Solar eclipse of the Archives, 1808

With a Middlebury College Observatory Open House Night scheduled for this Friday, May 29th from 9:00PM-10:30PM, we’re looking to the stars and sharing more astronomical history from the archives.

 

On June 16, 1808 a total eclipse of the sun cast a shadow across much of the northeastern United States, including the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. Known as “Tecumseh’s Eclipse” for the role it played in the Shawnee chief’s efforts to form a tribal confederacy, this astronomical event would have been visible to sixteen-year-old Mansfield native Samuel Mosely. Mosely went on to study at Middlebury College where in 1817, he made an annotated drawing of the eclipse with detailed notes on its timing and geometry:

Illustration of the June 16, 1806 total solar eclipse by Samuel Mosely, Class of 1818. Dated May 28, 1817.
Illustration of the June 16, 1806 total solar eclipse by Samuel Mosely, Class of 1818. Dated May 28, 1817.

After graduating in 1818, Mosely, like many early Middlebury graduates, became a missionary. He died in 1834 while working among the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi.

 

Weekly Web Updates – April 25, 2016

We’re currently working on some back-end tasks, like integration between the Course Hub and Canvas, a tool to audit usage of plugins and themes across multiple WordPress installations, updating our RSS caching tool to work with newer versions of the PHP HttpRequest library, and the initial migration of the Davis program sites to Drupal 8.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • We have updated the MiddSTART site, adding an index on several columns in the database which dramatically improves load time of the lists of donors from about 50 seconds to about five seconds.
  • Removed a restriction on guest accounts, allowing them to log into the Course Hub, which creates a local account that instructors can then add to course sites for the purpose of granting them access to Canvas.
  • The roll year in the Online Donor Roll was set to FY 2016 so that class agents and reunion committee members would properly appear.

Polycom Demo Units

Hi All,

We have temporarily deployed two new Polycom units for testing purposes, one to Library 221 and one to Exchange Street 109.  They both connect to the display via HDMI and are controlled with a remote control.  The necessary testing will be done internally, but I wanted to give potential users of the spaces a heads up.  Please feel free to use the equipment if you’re meeting in one of the rooms and would like to try it out!

One unit is located in Library 221, on top of the display.  It’s connected via HDMI to HDMI 1.  The number for this unit is 802221.  Virtual meeting room (VMR) number is 710221 (this should be used when connecting to more than 1 remote participant).  This is a new unit called the Polycom RealPresence Debut, which is specifically designed for smaller conference rooms.  It will be in place for the next 2-3 weeks.  For the trial, this unit will not be capable of sending content.

The other unit has been deployed to 109 Exchange Street, the small conference room next to the CSNS suite.  The number for this unit is 802109.  VMR number is 710109.  This unit is to test specifically with the Skype for Business pilot but can also be used for other meetings taking place between Exchange street and remote locations.  This unit will be in place for the duration of the Skype for Business trial.  Content must be sent to this unit using the People + Content IP program, found here.  Instructions on sending content using People + Content IP can be found here.  The IP for the unit is: 140.233.18.120 (Directions for using the unit specifically with Skype for Business are forthcoming!).

Please email mpauly@middlebury.edu if you have questions or feedback regarding either of these Polycom devices.

Thanks!

Mack

 

Notes for Panopto Demo April 19, 2016

Presenters – Jeff Davis and Andy Tumas from Panopto

Project: Video Streaming Service

Use cases

Student presentations, screen and lecture capture, academic assignment, videos from Communications to promote Middlebury, Athletics events, live streams

 

Accounts & Access

1) How are accounts created when we have SSO? Are accounts pre-created in bulk, are they created when a user signs in, some other else model?

  1. We can discuss in more detail, but since Middlebury uses Canvas ( Moodle as well?),  if possible, it makes sense to provision access control from Canvas.

2) Can your solution restrict access to content based on Groups in Active Directory or LDAP?

  1. Yes,  http://support.panopto.com/Documentation?cat=Active_Directory

3) How are personal or shared quotas handled?

  1. Panopto does not enforce a limit on storage so there should be no need to apply quotas.

4) Can we programmatically provision shared-spaces with a quota?

  1. Panopto does not enforce a limit on storage so there should be no need to apply quotas.

5) Does this application or service PROCESS, STORE, or TRANSMIT any REGULATED DATA?

  1. No. However,  we would have liked to clarified a bit more with a text box. Panopto only stores a user’s first name, last name, e-mail address (Directory Information) and is not considered PII.

 

  • If adopted, Panopto would need to integrate with both Moodle and Canvas for one year.
  • Supports CAS, AD, and SAML 2.0
  • A brief look at their API documentation suggests that we should be able to provision accounts and course-groups on request via the Course Hub as we do with Canvas, Moodle, SANSSpace, etc.
  • Either CAS or SAML 2.0 (ADFS) for SSO authentication in combination with this provisioning via their API.

Storage

1) Is it possible to have a hybrid solution where some content is served from your cloud solution but you have a locally hosted content on our campus for other data? How does that change pricing?

  1. Panopto does not offer a hybrid solution, either hosted or cloud based or we Panopto can be deployed on-premise.   However, when we host, there are no storage charges, so hoping this helps with the discussion.

2) What are the maximum file-size/length/quality limits for upload? Can multi-hour videos be ingested?

  1. There are no size limits, and yes, multi-hour videos can be uploaded.

3) Can individuals have their own space?

  1. Panopto is managed through a folder structure, and yes,  Faculty,  Staff, and Students can have their own folders.

4) Is there the concept of quotas? Can we programmatically create shared spaces with specific quota? E.g. Create 12 shared spaces with each having 10GB of quota?

  1. No concept of quotas since storage is unlimited.

 

Accessibility

1)  Does your solution support closed-captioning files?

  1. Yes,  we provide Closed Captioning as a Service,  or Middlebury can partner with one of 3 integrated partners,  including:  3Play Media,  Automatic Sync Technologies,  and Cielo 24.

2) Can it create closed-captioning files?

  1. When one of the services mentioned above is utilized, Panopto provides the ability to download the caption files that have been generated

3) What other accessibility features does it have?

  1. Panopto’s student-facing interfaces (viewer, embedded viewer and folders, session list view) Support 508 and WCAG  2.0  accessibility.  Panopto provides keyboard navigation and compatibility with NVDA, JAWS, and Voiceover screen readers.  508 compliant captioning also supported.

 

  • Search occurs within a recording and across multiple recordings.
  • Search will include captioning and transcriptions of audio, character recognition in video, and notes (See answer to “What kind of metadata does your platform support?” below.
    • Text must be present in video for a while to be recognized.
    • Captioning uses speech recognition
  • Captioning displayed on side of video, working to overly captioning on video playback.
  • Captioning in English, only.
  • Can ingest captioning files.
  • Uses adaptive streaming, will adjust the quality based on connection speed of viewer.

 

Canvas/Moodle/Wordpress

1) Does integration with Moodle & Canvas cost extra?

  1. No,  the cost of Panopto includes support and integrations.

2) Can you describe the integration process for Moodle and Canvas?

  1. Panopto supports the majority of higher education LMS platforms, including a feature rich integrations with Canvas and Moodle.   Both integrations includes SSO, ability to provision access control, controlled publishing to Canvas or Moodle, and rolling course synchronization for enrolled students.   Please see links to integration overview videos below:
    1. Canvas: https://howtovideos.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=4aa35170-f031-42b8-9000-2ca05f86f3ce
    2. Moodle:  https://howtovideos.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2c72e277-0d69-4b34-a32d-56e73985991f

 

3)  Do you have an API that we can use to pull lists of videos to which a user has access to provide browsing interface from within our web applications (Moodle, WordPress, Drupal, etc)?

  1. Yes, API Documentation.  This may also be accomplished through a embedded playlist.

 

  • Users may use Moodle or Canvas to access Panopto, or they may access Panopto directly.
  • Faculty and students may add Panopto videos/presentations via a button in the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Uses embedded iFrame.

 

Content Management

1) How does asset management work in your platform?

  1. Panopto organizes recordings into a Parent/Child Folder structure.  Recordings are uploaded to folders.  User roles, individual accounts, or groups will have access to these folders and, in turn, access to the recordings within those folders.

2)      Can lots of people manage a particular group of videos?

  1. Yes, there is no limit here.

3) What is the process for a professor to upload a video on your system and embed it in the LMS?

  1. If created with the Panopto client, the professor would simply choose the Folder that is associated with their LMS course.  The Canvas/Moodle integrations will embed the recording in a list view automatically.  If created elsewhere and uploaded to Panopto, the professor would simply upload to the associated Folder.  Panopto can also provide embed codes for individual recordings.

 

  • Video can be captured from multiple devices: Windows, Mac and mobile devices.
  • Video and slides from multiple devices can be captured and synced for playback.
    • All streams recorded, viewer may choose which stream they view.
  • Titles of slides (powerpoint or Keynote) become a timestamped table of contents that can be clicked to bring viewer to a point in the timeline.
  • Slides presented as jpg thumbnails to move to point in timeline.
  • Notes can be added to a table of contents
    • May be public or private
    • Many students can contribute notes to same video
    • Student notes can be marked private globally
  • Synced videos may be presented as picture-in-picture
  • Presentations may be embedded in other web sites.
  • A Dropbox folder is available for student assignments, only faculty and student may see content.
  • Homepage of Panopto can be curated or display most popular, recently added, etc.

 

Other

1) Is there a browseable view (a “library”) where users can search across all files available to them?

  1. Yes, Panopto provides a searchable library portal.

2) How are videos served/streamed? Is HTML5 video markup supported or is a plugin (Flash, Silverlight, etc) required for playback?

  1. Adaptive playback with HTML5 support.  The viewer will default to use Flash if available.  If not, it will play in HTML5.

3)  How do you support live event streaming?

  1. Any recording can be live streamed by using the Panopto client for Windows or Mac.
  2. Url can be set in advance

4) What are your value added services, if any?

  1. Panopto offers Emerald Support,   which includes 365 x 24 x 7 end user support,  as well as one(1) day on-site training.

5) What kind of metadata does your platform support?

  1. Panopto indexes video in a number of ways:  Contents (automated contents generated PowerPoint and Keynote slides), Slide text (fully searchable), Notes, Discussion, Captioning, Smart Search (OCR and ASR).  Contents although automated, can be edited.  The Panopto Editor provides for manual entry of metadata/tags/topics at any time stamp in the video timeline.

6) What options are available for content creation and interactivity?

  1. During a live webcast viewers can interact through a discussion panel which is similar to a chat window.  They can ask questions to the presenter.  After a recording is completed, Panopto allows for 3rd party web sites to be embedded in its Viewer as a secondary source.  This allows you to use your existing polling/quizzing tools within Panopto.

7) Unicode support?

  1. Yes.
    1. Does not support right-to-left text.

 

Systems Maintenance this Sunday, April 24th

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, April 24th from 6 am – 10 am we have the following activities scheduled:

  • Networking equipment in the Library data center will be consolidated. There will be brief network outages (up to 15 minutes) for portions of the Davis Family Library, 131 Franklin St, and 118 South Main St

We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.

 

Regards,

Billy

 

 

Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

 

What’s an Approval Profile, and Why Does the Library Want to Change Ours?

A brown-bag lunch will be held on May 3 at 12:30 pm, in the Crest Room of the McCullough Student Center, to explore the subject of the library’s approval profile. Douglas Black, the library’s Head of Collections Management, will be presenting, with some sweets and coffee to augment your own lunch. He’ll give some history of the approval program in library acquisitions over the years and lead discussion on its role in the academic library collection of the 21st century.

For context, the library selects, acquires, and provides access to materials in many different ways:

  • upon request by students, faculty, and staff
  • automatic purchase of e-books and streaming media based on usage
  • subscriptions
  • package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
  • one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
  • gifts/donations
  • and through automatic purchase via an “approval profile.”

Under the approval model, the library utilizes a library vendor (in our case, YBP Library Services) to purchase automatically books that meet certain criteria (e.g., subject, hardbound only, no workbooks, scholarly publishers only, within a certain price range, etc.).  Middlebury typically purchases about 3,000 volumes/year this way, at an average annual cost of $97,000 in the last few years. We recently conducted a thorough analysis of the program’s effectiveness, finding that print books purchased through the approval profile are used much less than those specifically requested. The library believes some of that money could be spent more effectively and would like to gather input from members of the campus community on reshaping the profile.

Please feel welcome to contact your liaison or Douglas Black (dblack@middlebury.edu or x3635) with any questions (whether or not you can attend the meeting), or comment here in the blog.

Weekly Web Updates – April 18, 2016

WordPress 4.5

The key features of this release include:

  • A less distracting inline link interface
  • Formatting shortcuts for horizontal lines and <code> tags
  • Live responsive previews when customizing themes
  • Custom logo support
  • Smart image resizing; images now load up to 50% faster

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • An excess memory usage problem caused by excessive fetching of revisions within Jetpack’s custom CSS module has been resolved.
  • PIDM and 8-digit ID’s have been exposed via CAS and CAS_Directory for use in the Course Hub.
  • Guests can now be granted the ability to log into some Drupal sites [Course Hub] without requiring that all guests have their accounts auto-created.
  • The CAS user sync now works when users’ languages are greater than five characters.

ACTT Extended Team Meeting Agendas for April 19th and 26th, 2016

The new ACT Team process includes Extended Team meetings. These closed meetings allow the Team to work with expert staff and focus on evaluating solutions that inform recommendations.

Agenda

The next two meetings will be discussions with vendors that can help meet the needs for the Video Streaming Service project.

  • Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 – Panopto
  • Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 – Ensemble