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

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

Moodle Update on Friday, August 19th

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

From Remote-Learner:

Dear Valued Client,

In order to increase the resilience and reliability of our cloud platform we will be conducting database maintenance on September, 19th between 12:01 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. EST. During most of this period your site will be operational, but there may be short periods of connection loss to the internet.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve your experience.

Sincerely,

Remote-Learner Technical Support

Oxford Arabic Dictionary – new! – and six others, too

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As announced in this recent post, the Middlebury College Libraries recently subscribed to the six Oxford Language Dictionaries on the Oxford Language Dictionaries Online (OLDO) platform – Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

About a week later, Oxford announced the release of their new Oxford Arabic Dictionary

OADon the Oxford Dictionaries platform. We now have subscribed access to this brand new online dictionary also! (In case you’re wondering, the dictionaries currently on OLDO will be migrated to the new Oxford Dictionaries platform in the near future.)

Not interested in this, but there is something else you wish we had? Let us know!

 

Course Sites and New Services

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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.

Lunch time Learning: Library Services & Resources at Middlebury

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Wed. Sept. 3rd, noon – 1pm, Davis Family Library Computer Lab (DFL 105) – lower level.  Drop-ins welcome or sign-up online (use the last box to tell us if there is something specific you want covered).

Description: Bring your lunch to the library and learn about what we have to offer you and your family.  We’ll introduce you to library services and resources available to Midd users and their families and show you how to search MIDCAT, the library catalog, and Summon (our “search everything” tool) to discover resources like books, articles, films, eBooks, audiobooks, and more. Learn how to access news and popular magazines online as well as find online resources aimed at all ages.  Questions will be answered throughout the session.

New stuff for the New Year! Recently added to the Libraries’ collections

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The libraries have purchased or subscribed to a bunch of new and wonderful resources over the summer (and late last academic year). Here are some of the highlights:

And these resources will be available very soon!

  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online (on order)
  • Digitalia Film Library (on order)
  • Chinese Cultural Relics – English translation of Wen Wu (we’ve subscribed and are awaiting publication of the first issue)

Trials expected during Fall Term:

  • Journal of Visual Experiments (JoVE) – streaming video science experiments
  • National Anti-Slavery Standard – primary source material
  • Alexander Street’s Criterion Collection – streaming video of classic movies

We are always adding new resources – make your wishes known here!

Macintosh – Middfiles – Mmmmm… News You Can Use

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Mac users…  Are you having the best possible experience with Middfiles?  It may be time to update how you connect to Middfiles, as well as create some useful shortcuts!

First, check your connection.  In the Finder, click on the Go menu, then click Connect to Server.  You should use cifs://middcloud.middlebury.edu/middfiles and remove any “smb” middfiles favorites you may have stored, as shown.

Go>Connect to Server

Removing outdated SMB favorite

Now it’s time to create some powerful Sidebar favorites for easy access to your frequently-used folders (see sample below).  Sidebar favorite locations are visible in all your programs!  Refer to our wiki article for complete details on how to create these favorites & get rid of outdated ones.

Sidebar Favorite Sample

Sidebar Favorite Sample

Technical stuff:  We use the SMB protocol to connect to Middfiles almost exclusively on campus and the latest revision is CIFS.  To use the most current version of SMB you must specify CIFS in your connection.  Outdated connections may results in errors when saving to Middfiles or be slower.