|Trouble reading this? Click here.||Number 118 - December 16, 2010|
Happy Holidays from Academic Technology
Thank you all for the opportunity to work with you and support the great teaching and learning opportunities presented by Palomar College. We hope you all have a happy and rewarding holiday season.
This newsletter contains our semester end/year end reminders to you.
Blackboard 9 is Live
Each day we receive questions like 'When are you going to create the Blackboard class shells for spring semester?' Actually, the shells have been ready since mid-October. The problem is that they are on an entirely new hardware platform with an entirely new version of Blackboard.
This is not news to many. A record number of faculty members have participated in our Blackboard 9 training during the fall semester, and our Winter Tech Camp, where the topic will be Blackboard 9, is fully subscribed. However, if you don't know what Blackboard 9 is, or how to move your course materials from the current Blackboard 8 system to the new Blackboard 9 system, we suggest you do several things:
1. Read the document [PDF] we have prepared that give detailed instructions, with links to how-to screen videos, on how to move your course materials from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9. Basically, it is export from Blackboard 8 import to Blackboard 9. If you have trouble, contact our tech support team.
2. Attend one of the pre-plenary workshops we will be presenting January 13, 2011 from 3 to 5PM. There will be one on "Blackboard Essentials" for those unfamiliar with Blackboard, and one titled "New to Nine" which will touch on the differences between the Blackboard you may be familiar with and the new version.
3. Use the online training materials we have assembeled on our "Teaching with Blackboard" page, or that Blackboard has presented in its Blackboard On Demand Learning Center.
4. Call for assistance or mentoring on how to use the new system: We can be reached at (760) 744-1150 ext. 2862 or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a specific Blackboard problem, report it using our Help Assistance System.
5. If you did not attend any of the full-day training sessions in the fall, or will not be attending Winter Tech Camp, we urge you to sign up for the Blackboard 9 training that will be offered throughout the spring semester.
6. Experiment. We have set up 3 experimental courses for each faculty member on our sandbox "play" system, that is running the same version 9 as the new production system. Login there (with the same login you use for normal Blackboard work) and practice with the new system. If you wish you can use these course shells for developmental work, and then export/import to the production system.
Remember, clicking any of the links to Blackboard on the college web pages on or after January 1, 2011 will take you to the new Blackboard system, not the one that we are using during the fall 2010 semester. If you still have not moved your materials from the old to the new systems at that time, follow the instructions for export/import we have provided.
Blackboard with Cream & Sugar
We have been pleased with the turnout at our weekly Blackboard with Cream & Sugar sessions, held on a drop-in basis each Wednesday morning between 7:30 and 10:30 AM. We are going on hiatus over the holidays, but will re-commence on January 12. If you feel the urge to learn about the new version of Blackboard at that time, or have any other Blackboard-related questions or comments drop by room LL-111. We provide the coffee and tea and, we hope, answers.
Media Server Switchover
On December 31, 2010 the switch will be thrown on our old media server, named Venus. Our new streaming media solution delivers much higher quality video, in a more secure manner. The hitch is, that all media needs to be re-encoded to run on the new system. Over the last year we have been doing just that, and have re-encoded hundreds of titles. We have made our best effort encourage faculty members to bring their media in for re-encoding, but undoubtedly there will be some who did not hear the appeals. If your media no longer plays during the spring semester, this will probably be the reason why. If this happens, contact us right away, and if this is the problem in fact, bring your media in for re-encoding. All long-form media has been captioned for the web, so the time it takes to get it encoded and captioned can be several weeks.
Spring Training Opportunities
We have published our training schedule for spring 2011. We encourage faculty members to take advantage of the in-person workshops. We are offering some of the standard workshops that are always in demand, like the ones on Web Authoring, PowerPoint, and Google Earth, and have added a set of new ones dedicated to Blackboard 9, a new workshop on converting PowerPoint to online video, a new workshop on Word 2010, and an experimental one of using Twitter. See you in class.
Visit our web site for details, follow us to learn more: