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- Teaching with Technology:
"Quick-I need an online teaching activity!"
Tech Talk Topic:
"PowerPoint Portability Problems"
- For more, see
podcast notes for
Technology & Download News Briefs
has announced the imminent release of their
Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.),
creatively packaged, but not so creatively priced.
The Master Collection will sell for a wopping
$2,499.00 retail, and of course their are lots of
mix-and-match combo packs sold for somewhat less.
Tight integration of the products and connection
with online services are the motivators to move to
the new software. You can register at the site
to be notified of the actual release date, expected
to be in October.
Smarterer? Funnerer? Betterer?
Happierer? It's so newerer that the ad
geniuses paid by Google had to invent a greaterer,
hypierer language to debut it. It has also
been a long time coming, but this week Google,
T-Mobile and HTC announced the release of the first
"Android" (Google's handset operating system) based
mobile phone, known as the "HTC Dream" and also
known as the "T-Mobile G1". The vendors have
worked hard to insure that "...the Android-enabled
Dream is also chock full of familiar features and
apps. Users will have one-click access to all of
Google's mobile apps, such as Gmail, Google Maps
(including street view, a feature that is
infuriatingly missing from the iPhone), Google talk,
Google Calendar, and more" (ars
Click here for the YouTube video.
from Microsoft, a beta add-in for PowerPoint that
displays your presentation in overview and displays
its flow, allowing for navigation in and out of
slides in a non-linear fashion. It is called
pptPlex, and can be downloaded by visiting the
Microsoft Office Labs web site (Vista and
PowerPoint 2007 required). While there, watch
the orientation videos to appreciate the
Also from Microsoft Research: the Image
Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image
available for download now. "You shoot a
set of overlapping photographs of a scene from a
single location, and Image Composite Editor creates
a high-resolution panorama incorporating all your
images at full resolution. Then save your stitched
panorama in a wide variety of formats, from common
Coming as a surprise to no one, the
Pew Internet and American Life project reported
recently that "Fully 97% of teens ages 12-17 play
computer, web, portable, or console games" [PDF].
Interestingly, the study found that "For most teens,
gaming is a social activity and a major component of
their overall social experience", and "...the
quantity of game play is not strongly or
consistently related to most civic outcomes, but
that some particular qualities of game play have a
strong and consistent positive relationship to a
range of civic outcomes."
File under "Lectures to Go": A recent study at
the University of Wisconsin, involving more than
29,000 students showed that 82% of undergraduates
and 79% of graduates showed a "clear preference" for
non-real-time lectures. That is, lectures
technologically captured and played
non-synchronously. Rather surprisingly, and as
a gauge to the strength of feeling on the issue,
"Over 60 percent of respondents said they would pay
for lecture capture capabilities, and of those, 69
percent said they would be willing to pay on a
“course-by-course” basis rather than bundled fees."
Click here for the Inside Higher Ed report.
Everyone knows there are 2,561,787 or so articles in
the English Wikipedia, but how many articles are
deleted each year? Last year: 60,000 plus.
You may well gasp. But don't despair.
You can find them all, and much more, at
Deletionpedia. "It organizes pages by what
month they were deleted, by how many editors had
worked on a page, by how long they had lasted on
Wikipedia..." and so on.
We reported on E. O. Wilson's Encyclopedia of Life
project back in
episode 59 (May 2007). "The Encyclopedia
will be an online reference and database on all 1.8
million species currently known to science and will
stay current by capturing information on newly
discovered and formally described species." It
is sort of a giant, wiki-style scientific reference
built on and by social networking among
knowledgeable participants, subjects to the virtues
and limitations of that approach. We thought
it time to check back in. To view the EOL,
click here, to read the FAQ,
While pitched for K-12 teachers, the Google election
map may be useful for you too. Here is what it
It can be easily embedded on a
Blackboard course page.
Click here to access the
here to access other election tools for
last podcast we reported on the world's largest
science project, CERN's Large Hadron Collider which
publicly debuted on September 10. Shortly
thereafter the machine needed to be turned off in
order to make repairs to a giant transformer and the
cooling system (we at Palomar can commiserate).
The LHC will be offline for at least two months (NY
Times), and it is doubtful that high energy
collisions can occur before the end of the year.
Safari Tech Book Online:
Adobe Acrobat 9 How-Tos: 125 Essential Techniques,
by Donna L. Baker. "Adobe Acrobat continues to be
one of the most widely recognized tools for document
management, office communications, and improved
workflow, and Acrobat 9 is the most powerful version
yet...Acrobat expert Donna L. Baker has selected the
key techniques for accomplishing nearly any office
communication task. You'll broaden your PDF skill
set in no time with this focused, handy guide." 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
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
Quick - I
Need An Online Teaching Activity!
The Illinois Online Network is an
excellent source of ideas and resources for online
instructors and I've mentioned it before. Although all the
areas of the web site are valuable, I particularly recommend
the Educational Resources/Articles & Tutorials and the
Educational Resources/Online Teaching Activity Index areas
Illinois Online Network:
The Online Teaching Activity Index is a
very useful compendium of best practice activities that are
designed to get your students actively engaged with your
course material. There are dozens of activities - something
here for everyone - and what I really like about the way it
is organized is that each activity is fully described,
typical uses of the activity are suggested, educational
objectives are identified, and, for most, great examples of
how they have been implemented are presented. In other
words, you'll know exactly how the activity has been used
successfully and you can either use it as described or
modify it to suit your objectives.
One activity that is going to fit well in
my online classes and probably would in many others as well
is the Hypothetical Situation activity. As with the other
activities, all the parts of this activity are explicitly
described including a description of the activity, goals &
objectives, materials and resources, guiding questions,
activity outline and procedure, teaching strategies, and
I hope online instructors investigate this
resource; I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry
The number one problem people report with giving
PowerPoint presentations on computers on which they
were not created (which is usually the case) is that
certain things do not display correctly—or
at all—or that
media linked from the presentation does not play
correctly. This article describes what steps can be
taken to minimize these problems.
A common problem is that fonts that displayed
correctly on the computer that created the
presentation do not display on the computer used to
give the presentation. This problem can be
eliminated by embedding the font in the presentation
file before moving it to another computer. This will
result in somewhat larger presentation file sizes,
but will eliminate this embarrassing problem.
How to fix it: To embed fonts in
presentations when they are saved (using
PowerPoint 2007) click the Office button and
choose PowerPoint Options. In the
PowerPoint Options dialog box, the “Preserve
fidelity…” section select “Embed Fonts in the
file” and click the radio button next to “Embed
all characters”. While it is really only
necessary to embed the characters used in the
presentation rather than all the characters in
the font, most PowerPoint presentations are
dynamic things that get edited right up to the
last minute, and it is handy to have the font
available if additions need to be made to the
Note that this selection needs to be made for
each presentation in which you want to embed
fonts. It is not a global setting that will
remain in effect for PowerPoint.
A common problem is video and audio files that
play just fine on the computer where a presentation
is created do not play on the presentation computer.
Most always this is caused by missing files. The
audio or video files are actually linked
to the PowerPoint .pptx file (or .ppsx file, if that
is the format you have saved in) NOT embedded in the
file. When the presentation file is moved to a flash
drive or CD, the media files are not moved with it,
and therefore cannot be found by PowerPoint on the
presenter computer since they do not exist there.
The rules for embedded vs. linked files are
actually quite simple:
- All video files are linked, NOT embedded in
the PowerPoint presentation.
- The same is true of Flash objects. They are
always linked, never embedded.
- WAV audio files smaller than a certain file
size are embedded, those larger than that file
size, and all non-wav format files, are linked.
The threshold size can be found by clicking the
Office button > PowerPoint Options > Advanced >
Save. In the Save section of this PowerPoint
options dialog box you will find a “Link sounds
with file size greater than” parameter. The
default setting for this size in PowerPoint 2007
is 100KB, but you can change it to any value you
wish up to 50000KB (that is 50MB).
How to fix it:
There are two
simple solutions to this problem.
- When creating your presentation, be sure
all media files linked from your
presentation are in the folder in which the
presentation is saved. Then when you
transfer the media to a flash drive, CD or
email it to yourself, transfer the ENTIRE
FOLDER, not just the .pptx (or ppsx) file.
That way you will be guaranteed to have all
the media your presentation needs present in
the same location and links to the media
from within your presentation will be
correct. If you first link to the file, and
then move it to the presentation folder,
delete it and re-link it from the
presentation so the link to it will be in
the default presentation folder.
- Use PowerPoint’s “Package for CD” option
to save your file. That way all files
necessary for giving the presentation will
be saved in the same “package”.
Click the "Options" button on the resulting
"Package for CD" dialog box and be sure "Linked
files" is checked. This is also an
opportunity to be sure Embedded fonts are
Note that this Option dialog will save as a
“Viewer Package” as distinct from an “Archive
Package.” The difference is that file formats
(should there be any old ones) will not be
updated and a copy of the PowerPoint Viewer (PPTVIEW.EXE)
will be placed in the file when Viewer Package
After configuration options are selected,
click on “Copy to Folder” from the initial
“Package for CD” dialog box. Then, drag this
folder to whatever other media you want to place
it on, like a CD, flash drive, portable hard
drive, email attachment, etc.
How to tell if an audio file is embedded or
To tell if an audio file is embedded or linked,
select the audio object, click on the Sound Tools
tab, and click the dialog launcher in the Sound
Options command group.
The Sound Options dialog will tell you whether
the file is contained in the presentation (i.e.,
embedded) or not. If not, the path to the file will
Missing Media Players
While far less likely to be the cause of the
problem when media will not play, it is possible
that it will not play because the media player to
handle the media is not present on the host
computer. If PowerPoint is installed on the
computer, this is almost certainly not the case for
audio and video files that play on another computer,
though there may be issues related to missing codecs.
How to fix it: If codecs are
missing, it is time to call for technical
support. If technical support is not available
try installing the latest version of the Windows
media player and many codec issues will
disappear. The Windows media player is free and
Flash objects are the exception. If a Flash
Object will not play, be sure the computer you
are using has the latest version of the Adobe
Flash player. The free Adobe Flash player is
This will install and register the required
ActiveX controls to play Flash within
Of course, the discussion of audio above assumes
that the actual hardware you are using to play media
is configured correctly. Before checking
anything else eliminate the obvious causes of
trouble on the computer from which you are
presenting: be sure it has a sound card; the sound
card is connected to speakers; the speakers are
turned on; the volume level is set correctly on the
speakers; the volume level is set correctly on the
computer; the speakers are not muted on the computer
or at the speakers themselves; the speakers actually
work (test them with some music).
It is always best to arrive early for a
presentation—very early!—and personally test the
equipment you will be be using with your actual
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