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- Blackboard Feature:
"In Case of Bb Outage..."
- Teaching with Technology:
"Ending the Semester Well"
Tech Talk Topic:
"The Windows Key in Windows 7"
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology News Briefs
- Important notice to Blackboard users.
Blackboard will be down from
December 27, 2009 until
December 30 to accommodate power upgrades on
the San Marcos campus. Blackboard will also be
down from 6am January 4, 2010 until early on January
7, 2010, so that we can perform a full system backup
and apply security and other software patches.
- We have a new Academic Technology News Feed
blog. Please subscribe to it using the
Click here to visit the ATRC News blog.
- We have also begun three new blogs and will be
moving our podcast contents to them. Just
paste the subscription address into your newsreader
(and if you don't have one we recommend
Google Reader) to subscribe
to the regular posts. Each blog will include a
monthly podcast feature, and at the end of each
month the features will be rolled up into yet
another blog: the Academic Technology Podcasts blog.
If you have been a follower of our program notes, or
of the features we have offered over the last
several years, you will find them moved to these
blogs. If you subscribe simply to the overall
podcast, subscribe then to the atpodcasts blog.
The blogs are:
- The Office 2010 beta is now available for public
Anyone can download and install the new Office
during its testing phase. Please note that
this is not recommended for Palomar College
production computers. Microsoft has moved
forward with Office Live version of its core
applications, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and it is
now possible to save from the desktop client to a
Microsoft SkyDrive in order to work collaboratively
with others. The big change is the extension
of the Fluent User Interface, including the ribbon,
to Outlook. Click here to view a quick
overview video, or play the embedded video below.
Product specific videos are available from the web
site linked above. Microsoft has confirmed a
June 2010 release date for the finished product.
Click here for a brief overview video.
- Once again this year NORAD will track Santa on
Christmas eve. His preparations are in place,
and you can follow him at the
NORAD site, or via
Facebook or his
Click here for the YouTube video.
the topic of Christmas, the
Morgan Library and Museum are currently
exhibiting the full Dickens 1843 holograph online.
Click here for the NY Times story of the
here to examine the manuscript online.
- News from Google:
- Google unveils a news by topic service.
Called the "Living
Stories Project," Google labs is demonstrating
its friendliness (really) tp big publishers, like
the New York Times and Washington Post. The
idea is to group stories by topic, as newspapers
have done for some time now on their web sites, but
in a way that might actually get them read.
- Google Earth 2.0 for the
has been released.
- Google Chrome is now available, in beta, for the
Click here for more information,
here to download.
- Google has dramatically lowered the cost of
extended storage. While Google has always been
a leader in giving away massive amounts of storage
free with thier applications, like GMail or Picasa,
they have now made it possible for storage hungry
clients to purchase additional storage for nominal
amounts. 20GB will cost only $5 per year.
Click here for more information,
here to purchase storage.
- Google has unveiled technology that adds
automatic captions to many YouTube videos.
Useful, indeed for the hearing impaired, but more
importantly, perhaps, extending the reach of
YouTube, for better or worse, to 51 languages via
use of the Google translation system.
Click here to view the announcement video.
- Jing has been updated include some under the
hood improvements, but more importantly, an output
to Twitter button.
Click here for the video announcement and, if
you do not have it, get Jing itself.
- Five major publishers, Time Inc., Conde Nast,
the Hearst Corp., Meredith, and News Corp., have
announced plans to build an "industry-standard
platform to present their work on the Web, phones
and ereaders in a richer, more flexible and more
lucrative form than is possible today" (NY Times),
emphasis on lucrative, no doubt.
has released a
YouTube video that gives the idea.
Publishers have apparently concluded that to go on
making money with their publications--if the term
publication continues to have meaning--they must add
value because customers have come to expect their
offerings heretofore for free. They have been,
as it were, the architects of their own demise as
far as their print publications are concerned.
- Featured Safari Tech Book Online:
Sams Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes, by
Tee Morris. "By working through the 10-minute
lessons, you learn everything you need to know to
quickly and easily use twitter. Step-by-step
instructions walk you through the most common
questions, issues, and tasks... "Did You Know?" tips
offer insider advice and shortcuts... "Watch Out!"
alerts help you avoid problems." 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.
Academic Technology Workshops
- We have published our
spring 2010 training schedule of workshops.
to access the description of workshops,
to access the schedule. We have also announced our
summer 2010 tech camp,
four full days of tech learning and fun. Sign-up
for workshops or the summer tech camp with the PD
office. Tech camp seats will fill soon, so sign-up
- Upcoming workshops:
- We have developed (or linked to) sets of
screen videos (screencasts) that teach how to use the features of
the various technology tools available to faculty
members through Blackboard:
Feature of the Week - David Gray
In Case of Bb Outage…
things are going “out” on Blackboard soon. Here is the
information on what and when things will be happening:
- Fall 2008 course removal
– December 21st, 2009. All the courses from
a year ago Fall will be gone on Monday,
- Blackboard off for power
outage – December 27th – December 30th,
2009. There is a planned power outage on the
Palomar main campus, so the Blackboard
system will be turned off after 5 PM on
Sunday, December 27th, and will remain off
until approximately 9 AM on Wednesday, December 30th.
- Blackboard off for
maintenance – January 4th – January 7th,
2010. Blackboard will go offline at 6 AM on
Monday, January 4th for system maintenance
and application of fixes to the Blackboard
system. Although we will get the system back
up again as soon as possible, it may remain
down until 7 AM on Thursday, January 7th.
A couple other noteworthy changes are
going to take effect soon, too:
- eServices password policy
– Passwords in eServices are going to have a
stronger password policy applied to them.
This means that students will likely have to
select longer and more complex passwords,
change their passwords on a periodic basis,
and use those new passwords when logging
into the Blackboard system. That also means
for faculty that the eServices password will
change the password of their faux-student
account in Blackboard, although changing
their eServices password will not update
their instructor account in Blackboard. More
details on the new password policy may be
found online at ?.
- Blackboard version 9 is
coming! Starting with the Fall 2010 courses,
Palomar will begin using version 9 of
Blackboard, which will be a significantly
changed interface than what we’ve been used
to previously. (I liken the difference to
the change between MS Office 2003 and 2007,
really.) Between the new interface and the
new tools that are becoming available, we
really recommend that all faculty currently
using Blackboard try to attend one of the
“New to Nine: Coming Changes to Blackboard”
workshops we will be offering in April.
Things will be very different, folks, so
don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
In this podcast episode I want to provide
two tips related to ending the semester well. The first was
the use of an anonymous survey to solicit candid student
reflections about a class that was concluding. While we all
have formal instructor evaluations conducted on a regular
schedule - typically every couple of years or so - some
instructors like to construct their own questions and survey
their students on a more frequent basis. While there are
different ways to deliver these student surveys, the
Blackboard system has a particularly appropriate device –
the Survey tool. Blackboard surveys are anonymous in that,
while the instructor can see who has responded to the
survey, he/she cannot see who has said what. In other words,
survey responses are listed but are separated from the
individual who made them so that the instructor can see all
the comments but not who made them.
Lesyna used the Blackboard Survey tool,
chose Essay for question type and constructed the following
survey (the questions asking about what students liked are
listed here; similar questions about what they didn’t like
were also on her survey):
What did you
about this class? Think about the following types of
issues when you write your answer:
how the class was set up, whether it was
well organized and easy to navigate
the assigned videos and
whether you felt the instructor gave you
enough guidance and reminders about upcoming
assignments with announcements
whether you thought the instructor answered
your emails promptly
the study guides for the tests and quizzes
the tests and quizzes you took
the writing assignments
the Quotes of the Day
documents (did you like the separate ones,
or would you prefer one really long one?)
he syllabus and
whether you thought the class was too easy
or too hard (should take about 9 hours of
work per week)
else you want to comment on
Kalyna offered a few extra credit points
to students who completed the survey but did not require any
particular length of response. Even though the number of
extra credit points was really inconsequential that offer
may have provided the extra bit of motivation for some to do
the survey. In any case, the results were pretty dramatic.
First of all, Kalyna discovered to her surprise, that
students wrote far more here than they write during the
in-class evaluation that is given by the institution.
Second, and particularly encouraging, was the return rate.
Anyone who has done survey research knows that return rates
tend to be very low – in fact our online class evaluation
returns, conducted by the TERB Office, are in the 10%-20%
range. Kalyna’s return rate was 55%. Finally, other research
findings suggest that whether or not students complete a
evaluation survey, they appreciate the fact that the
instructor is interested in their opinions.
The second tip is actually a report about
the components of a well-designed online class. This
semester the Senate Academic Technology Committee researched
other institutions’ documents that defined a “good” online
class. Relying mostly on those documents as well as our own
ideas and modifications, the committee developed a checklist
for things an accomplished online class should have. Next
semester this checklist will be pilot-tested to see how
useful it is in assisting instructors to evaluate their own
Tech-Talk-Topic - Terry
The Windows Key in Windows 7
Windows 7 has a lot of great new features.
One of my favorites is the new Aero snap, a simple
way to snap two open windows to the edges of the
display so that each is tiled 50-50 across the
screen, making it easy to drag and drop between
them. This could be achieved in previous
versions of Windows, of course, but how to go about
doing it was one of the mysteries of the universe.
In fact, there are a host of new shortcuts (some
existed in previous versions of Windows) that can be
accessed by holding down the Windows key (that key
between Ctrl and Alt at the lower left of your
keyboard with the little Windows flag on it and
(maybe) the word "start" on it--some keyboards will
have another Windows key between Alt and Ctrl to the
right of the space bar too) and pressing some other
key or key combination. Here are the most
useful. I will represent the Windows key below
by the word Win, and a plus sign after it indicates
to hold down the Win key and press another key, or
keys. When I refer to the "active window," or
"currently active window" below, I mean the window
that has the focus on the screen. Only one
window can have the focus at any one time.
Where I mention a letter key, it can be either upper
or lower case.
|Win + Up
currently active window
|Win + Down
currently active window is maximized, resize
it to its former dimensions; if it is not
maximized, minimize it to the task bar.
|Win + Left
currently active window to the left edge of
the screen and give it half the available
|Win + Right
currently active window to the right edge of
the screen and give it half the available
|Win + Shift +
Left or Right arrow
||This one only
applies if you have dual monitors. It
moves the windows to the other monitor.
become transparent so that the desktop is
visible (for those of you who follow the
despicable habit of placing files and
folders on your desktop). This
activity is called "Aero peek." When
you release the Win key the windows will
|Win + Home
but the currently active window to the task
bar. Win + Home again restores windows
as they were.
|Win + (+ or
the Windows Magnifier and zooms either in
(+) or out (-).To do this multiple times
(zoom to 400%, for example), release and
repress the Win key between keystroke
actions. To exit the Magnifier, click
on it's icon, if the Magnifier window is not
|Win + D
windows and show the desktop. Win + D
again toggles them all back to where they
|Win + E
Windows Explorer with My Computer showing.
|Win + F
||Open the Find
|Win + L
display. You will have to enter your
password to work with the computer again.
This one is great if you intend to step away
from your computer for a while.
|Win + N
OneNote side note, assuming you have
Microsoft OneNote installed.
|Win + P
presentation options--this one is made for
those using a projector--to computer only;
duplicate; extend; or projector only.
|Win + R
|Win + U
||Open the Ease
of Use center.
|Win + Pause
|Win + F1
Windows Help & Support center.
windows key alone opens the Start menu.
Watch the following screencasts for a demo of
these various features:
Part 1: Windows navigation and control
Part 2: Convenient shortcuts
Finally, here is a
convenient PDF document that summarizes the
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