCR, Cell phones,
Color television and Personal computers.
- Apple has released a slug of bug fixes for
Leopard 10.5, now 10.5.1. "It looks like it
cures a whole laundry list of niggles with Leopard,
including that nasty "potential data loss" issue
with partitions in Finder" (engadget).
Click here for the article and update links from
- Not content to have a mass produced media
player? Want to express the real you?
Then the Zune Originals store is for you.
announced this week a customization feature
meant (one assumes) to boost Zune sales. "18
renowned artists to fuse high style with portable
entertainment" goes the tag. "For the first
time, consumers will also have the option to
customize their Zune player with laser-engraved
designs and personal text through a new Web store
called Zune Originals."
Click here for Zune Originals. The other
good news about the new Zunes? You can sync
co-founder Steve Chen has confirmed that
high-quality YouTube video streams are coming soon.
The site is testing a player that detects the speed
of the viewer’s Net connection and serves up
higher-quality video if they want ithttp://www.palomar.edu/atrc.Chen expects
that high-quality YouTube vids will be available to
everyone within three months (Webware).
Marvel Digital Comics are now online. What
comics, you ask?: The first original run of
X-Men, Issues 1-100 of Spider-Man, Issues 1-100 of
the Fantastic Four, and much, much morehttp://www.palomar.edu/atrc.
Visit the site for a limited time 250 free samples.
Read them in one-page view, two-page view, or Smart
Panel Mode, which is very cool. It zooms the
panels for a very close-up look at the action.
Featured Safari Tech Book Online:
Essential Silverlight, by Christian Wenz. "There
are two target audiences for this book: developers
who would like to familiarize themselves with the
Silverlight technology, and designers who would like
to see what Silverlight has to offer. My focus,
however, is on the developer's side. This book does
not try to provide a complete reference to
Silverlight. It is true to the concept of the
Essentials series: you will get Silverlight up and
running soon, see the most important concepts, and
will find lots of code examples."
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
- Academic Technology Training
We have finished our training for this semester.
Online materials will remain available in the
Academic Technology Training Course in Blackboard. Our schedule for next semester has not yet been
- 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.
Some Kind of Joke?
You may think this is some kind of joke, but the
topic this week is finding ways to let students into
your Spring 2008 Blackboard courses. Yes, I know,
Thanksgiving isn’t even past yet, but class
enrollment started Wednesday, November 14th and
students are asking for details on their prospective
If the class in question is an online class,
there actually is a web address listed in the class
description of the schedule. However, a lot of
online classes never customize this address, so
students are presented with our stock “policy” page
which effectively tells the student that for details
they should contact the instructors. If that’s not
what you want students in your online classes to do,
let me suggest you have the SIS sheet for upcoming
semesters specify some other address with
information you do want.
Sometimes students will trawl the Blackboard
course catalog looking for details on classes. If
you make your course (or parts of it, anyway)
available to guests (click
here for instructions on enabling guest access),
then these students will be able to see some of the
material in your Blackboard course (as per the Guest
Access instructions found online
here). Often all the questions a student has can
be answered by a quick read through of the syllabus,
so why not at least make that available to guests?
Finally, recall that within an hour of officially
enrolling in your class, students will see a
reference to your Blackboard course when they log
into Blackboard. If you make your course available (click
here for instructions on making your course
available), then your students will be able to get
into the course site. Obviously you may not want
them able to access all the course materials, but
it’s simple enough to disable student access to
specific content areas, or even just turn off
availability of the content you want saved for
later. You could even set up a discussion board
specifically for allowing students to ask
I know of four Spring 2008 courses that are
available to students already. Consider joining
them. (C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it…)
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Two Announcements; Two Ideas
Announcement 1: November 28th Online Teaching
Secrets & Tips workshop will be held in the PCTV
studio. I will have a handout compilation of the
secrets, tips, and tricks available for those who
attend the workshop. The workshop may be broadcast
at a later date.
Announcement 2: I have been working with a group
of faculty who (Nelson Altamirano, Chris Barkley,
John Tagg, Gigi Gonzales, Susan Miller, Jan Schultz,
and Barbara Schiffler) has agreed to conduct a
side-by-side comparison of two anti-plagiarism
services, Turnitin and SafeAssign. Both are
available in all Blackboard classes and, as one is a
paid subscription service and the other is free, we
really wanted to know if the paid service is
superior enough to continue paying the fee. If
anyone listening has used either service and
particularly if anyone has used both of these, I
would love to hear from you.
My Teaching with Technology contribution today
features two practices, two pedagogical questions,
and a free survey.
The first practice is something I read about,
rejected, and then reconsidered. An online
instructor was describing something she does in her
class that she has found promotes better writing. It
is very simple. The practice involves requiring
students to post responses to questions or scenarios
she, the instructor, posts. What she does that I
initially rejected is to allow students to modify
their answers – after reading other students’ posts,
and before the posts are graded. The instructor
found that, contrary to what one might think –
namely that everyone will simply copy the best
answers, students actually did incorporate some of
the best students’ answers, but integrated those
ideas with their own. The instructor claimed that
this promoted critical thinking and improved writing
The second practice comes from the University of
Texas at Austin web site. It is a practice there for
online instructors to conduct ongoing course
assessments. They have developed a survey bank of
items that instructors can use to obtain formative
evaluation of their classes. Unfortunately I
couldn’t get into that area of their web site to
take a look at what their surveys were like. I have
started one here and will make it available to
everyone in the hopes that others will modify it,
add to it, and send it back to me so that I can
start a survey question bank for other online
instructors to use. I know that many online
instructors do give surveys to their students but I
don’t think there is any mechanism for us to view
each other’s and take items we like to build our
own. If I can develop a repository of survey
questions, others could simply upload that survey to
their class and modify it as they see fit.
If anyone wants the survey, please email
or call ext. 2341.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Shay
Google Notebook Revisited
episode 61 we did a feature on Google Notebook.
A couple things have changed since then, but it is
still essentially the same product. Today I
want to summarize the changes in Google Notebook,
then publish a how to article with screen captures
so that those who wish to have a simple-to-use,
powerful, web-based note taking tool can get started
with the new Google Notebook.
There is one big change in the new Google
Notebook: the addition of labels. Gone are the
"section heads," having been replaced with the
ability to label, or tag, any note with multiple
labels. In this way Google Notebook has moved
closer to other web-based tools and further away
from the old paper notebook analogy. Tags (technorati
or blog-style keywords associated with a note that
become metadata to assist you in locating any
collection of notes from a large body of them) are
the web's answer to how to those clear plastic
stickies that make certain pages stand out.
Developing an intelligent tagging system prior to
engaging in a project is best, but, as with most
things, the organization develops as research
proceeds, so Google Notebook makes it easy to apply
labels retroactively. When you leave the
mini-notebook and go to your full-page web-based
notebook home page, you will see a panel dedicated
to summarizing and editing labels.
There are several small changes in the new
Notebook that make it more useful, too. There
is no longer a clip-button. The little star at
the bottom of the mini-notebook has become the clip
button. The Tools menu has more options now,
to accommodate the new tagging system. The
comments function works slightly differently too,
and looks less "Adobe-like." There are also a
few more text formatting tools, like a highlighter
and text un-formatter. There are also new Sort
& Filter tools to filter notes based on your labels.
Here is the handout I used in a recent online
workshop on Google Notebook. I hope you find
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.
To use Google Notebook, you need to have a Google account (a
Gmail account is the same as a Google account). Begin by
logging in to Google Notebook with your GMail account
information. Click the Sign up link if you do not have an
If you need to create an account, and get
lost in your Google GMail area, just close the browser and
open it again at
http://www.google.com/notebook. This time when you
login you will see the Google Notebook getting started
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 version
of 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 "Download Filehttp://www.palomar.edu/atrc."
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 right
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 page at Google.com.)
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), add labels (tags or keywords you can use to
organize notes), or add a comment on the clipping. Making
comments can be very useful when building research queries
on the fly.
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 on your notebook home page. A blank note will be
created. Within any blank note, you can type your own text,
paste from a web page, add comments, or add labels to help
keep your notebook organized.
Labels are listed in the label box at the
lower left of the My Notebook page.
Clicking on any of the labels will display
all the notes containing that label.
Each individual note also has a comments
section, where you can annotate the notes as you gather
them. Simply click the comment button within a note and a
comments field will appear at the bottom of the note.
Text within notes can be more elaborately
formatted from the Notebook home page. Once again, to
quickly get to the notebook home page, click the "Tools"
button and choose "Go to my notebook home page."
Formatting options are minimal, but
include the ability to change font attributes, highlight,
add bulleted or numbered lists, add links or remove all
formatting (you may want to do this before pasting the note
into a web page or Word document).
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. Also, a great way to keep
organized as you are gathering information for a project is
to categorize the notes with labels.
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
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.
The Sort & Filter button enables the
display of just certain notes based on date, label, or label
What will happen when you begin a project
is that you will not have developed a list of labels. After
you do a significant amount of research, you will develop
your labels, but then realize you need to go back and apply
them to past notes. That is what the “Show unlabeled notes”
and Show notes with labels…” choices are about.
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" button.
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
If you decide to remove a collaborator
later, you will have that option on the Sharing options form
from your notebook home page.
Finally, if you wish to conduct research
publicly, for a class project, say, your Google notebook can
be published to the web. Its 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
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