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Learning is FUN with lynda

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are delighted to announce a new way to learn about technology!  LIS recently finalized arrangements for access to video-based online instruction through Lynda.com.  You can learn new software skills to help at work or home by watching short, 2-3 minute movies or by working through an entire course. 

This fabulous learning resource is now available to all faculty, staff and students, both here and at Monterey, using your Middlebury username and password.  Don’t take our word for it when we claim it’s addictive  — take five minutes, log in for the first time and find out for yourself.  Here’s how:

  • Type go/lynda (or go.middlebury.edu/lynda from off-campus) in your browser’s address field, then press Enter or Return.
  • From Middlebury’s authentication page, log in with your regular Middlebury username and password. 
  • The first time you log in you will be asked to provide basic information for your Lynda profile.  At minimum fill in your first and last name; the rest is optional.  The profile is used to store your personal video viewing history, bookmarks, certificates of completion, etc.)
  • Click “Update” to save your profile information; you will be re-directed to the Lynda site where you can begin your learning adventure.
  • Use the drop-down menus located in the black bar at the top of the site or use the “search” feature to find movies or courses of interest.  Look for links to “Take a guided tour” and “How to use lynda.com” at the top right of all course sites.  You may also select “How to use lynda.com” from the “New” menu for help getting started.

The next time you bump into someone from LIS, thank them for this great new resource.  Many of our staff helped get this project off the Wish List and on to the Try-It-Today List!

Introduction to Drupal Workshop Offered June 16

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In response to a number of requests, we are offering an “Introduction to Drupal” workshop on Thursday, June 16 from 1-2:30 p.m. Now is your chance to learn the basics of managing a department website — from creating pages to building and maintaining text-based content.  This session will also cover how to embed images, as well as audio and video files.

To sign up for this workshop (or inquire about other learning opportunities) please send email to:  helpdesk@middlebury.edu.

As always, you’ll find the current Library and Information Services (LIS) workshop schedule by typing go/lisworkshops in your web browser’s address field.

Cynthia Slater
Education & Training Team Leader
Library & Information Services (LIS)
Davis Family Library, Rm 125

LIS Drupal Workshops – May 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

To sign up for workshops of interest (or suggest topics) please send email to:  helpdesk@middlebury.edu.

Day Date Course Instructor Time
Mon 5/23 Introduction to Drupal Molberger 9:00 – 10:30 am
Mon 5/23 Drupal Review Molberger 11:00 am – Noon
Tue 5/24 Introduction to Drupal Molberger 9:00 – 10:30 am
Tue 5/24 Drupal Review Molberger 11:00 am – Noon
Wed 5/25 Drupal Site Work Session Molberger 9:00 am – Noon

The current workshop schedule with course descriptions is available by typing go/lisworkshops in your web browser’s address field.

Cynthia Slater
Education & Training Team Leader
Library & Information Services (LIS)
Davis Family Library, Rm 125

Who Needs What — Education and Training Team Shares Findings

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As part of the LIS Education & Training Team’s charge, we have developed an inventory of information and technology skills and knowledge needed by LIS staff, as well as College faculty, students and staff.  On our inventory we also indicate why and to what extent the skills are needed and include some of the resources currently provided by LIS to support faculty, students, and staff.  The team hopes to determine where educational and training resources are either inadequate or missing and to propose more effective ways of delivering essential education and training.

We reviewed a variety of sources including Helpdesk tickets, user logs, and the Middlebury website, and used our own experience with our constituents to come up with this list.

The team concluded that everyone at Middlebury should be expected to have at least an awareness and basic understanding of a large percentage of the computer skills and technologies identified, while some skills are needed by less than 5% of the community.  We were surprised by the amount of educational and training resources already available to the College community.  The problem is how to create awareness of and effective access to those resources.

The team is now working on the next part of our charge, which is to recommend how to build LIS staff development goals into the performance process; to work in cooperation with campus departments to identify specific information and technology training needs; and to make recommendations for training program development and delivery methods for faculty, staff and students.  The recent Lynda.com trial is the first of a number of possible solutions we’re exploring that may be recommended to meet these needs.

For Students, Staff & Faculty: Lynda Online Learning Trial Ends March 30

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Don’t miss the chance to try out this highly-acclaimed web-based instruction, courtesy of the LIS education and training team.  Learn new software and device skills easily and enjoyably by watching 2-3 minute videos or opt to work through entire courses.  Choose from video segments covering such varied topics as:  desktop publishing, computer literacy, video editing, personal finance and protecting your privacy online.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Be sure you are using a computer connected to the college’s network.
  2. Type go/trylynda in your web browser’s address field.
  3. Create a personal profile as directed in the right-hand panel to set up a username and password to use during our free trial.  (Important note:  You cannot simply log in with your Middlebury credentials.)  On future visits to the site enter the username and password you created in the left-hand panel to log in; your course history and bookmarking will be retained.
  4. Using any of the four drop-down menus, the “search” feature, or the list of course titles, select a tutorial or course of interest.
  5. Click on any video segment and the tutorial should start in a popup window.
  6. Watch, learn and enjoy – and jot down your reactions to share with the LIS Education and Training Team.  We are eager to hear about your experience.

Thank you for your help evaluating this exciting product.

Cynthia “Pij” Slater
Education and Training Team Leader

Take Two (minutes, that is) for Life-long Learning

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The LIS education and training team has arranged for a College-wide trial of web-based instruction offered by Lynda.com.  You can learn new software skills to help at work or home by watching 2-3 minute videos or by taking an entire course.  Our Lynda trial is only available through March 30 so don’t miss the chance to try this exciting product, described by some as “addictive.”

Here’s how to get started:

1.     Type go/trylynda in your web browser’s address field from any computer connected to the college’s network.
2.     Create a personal profile as directed in the right-hand panel to set up a username and password to use during our free trial.  (Important note:  You cannot simply log in with your Middlebury credentials.)  On future visits to the site enter the username and password you created in the left-hand panel to log in; your course history and bookmarking will be retained.
3.     Using any of the four drop-down menus, the “search” feature, or the list of course titles, select a tutorial or course of interest.
4.     Click on any video segment and the tutorial should start in a popup window.
5.     Watch, learn and enjoy – and jot down your reactions to share with us.

In return for this learning opportunity we’d love to hear your thoughts.  Did you find it easy to use Lynda’s web site?  Could you find videos and courses of interest easily?  Did you feel the material was useful and presented clearly?  Would you use Lynda if it was available in the future?  Please send your feedback or any questions to LIS Education and Training Team.

Cynthia “Pij” Slater, Education and Training Team Leader
Brenda Ellis
Kim Ehritt
Ben Molberger
Mack Roark
Andy Wentink

How is Google Apps Different?

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Google Apps doesn’t offer any tools or services that you can’t find anywhere else.  As well, many of the Google Apps do not offer as many features as comparable applications from other vendors do.  For example, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint offer many more features than their Google App equivalents. However, Google Apps for many people is “good enough” now to meet most of their needs.  More importantly, Google Apps is continually evolving, adding new features and documents/spreadsheets and presentation made in Google Apps can be exported to many common formats such as .doc, .xls, .pdf… etc.

What really distinguishes Google Apps is real-time collaboration.  That is to say, many people can work on the same document, spreadsheet, presentation or site at the same time.  Google apps keeps track of all changes and allows collaborators to compare different versions and roll-back to earlier versions much like a wiki. Google apps lets you specify exactly who can access your documents/spreadsheets and presentations and what type of access they have (view or edit).

The implications of real-time collaboration on teaching, learning and research are profound.  Faculty can give students feedback directly into the same documents that their students are composing in via inline comments.  Students can collaborate on group projects and assignments.  Faculty, staff and adminstrators can collaborate on research, grant proposals, initiatives and so on.

It isn’t that people couldn’t collaborate in the past, but that tools like Google Apps greatly reduces the barriers to collaboration, eliminating the need to exchange copies of documents, coordinate editing efforts, keep track of versions.  Essentially, Google Apps enables what the Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler refers to as “commons-based peer production.”