CT Team Meeting Minutes of 9/28/09

Topics: MiddMedia, ShadowBox theme, Classes Server, Web Redo Updates, e-portfolios, Breadnet, CT and LIS blog, CTLR and CT collaboration, CT IA…


Adam added server-side transcoding to MiddMedia which will allow users to upload a wider range of audio and video formats (see: MiddMedia now supports more video formats).  He chose video compression settings that sought a balance between quality and deliverability for most formats, settling on 720px X 480px as the largest resolution and a maximum data rate of 1000 Kbps.  MP4-H264 (and the lower quality FLV) are the only formats in which the original user’s resolution and data rate is preserved and so MP4-H264 is the best choice for the highest quality video.

The LIS wiki has documentation for how to use MiddMedia and how to export video files as .mp4 files. Mack noted that the new version of Quick Time “dumbs down” some of the earlier features – and that we should look at Quick Time 9 to confirm comparable export options.

ShadowBox WordPress Theme

Adam reviewed the ShadowBox WordPress theme for Middlebury developed by Alex and installed it on the Midd instance of WordPress.  Alex demonstrated some of its features in the CT team blog and noted that it is also being used in the new LIS blog

Classes Server

Discussed the “classes” server. Currently no one seems to have responsibility for making policy decisions about how this server is configured. Joy will draft recommendations, to be reviewed and edited by the Team and then passed on to the AD team for review.

WebRedo updates

It seems as if the template for Academic Depts is not one that the CT team wil be able to use and that we will likely be limited to the “Offices and Services” template.  The primary difference between the “Academic Depts” template and the one for “Offices and Services” is the “juice bar”, the area at the top of the template with tabs for “features” such as videos, stories… etc.  The “carousel” feature, the bar at the bottom of the page will be available on the “Offices and Services” template and this may be the place we can put our “teaching with technology” stories…

Education Studies e-Portfolios

Shel has been recommending to the Education Studies program to move e-Portfolios to WordPress – The team noted that WordPress does NOT meet the requirements of at least some of the faculty in Education Studies including Gregg Humphrey and Jonathan Miller-Lane. Apparently both Gregg and Jonathan ask their students to include information in their e-Portfolios that should have different access settings than other parts of the portfolio.  Thus for these faculty granular access control is critical.

UPDATE: Shel has discussed the use of WordPress with all faculty in Education Studies and explained its pros and cons as as platform for e-portfolios.  Some faculty in the department are currently trying out WordPress, others are observing…

BreadNet recommendations

Shel has reviewed our BreadNet recommendations and supports them.  He has requested these be put on the agenda of the next AD team meeting.  A proposal that First Class (the application that powers Breadnet) might be a possible solution for large file management was briefly considered.  The team agreed that there are likely better solutions for this particular problem, solutions that would probably better integrate with our existing platforms.

CT Team blog to merge with New LIS blog

The team decided to include CT Team blog as part of the new LIS blog, but did not come to consensus as to where to put meeting minutes.  Possible platforms for these would be the blog or a wiki or even Google Docs.  Critical to this discussion was whether all meeting activity was suitable for public discussion.  Some meeting activity might be too sensitive or unresolved for public debate or may simply be too boring!

CTLR and CT Collaboration

Shel is very interested in finding ways to get the CTLR and the CT team to collaborate. The team decided to set up a meeting with folks from the CTLR to discuss this issue.  One approach discussed was to set up taxonomies for “uses” and “tools” that the CTLR & CT team could use on their sites to categorize and cross link technologies and pedagogies.

Information Architecture for CT

All agreed our top priority is to finish an information architecture for CT on new LIS site. With this in mind it might be good to look at comparable sites from other institutions.

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