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- Upcoming Training
- The Blackboard Feature of the
- Teaching with Technology:
"Tips for Getting Started Right"
Tech Talk Topic:
"3 4 Free"
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
is a new podcast at Palomar College, called
Blackboard @ Palomar. If you want to learn how
to use Blackboard from the ground up, but don't have
time to attend training workshops, subscribe to this
podcast and its companion newsletter and you will be
taken through the process of building a Blackboard
course site. The premise assumes no prior
knowledge of Blackboard, and each episode is short
and to the point. Episode 1 was just released
last week. To subscribe to the podcast,
click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter; and
click here for the index of episodes.
Microsoft has offered $44.6 billion in a hostile
takeover bid of Yahoo.com. Google is fighting
back, mobilizing lobbyists to complain to federal
lawmakers about monopolistic practices. Yahoo
has yet to answer Microsoft's bid, but it is
apparent that no other likely contender (AOL,
Comcast, AT&T, News Corp.) has any intention of
becoming involved in a bidding war with Microsoft.
Stay tuned... (bink.nu).
day is next week. February 12, 2008 will mark the
199th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.
Darwin day is dedicated to Darwin, verifiable
scientific knowledge, and humanity.
Click here for the international Darwin Day
Celebration center to find out what the rest of the
world is doing to celebrate.
According to a
new report [PDF] from Symantec, spam now
accounts for 78.5% of all email traffic, although
image spam is down appreciably and the average file
size of spam emails is also decreased.
Speaking of spam, we reported last summer (episode
65) on Google's acquisition of Postini, a
data security company. At last Google has used
Postini assets to market a product: for $3-$25
per year corporate clients can use Postini filters
to protect their email systems (Ars
- The Amazon Kindle, a new e-reading device, has
exceeded all expectations in sales. According
Amazon sales site the Kindle is sold out "due to
heavy customer demand." Our own Chris Norcross
reviewed it in episodes
82. Is there a connection? We think
so. If you are considering buying one, in the
words of the Amazon sales site, "Please ORDER KINDLE
NOW to reserve your place in line." On the
other hand, you may perceive all this as so much
advertising fluff. (Ars
year, band-aids enter the 21st century. "Toumaz
Technology is bringing band-aids into the 21st
century with a new technology that can remotely
monitor patients. The solution involves a custom
mini-chip with a 5-7 day battery, with built-in
800-900MHz wireless and a price as low as $5 a pop
when the disposable patch is released next year. The
chip is designed to relay data from sensors such as
electrocardiogram, a three-axis accelerometer, blood
glucose, ph-level and blood pressure monitors" (engadget).
- Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 will be available in
March, presumably Patch Tuesday in March, for volume
license customers first. It has already been
released to manufacturing, as has Windows Server
2008, which will be available for sales on March 1st
- Apple has added new models of the
iPod touch, doubling the capacity of the
top-of-the-line model. The iPhone now comes in
a 16GB model, and the iPod touch now comes with 32GB
of storage...for $100 more, of course.
patent for the LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system
was 50 years old last week, on January 28 at 1:58
pm, to be exact (GMT, one presumes).
Click here to see the interesting timeline from
- On Monday, February 4, 2008 ICANN, the group
responsible for maintaining the Internet's
addressing scheme, for the first time turned on
IPv6, an upgrade from the old IPv4 address scheme.
The new address ranges--which will service over 340
trillion, trillion, trillion addresses, rather than
the nearly exhausted 4-billion+ system in place
under IPv4, was installed on 6 of the Internet's 13
root server networks. Businesses and owners of
high-volume web sites are being encouraged to switch
over to the new addressing scheme (CNet).
- Micropscopic shape-shifting electromagnetic robots?
You bet. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon
University have developed prototypes which they hope
will bring this concept to fruition. The idea
is that millions of very small robts can cling to
each other forming useful structural shapes in order
to perform an array of real-world tasks.
Watch the YouTube video to get the idea.
Safari Tech Book Online:
A Designer’s Guide to Adobe® InDesign® and XML:
Harness the Power of XML to Automate your Print and
Web Workflows by James J. Maivald. "A
Designers Guide to InDesign and XML is an
introduction to XML tagging and how it works. The
technology is broken down into its essential parts,
explaining what XML is and how it works in plain
English. XML is a markup language, a close cousin to
HTML. While HTML is used to format text for display,
XML is used to tag or identify data. By “marking up”
the data users can then transfer or repurpose it
from one application to another. This ability to
repurpose is XML’s key advantage over most other
technologies. And, because XML was built for the
Web, it offers the promise of moving data from print
to the Internet and back again with the push of a
button. The guide includes 10 real world projects
with an aim toward users working with increasing
confidence and skill to incorporate XML into their
Palomar maintains a subscription to Tech Books
Online, and the books can be accessed from any
computer on the campus network without as login, or
with your Palomar login and password from anywhere
in the world.
Click here for more information about off-campus
- Academic Technology Workshops
- 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.
Feature of the Week - David Gray.
feature is brought to you by the letter B, and by the number
On June 21st and 22nd, the Blackboard
system will be down for an upgrade.
Wait, what? The Spring semester is barely
under way, and here David is wanting to tell us about
something that won’t happen until June?
This upgrade, to Blackboard version 8, is
going to fix a number of bugs and add functionality to
conduct Peer Reviews of student work. Normally this would
not be enough to start warning people this far in advance,
but there is one more change that does merit a great deal of
advance warning: The Blackboard Gradebook is going to be
Over the course of this semester we are
going to be putting up training materials for the new
Gradebook, and holding workshops on how to deal with the new
features and functionality. I believe that everyone who uses
Blackboard’s grade functions will end up enjoying the new
“Grade Center” in version 8, but there’s that little problem
of getting used to it first. Given the time constraints of
our upgrade time, as the upgrade will be taking place
between the end of the four-week intersession classes and
the start of the six- and eight-week summer classes, we
really want to ensure that anyone teaching over the Summer
has plenty of advance warning of these changes.
As I mentioned above, the training and
announcement materials on using version 8 of Blackboard will
be released in the weeks to come, but if anyone is
interested in trying out the new version they can do so
right now. Palomar’s Blackboard Sandbox system, online at
http://bbsandbox.palomar.edu/ will allow Palomar faculty
to log on using both instructor and student accounts and try
out the latest version of Blackboard, at your convenience.
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Getting Off To A Good Start
These are ideas for online instructors to
consider as I believe that implementing them will create a
model to follow the rest of the semester.
Getting the DB off to a good start: Post
examples of “good” DB posts (see example below)
Student Post I keep hearing about that book "The Secret". I
myself have not read the book, but I guess the main concept
is you decide your fate based on the energy you put out into
the world. I guess it deals with positive and negative
With that said I thought Freud's
discussion of the conscious and unconscious paralleled that
with a more scientific explanation. On page 11, the book
discusses Freud’s theory that motive is hidden in the
unconscious mind outside of awareness.
I interpret this theory has playing a huge
role in the way humans behave. I find it interesting that
people believe in things like "luck" or "fate" when possibly
it’s themselves formulating their own outcome (at least
that's what I believe). Because if motive is hidden and
beyond our individual understanding, then our lives end up,
for the most part, exactly how they were meant to be.
My Comment I chose this post as an example
of a “good” post in large part because it illustrated how
the student connected something from current events to a
concept presented in Chapter 1 of our textbook. After making
the connection, the student explained what it meant to him.
In addition, the post stimulated others to react or comment.
Getting participation off to a good start
- At the beginning of each week post
(or use an audio recording) a brief “heads-up” regarding
the upcoming week’s requirements – do this even though
the information may be in the syllabus or other course
- Post a weekly grade/points summary
that lists the most points one could have earned: “The
most points you could have earned to this point is 35
(Homepage – 10, Participation – 10, Web Assignment – 10,
Syllabus Quiz – 5). To check your grade click Student
Tools/My Grade. Let me know if you think I have
- Use students’ names whenever
possible. In my on-campus classes I have digital photos
taken of my students and learn their names so that I can
involve them in class discussions by using their names.
In my online classes I try to put students’ names in the
announcements and other areas of the Blackboard site as
much as possible: I recognize a “Poster of the Week,”
publish the names of the winners of the “Mystery Student
Contest,” include in an announcement a reference to a
particularly insightful comment made by a student, and
find other ways to get students’ names into
announcements and other course areas that students read.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Chris
3 4 Free
1) How to embed a YouTube video in Blackboard
- Terry Gray
- Locate the video you want in YouTube and
click on the Embed code window.
- Right-click the selected code and choose
- Go to your Blackboard course, enter the
content area where you want to place the video,
and enter Edit mode.
- Click Add Item.
- Give the item a name, and then click the
angle bracket icon in the visual text box editor
to "Toggle HTML Source Mode" on.
- Paste the embed code into the visual text
box editor that you copied from YouTube.
- Click the angle bracket icon again to toggle
back to text mode.
There is no step 8, as they say.
Click here to play the screen video that
explains this process.
2) Microsoft Math Add-in - Chad Abshier
Microsoft has produced many add-ins that you can
download for free to enhance your ability to use
Word. One such add-in is Microsoft Math. The
Microsoft Math Add-In for Word 2007 is a great tool
for any mathematics teacher or student. After only 5
minutes of playing around with its features, I got
the general idea of how it works. It uses the built
in Equation Editor of Word 2007 to type any equation
you could think of. The add-in does not increase
Word’s ability to create equations, but it does come
in handy after you have typed an equation. It gives
you the ability to solve and plot equations,
allowing the user to plot functions in 2-D and 3-D
planes, solve an equation or inequality, and solve a
system of equations. The options that are available
under the add-in change depending on what kind of
equation you create.
In my opinion, the Equation Editor in Word 2003
was harder to use than it is in Word 2007, and under
Insert -> Equation you can find nearly everything
you would need to write a professional looking math
test or review sheet. If you want to, however, use
Word as a calculator, even a graphing calculator, go
ahead and download the add-in.
Click here to download Microsoft Math add-in for
Word 2007. (Genuine Microsoft Office
3) The Zune now does Podcasts - Shay Phillips
Back in December of 2006 Shay Phillips reviewed
the Microsoft Zune for us (episode
44). He still has and still uses his
trusty Zune, and now it does podcasts, as it should
have from day one. Here is how to "catch" a
podcast with the Zune.
With the newest version of the
Zune software you can now catch Podcasts. I’ll walk
you through the process which will only take a few
To begin you will need to click the
podcasts link in the Zune software.
The first time you enter this section of
the software you will see that you have no podcasts in your
You have two choices here. You can search
for podcasts in the Zune Marketplace or add a Known
Favorite. Today we are just going to add a known favorite.
When you click on the link you will be asked to enter the
URL of the podcast you want to subscribe too.
You can type or paste the RSS feed URL in
the box and click Subscribe. You have now added your first
Podcast to the Zune Software. You will see a screen similar
to this after you have subscribed.
From here you can add a Podcast,
unsubscribe from or manage the series settings for the
currently selected podcast.
Some of the settings you can manage for
the series are the number of episodes to keep, The playback
order and the sync settings.
From the Podcast section in the Zune
Marketplace you can find a lot of different podcasts as well
as suggest ones to be listed. They have some tips on
podcatching and pocasting as well.
Well that is all there is too it for
adding a podcast to your Zune. Happy listening!
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