Category Archives: Middlebury Community Interest

Friday Links, September 19th

Will the Next Classroom Disruption Be in 3-D? Facebook’s Virtual-Reality Company Thinks So – Brendan Iribe dropped out of the University of Maryland here, but before he did he amassed 227 parking tickets. And he managed to meet two business partners who would help him build the virtual-reality company Oculus VR, which Facebook bought this year for about $2-billion.

Killer Moodle Gamification Tips You Must Know – There are many ways through which you can use Moodle gamification to improve eLearning. Reliable studies show the gamifying the learning process can add a lot of value a part from enhancing the participation of the learners and teachers alike.

Samsung and Oculus partner to create Gear VR, a virtual reality headset that uses the Note 4 (hands-on) – Facebook’s Oculus VR is creating the Rift. Sony’s PlayStation is creating Project Morpheus. Google is… well, Cardboard exists. And now Samsung’s getting in on the virtual reality action, announcing Gear VR at IFA 2014 today in Berlin, Germany.

lynda.com Site Unavailable Sept 19 from 2:00-3:00 AM (EST)

lynda_logo 72x72For the night owls out there, please note that our lynda.com online learning resource will be unavailable from 2:00 – 3:00 AM Friday, September 19, while web server capacity improvements are implemented.    (What’s that you say?   You haven’t heard of lynda??  Visit go/lyndainfo to see what you’re missing.)

 

ILLiad Web pages down for ILLiad Upgrade

The ILLiad Web pages will be down at 2:00 pm today while we upgrade the ILLiad software.  The ILL web site should be inaccessible for only a short time, assuming all goes well with the update.

If anyone has problems after 4:00 pm please contact Rachel Manning at x5498 or rmanning@middlebury.edu for assistance.

For Staff & Faculty: One Stop Shopping for Department & Course Website Assistance

Help Key

Need to make changes to your departmental web page?  Could you use a hand with your course website or blog?  Have questions about moving your webforms to our new secure server?  Do wiki formatting woes keep you awake at night?  We have the solution — a peaceful place where you can work on your pages AND get your questions answered.  Sign up for a Website Maintenance Work Session (or two).  Staff from Information Technology Services (ITS) and Academic Technology will be available to answer your questions and help you troubleshoot problems. These are not formal workshops — please bring your work, your questions, and yourself!

Our first session will be offered Tuesday, September 16 at 9:00 am in Davis Family Library, room 105.  Visit go/techworkshops to view the rest of the fall semester schedule.  Please use our convenient online signup form to let us know you what session(s) you plan to attend.

The ABC of Blu-ray: Foreign Region Blu-ray in classrooms

Our classrooms support the playback of DVDs from any region of the world. However, this is not the case with Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray discs come in four “flavors” based on their region: Region Free, Region A, Region B, Region. C Currently, our classrooms support the playback of Region Free and Region A Blu-ray discs. (See the Regions section of this page for more info on Blu-ray regions: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/info.php).

At this time Media Services does not support the playback of Blu-rays from regions B and C in classrooms.

The Library does not order titles on Blu-ray from regions B and C and it does not maintain a library of titles of them.

If you have purchased a Region B or C Blu-ray disc that you need to use in class, please check the existing collection to see if we have the title in Region A. If not, the Library can attempt to purchase the (A) American region. Please use this form to request the purchase.

Even though equipment to play Blu-ray discs from any regions exists, it is not easy to use and it is unreliable. The procedure to project a blu ray of another region (B or C) is a complex procedure and will effect the ability for another person to play Blu-ray discs. In addition, the need for a remote control also adds a layer of complexity. Power outages also adversely effect the players settings and may make playback impossible.

For the reasons outlined above media services does not, at this time, support Blu-ray discs from region B or C.

We hope this will change in the future, and we will announce an update on this blog when that happens.

Sincerely,
Stewart Lane and Petar Mitrevski
Media Services

ITS student printing updates

Information Technology Services updated some printing services over the summer:

Visit go/howtoprint to view our updated instructions on how to print to a public printer

  • Cash Cards replace credit cards.

In the event you need to increase your print page quota, PaperCut cash cards have replaced the online credit card system.  Purchase cards at Wilson Café in Davis Family Library, MiddXpress in McCullough, or the College Store in Proctor Hall.

Sunday morning maintenance September 7, 2014

This Sunday morning between 8 and 10 am ET we will be upgrading the Monterey Institute of International Studies website (http://www.miis.edu) from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

The upgrade will take approximately one hour during which the site will not be usable.

There will also be a short period of under one minute during the upgrade when file assets on the other Drupal 7 sites may not be available. These sites include:

  • Davis Fellows for Peace: http://www.davisfellowsforpeace.org
  • Davis Projects for Peace: http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org
  • Davis United World Scholars Program: http://davisuwcscholars.org
  • Middlebury Museum of Art: http://museum.middlebury.edu
  • Secure Forms for Middlebury: https://forms.middlebury.edu
  • Secure Forms for MIIS: https://forms.miis.edu

We do not anticipate any impact on other services.

Course Sites and New Services

Last year we posted some course site suggestions for faculty. The information is still relevant, and here is a short summary for those who only need a reminder:

  • Where to find help for faculty – http://go.middlebury.edu/liaisons
  • Where to find help for students working on media assignments – http://go.middlebury.edu/dmt
  • Start at the Course Hub – http://courses.middlebury.edu
    • Add your syllabus as a web page, document, or link
    • In general, if you would like your course site to be private choose Moodle
    • In general, if you would like your course site to be public choose WordPress
    • If you make your course unavailable to students while you are building it, please make sure you make it available before students need access to it.

There are a handful of new services that are available for faculty to use in their courses:

SANSSpace

SANSSpace has a web-based video and audio recorder for class assignments. Students can record audio or video and save directly to the site, and faculty can respond by inserting text, audio or video in the timeline of the student’s submission. It is most commonly used for an online language lab environment, and also has applications for presentations, music, and writing. SANSSpace can be added to your course via the Course Hub.

Shared Moodle Resource

Currently, the only shared Moodle resource is the Academic Integrity Tutorial. This tutorial can be added to any course via the Course Hub.

Curricular Innovations

There have been many stories about curricular activities gathered over the years, and they have been shared across many sites. We have started to gather them in one place, the Curricular Innovations site, where faculty can see and share experiences in the classroom.

 

Personal tech tip: A colleague recently shared that they use a program called Eyeleo (http://eyeleo.com/) to help them to remember to take regular breaks when spending long amounts of time at a computer. Eyeleo works on windows computers, and there is a similar program, Time Out (http://www.dejal.com/timeout/), that works on Macs.