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- The Blackboard Feature of the
"'Twas the Night after Finalshttp://www.palomar.edu/atrc."
- Teaching with Technology:
"SafeAssign vs. TurnItIn"
Tech Talk Topic:
"I left my keys and USB drive at home"
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
- Attention Part-time Faculty
Members!!! There has been a change in the
date of the spring 2008 plenary session for all
part-time faculty members. It had been
scheduled for January 10, 2008, but has now been
moved to January 17, 2008. The schedule of
events remains the same, except that there will be
no pre-planary session on Blackboard Essentials.
All the other breakout
sessions remain the same, but the have been moved to the Thursday
prior to the start of the semester, as is the normal
Click here for the schedule.
at home and need a file from work? Don't want
to use the VPN client from IS, or there is some
network problem preventing it from working?
Microsoft FolderShare, which is free and in beta
right now. FolderShare is peer-to-peer (P2P)
software that lets you use files shared across
computers, and even keeps the folders in sync for
you. It is free and integrated, now, into
Don't want to have to rely on another
left running? Store it "in the cloud" with
Windows Live SkyDrive. You get 500MB free
to store personal folders and files on the Internet,
and can configure folders to be personal only,
shared with designated individuals, or public.
Media Solutions have announced their Third Annual Student
Film Festival. Its purpose is: "To encourage
and reward students for achievements in video, film
and broadcasting by distributing their work
exclusively on the 3C Media Solutions Network and
live web cast. And to award them industry standard
products and services to further their education."
Deadline for entries is January 31, 2008.
Click here for details and the entry form [PDF].
- It was Patch Tuesday this week. Windows Vista
users had about 14 patches, Windows XP about 12,
depending on installation and Office products.
Chief among the installs was the
Office 2007 SP1 release. For information on
what this important service pack does,
click here. To read all about the security
fixes in this package,
click here for security bulletin MS06-078.
those who use Google Toolbar, there is a new version
out: version 5. New features include the
ability to add Google gadgets to the toolbar, retain
toolbar settings on the web and configure them
locally on whatever computer you find yourself, clip
content from any web page to Google Notebook, and
Click here for a description,
here for the download page.
- According to CNN Money.com, AT&T have entered the
student tracking business. They are offering
an "industry first" RFID and GPS-based student
tracking system to K-12 school districts. The
system depends on "mandatory" RFID badges worn by
the students, and integrated GPS systems that report
the whereabouts of the students from the moment they
step on the bus in the morining until they leave it
Click here for the article. I smell a
money making opportunity for anyone willing to carry
the badges of fellow students no longer present.
- Google announced its
end-of-year Zeitgeist this week. The ten
fastest rising searches of the year in the United
- club penguin
- anna nicole smith
A recent TED talks featured legend
Murray Gell-Mann on mathematical elegance and
the "theory of everything." His conclusion,
"You don't need something more to explain something
here to watch the
- Barracuda Networks recently
reported that spam accounts for 90-95% of all email.
They are an anti-spam company, so are more likely to
make exaggerated claims. Symantec, with their
own anti-spam products, report it as between 56 and
71%. Whoever is right--and they both could be,
depending on their assumptions, it is an enormous
annoyance which only increases because increased
volumes equal increased revenues for spammers.
Click here for the story.
Merriam-Webster word of the year for 2007 is:
w00t. Not a gamer? Don't spend time in
chat rooms? Here is the M-W explanation:
"Thousands of you took part in the search for
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year
for 2007, and the vast majority of you chose a small
word that packs a pretty big punch. The word you've
selected hasn't found its way into a regular
Merriam-Webster dictionary yet—but its inclusion in
our online Open Dictionary, along with the
top honors it's now been awarded—might just improve
its chances. This year's winning word first became
popular in competitive online gaming forums as part
of what is known as l33t ("leet," or "elite")
speak—an esoteric computer hacker language in which
numbers and symbols are put together to look like
letters. Although the double "o" in the word is
usually represented by double zeroes, the
exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "we
owned the other
team"—again stemming from the
gaming community. " As always, the mob knows
Safari Tech Book Online:
Advanced Microsoft® Office PowerPoint™ 2007:
Insights and Advice from the Experts by Wayne
Kao and Jeff Juang. "This is the only book
that will help an intermediate PowerPoint user
improve their skills to an advanced level. In doing
so, they can benefit both professionally and
personally. This is not a comprehensive book that
will bore you with every detail of PowerPoint, but a
guide to specific actions you can take to create the
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
Feature of the Week - David Gray.
‘Twas the Night after
‘Twas the night after finals, and
all through the school
Not a creature was stirring, which works out quite
Scantrons and blue books were marked up with care,
In hopes that grade challenges would never be there;
The students were nestled, all snug in their beds
While visions of passing grades danced in their
Faculty clad in kerchiefs, or possibly caps,
Were just settling down for their long winter naps,
When on the main campus there arose such a clatter,
So I’d better explain what will be the matter…
There are a few things of note
regarding Blackboard that I felt I need to warn
faculty about, and a couple of the obligatory
reminders that should go out, too. I’ll try to take
this in chronological order here…
- Monday, December 17th, in
accordance with our normal Blackboard course
retention policy, the Fall 2006
Blackboard courses will be removed from the
system. Again, that is the Fall courses that
finished over a year ago, in 2006, not the ones
just finishing now. Shortly after the sun comes
up on Monday, those courses will be gone from
within Blackboard, so if you still need to this
might be a good time to Archive your course (click
here for instructions), and while you’re at
it, if your grades are all done you may want to
Archive your latest courses too.
- Thursday, December 20th the
Palomar Real video server is going away, so if
you have links to any of the Palomar-hosted Real
videos in your courses you will want to get rid
of those. If, for some reason, you don’t already
have links to the Windows Media versions of your
videos, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know
which videos you need the Windows Media links
to; we’ll get those out to you as soon as
- Saturday, December 22nd is
the last Saturday that Palomar will have
Blackboard technical support on. We experimented
with having support and Saturdays this year, but
in the final evaluation we decided to reign back
the support hours again; Blackboard technical
support is available effective 2008 from 6 a.m.
until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday only.
- The week ending in Saturday,
December 29th will mark two weeks after the Fall
semester ends. In accordance with our normal
Blackboard course lifecycle student access to
Blackboard courses ends two weeks after the
class end date, so most full-semester classes
will have until this week to allow students to
access the course site; after this your students
will not be able to get into the Fall 2007
- Wednesday, January 2nd is the
last day to use SafeAssign on the Palomar
Blackboard system. The results of a faculty
survey of the SafeAssign and Turnitin
Anti-Plagiarism tools is in, and the resounding
conclusion is that we will be using Turnitin.
When the system comes up after the upgrade to
version 7.3 on Thursday, January 3, SafeAssign
will no longer be available.
- Thursday, January 3rd and
Friday, January 4th the Blackboard system will
be unavailable. We are taking those days to
upgrade the system to version 7.3 of Blackboard
(as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum in the recent
past) and will try to finish as quickly as
possible, but the Blackboard system may be down
until near 5 p.m. on Friday, January 4th. Any
faculty wanting a sneak peek at version 7.3 are
encouraged to try out the demonstration system
for faculty at
- Tuesday, January 22nd is the
start of the Spring 2008 semester. So let this
be the first (of many) reminders that your
Spring Blackboard course was created as
Unavailable to students, and will not be
Available to your students until and unless you
manually make the course available (click
here for instructionst ).
…so now hear me exclaim, as I fade
out of sight,
“See you next year, and have a good night.”
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Anti-plagiarism Tool Is Better?
Palomar College faculty
participated in a study to examine which of two
anti-plagiarism tools was superior. The faculty were
asked to evaluate the two tools in terms of ease of
use, accuracy and comprehensiveness, technical
problems, and turnaround time.
A complete report of the study’s
outcome will be available in a couple of weeks but
the following table presents the highlights. In all
cases higher numbers indicate a more favorable
Ease of Use
Accuracy and Comprehensiveness
A final study question asked
participants to state which of the two tools they
recommend and indicate the strength of their
recommendation on a 1-5 scale (1= weak
recommendation, 5=strong recommendation)
All participants recommended the
Turnitin service and all chose a strong
One obvious limitation in generalizing these data is
the small number of faculty who participated to the
conclusion of the study – only five. It will be
useful to attempt a similar study during the next
academic year with a larger group of participants.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Shay
I left my keys and USB drive at home!
So many times in life we forget something at home
or the office. In this digital age that can mean a
whole presentation was left saved on the computer at
home but I am here at the office preparing for my
class. What can I do to retrieve the file I left at
With a new Windows Live Service by Microsoft called
FolderShare™ you can access that file in a variety
of ways! Although this is a free service it is still
in beta so things may change over time. This has
been tested and does work here on campus.
What is FolderShare™?
“FolderShareTM is a service that allows you to
securely keep files synchronized between your
devices, share files with friends or colleagues, and
remotely download your files from any web browser.”
How do I get started?
To use FolderShare you will need a Windows (2000,
XP or Vista) or Apple OS X (G3, G4 or G5 running
10.3.8 or higher) computer. Once you have setup your
FolderShare account at
http://www.foldershare.com/ you will need
to install the FolderShare Satellite software. This
software will allow you to share files on your
Once the software is installed you can manage
your sharing settings online. You will be able to
Sync Folders if you install the software on two or
more computers. You can begin sharing and accessing
your files right away. The FolderShare website (http://www.foldershare.com)
has all the details you will need to get started.
So what is next?
that you have configured your software and setup the
sharing options online let me give you some
scenarios that might help you decided what will be
the best methods for using this service.
Let’s say you have a file at home that you want
to retrieve. Here are two options that you have for
getting that file.
Option 1: You could have the folder that file
resides in synced with your office computer. Now
that will mean all the files in the directory will
be synced between the two computers. That may be a
great thing so that if one of your computers were to
crash you would have a backup on the other. This
synchronization will work both ways so the files on
one computer will also be synced with the other
Option 2: You could keep a separate directory
that you do not sync on your home computer and then
just access the file via the FolderShare website.
This would allow you the flexibility to access the
file without having everything in the folder synced
between the computers.
Now let’s say you have a file you need to get to a
student or colleague. The file is on your computer
at home and it is too large to send via e-mail.
Option 3: You can share a folder with others and
send an invitation from the FolderShare website.
This will allow them to access the file on your
computer without you having to send the file. This
can be managed remotely so you could have the file
at the other location shared just by managing the
shared folder via the FolderShare website.
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