Office 365 for Education

We are pleased to announce that Office 365 is now available for free for SJU students!  

Office 365Office 365 University is a four-year subscription that includes the latest Office applications, which you can install on 2 PCs, Macs, Windows tablets or iPads.

Application versions and features vary by platform and device. Currently, Office 2013 for PC and Office 2011 for Mac are available. Publisher, Access, and OneNote are available on PC only. OneNote for Mac is available as a separate download from the Mac App Store. Customers with an active subscription will get the newest versions automatically as they become available. Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.6 or later, and an Internet connection are required.

There are two options to download your Office 365 software:
Option #1: Prefer to help yourself?

The link for Office 365 is https://sju.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=9986

Option #2: Prefer our help?
Visit us in the Technology Service Center (TSC) in Science Center 129 and we will perform the installation for you- just bring your computer and we will do the rest!  During the start of the semester, please allow 4-6 business hours from when you drop off your computer for the software installation.

SJU Technology Service Center (TSC)
Science Center 129 | techhelp@sju.edu | 610-660-2920

Our hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 7:30am – 7:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Please contact the TSC if you have any questions!
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Deadline for Technology Innovation Fund Grant Applications Extended to June 6, 2014

David Lees from Academic Technology & Distributed Learning recently announced an extension of the deadline for Technology Innovation Fund Grant applications to June 6, 2014.

The Technology Innovation Fund (TIF) was established by the Office of Information Technology and Academic Technology & Distributed Learning to encourage and support our faculty in their use of new and innovative instructional technologies to advance teaching and learning.

The purpose of TIF is to:

  • Promote innovation and experimentation with new techniques, tools, and technologies
  • Support exploration of new trends for technology use within a field of study or course delivery format
  • Develop new approaches to teaching, learning, service, or scholarship by applying emerging technologies and tools

Prospective applicants are encouraged to develop proposals which support their own professional development while strengthening student learning outcomes through the innovative use of new technology or through finding new ways to apply existing technology.

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  1. Description of teaching innovation and technology needed (250 words)
  2. List of technology (hardware/software) and services that are being requested and estimated budget
  3. Description of learning objectives to be addressed through the grant (100 words)
  4. Description of assessment plan for learning objectives (100 words)
  5. An optional literature review or research supporting the methodology and technology approach to be applied through the grant

You can read about the six previous grant-funded initiatives and view their video presentations at ATDL’s Technology Innovation Fund (TIF) web page.

Faculty Resources and Support: April Technology Workshops

The new version of Blackboard is coming this May! It’s new and improved, and we’re here to teach you anything you’d like to learn! Academic Technology and Distributed Learning (ATDL) continues to offer workshops to help you prepare for the launch.

Below you will find a brief description of each workshop along with the dates and times each is offered. Each workshop is 50 minutes long, and you can register at mySJU under “School Services,” “Employee Training”. All online workshops are held via Collaborate, and after registration can be accessed by visiting the “Faculty Resources and Support” organization in learn.sju.edu and clicking on “Workshops”. More details about each workshop and a current calendar can be found on the ATDL website.

If you’d like to schedule a tailored workshop for your department or group, or the times below just don’t work for you, please contact us at atdl@sju.edu and we’ll work to accommodate your needs.

Workshops and Times

What’s New in Blackboard:
Getting Social

SJU and Blackboard have taken a whole new approach to development and management of the learning management system. From hardware, support, and environments, it’s a new ball game.

In Person Training
4/3, 1pm
4/11, 3pm
4/16, 10am
4/25, 3pm
4/30, 9am

Online Training
4/4, 4pm
4/9, 5pm
4/22, 9:30am
4/25, 5pm
5/1, 9:30am

Blackboard Content Management:
Manage Less, Develop More

The Blackboard Content Management system lets you focus more time on developing your content, and less time managing it.

In Person Training
4/3, 3pm
4/10, 10am
4/17, 9:30am
4/23, 2pm
4/30, 1:30pm

Online Training
4/4, 4pm
4/9, 4pm
4/14, 1pm
4/22, 4pm
4/28, 5pm

Countdown to Collaborate!

This workshop is designed to educate faculty on Blackboard’s newest web-conferencing tool, Collaborate. Attendees will learn how to add Collaborate to their course space, create a Collaborate session, and use the interactive features of Collaborate to create a strong community of learning in the virtual classroom.

In Person Training
4/3, 11am
4/9, 10am
4/14, 4pm
4/22, 9:30am
4/28, 2pm

Online Training
4/2, 4pm
4/9, 5pm
4/15, 2pm
4/24, 9:30am
4/29, 2pm

Effective Online Presentations:
Let You Shine Through!

Are your students yawning through your presentations? Do you have the itch to wow them? In this workshop, we’ll cover the principles of good presentation design and delivery. We’ll also cover how to add audio to your slides, and give an overview of Camtasia, a screen capture software tool.

In Person Training
4/4, 10am
4/9, 9am
4/16, 1:30pm
4/22, 9am
4/28, 11am

Online Training
4/8, 5pm
4/15, 4pm
4/21, 12pm
4/29, 11am

Strategic Communication:
Building a Strong Community of Learners

Learn about Blackboard tools and communication strategies that can be used to create a truly collaborative learning environment.

In Person Training
4/2, 2pm
4/8, 1pm
4/17, 11am
4/21, 1:30pm
4/30, 9:30pm

Online Training
4/3, 5pm
4/10, 5pm
4/16, 5pm
4/22, 5pm
4/29, 9:30am

Learning Outcomes Assessment:
The Route to Continuous Improvement of Teaching & Learning

This workshop will focus on using learning goals, assignments, and rubrics to support continuous improvement of teaching and student learning.

In Person Training
4/11, 9am
4/22, 2:30pm
4/29, 2pm

Online Training
4/2, 3pm
4/3, 2pm
4/10, 5pm
4/17, 4pm
4/24, 5pm
4/29, 9:30am

Rubrics:
Effective Use and Implementation

This workshop will introduce SJU faculty, administrators, and staff to the creation and use of rubrics. In addition, this workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss previous experiences with the use of rubrics and why rubrics are used in evaluating learning activities.

In Person Training
TBD

Online Training
TBD

Blackboard Grade Center

The Blackboard Grade Center is more than just a way to record students’ grades; it is a dynamic and interactive tool. 
The Grade Center can record data, monitor student progress and communicate information to students. 
In the new release of Bb you can now grade a papers directly in the Grade Center.

In Person Training
TBD

Online Training
TBD

Permission to post this article was received from Al Labonis on April 3, 2014.

Planning for the End of Support for Windows XP and Upgrading to Windows 7

Did you happen to see this pop-up notification earlier this month?

Screen capture of Windows XP End of Support pop-up notification

Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on support for Windows XP and encouraging users to upgrade to a current operating system.

While your computer won’t necessarily self-destruct on April 8th, 2014, it will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft and will become increasingly vulnerable to malicious software or other types of attacks. Microsoft has a support article explaining the situation in a bit more detail (although the helpful recommendations for general consumers don’t really apply to faculty and staff computers on our campus). Also there is a web page that can detect and display your computer’s Windows operating system version.

CA&S Academic Computing Services and the Office of Information Technology are working together to identify all CA&S computers still running the Microsoft Windows XP operating system and to schedule upgrades to Microsoft Windows 7. If you know your SJU-issued computer is still running Windows XP, contact Anne Szewczyk at szewczyk@sju.edu to make sure you are on the list of planned Windows 7 upgrades.

The upgrade process generally can be performed in one day depending on the availability of I.T. technicians and whether you have any non-standard applications installed on your computer. Computers that are hosting scientific instruments or other specialty hardware will need to be evaluated for compatibility on an individual basis.

Viewing, Saving and Printing PDF Files from your Web Browser

SJU computers are now being configured with the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in to make in-browser behavior of PDF documents more consistent.Icon art for Adobe PDF document Regardless of your computer’s platform or whether you use Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari, you will be able to accurately preview PDF documents in a browser window or tab without having to download and open the PDF in a separate application.

Clicking the link to a PDF file in your web browser opens a new browser tab or window with the content of the PDF document. To properly save or print the PDF, you must use the tool buttons provided by the Adobe Reader plug-in rather than your web browser’s menu commands.

The appearance and behavior of the tool bar will vary a bit depending on the version of your software, but the concepts remain consistent. You’ll see controls for navigating a multi-page document, downloading and saving, and printing are represented by buttons in an anchored tool bar at the top of your PDF window, or a floating tool bar in the lower quarter of your PDF window.

Image of Adobe Reader Browser Plug-In Anchored Tool Bar

Tool Bar buttons in the dark gray row from left to right: Toggle Side Bar (to show page thumbnails and document outline), Previous Page, Next Page, View Page, Zoom Out, Zoom In, Zoom presets menu, Presentation Mode (full screen), Print, Download (save to your computer), Current View, and finally a pop-up list with commands to jump to first or last page, and to rotate the document in your window.

If you do not see the row of buttons anchored to the top of your PDF browser window, move your cursor over the content in the PDF window and the floating tool bar will become visible.

Image of Adobe Reader Browser Plug-In Floating Tool Bar

Floating Tool Bar buttons from left to right: Download (save to your computer), Print, Previous Page, Next Page, View Page, Zoom Out, Zoom In, Hide Tool Bar.

Using an iPad Tablet as a Digital Whiteboard

By Duane Glover and Karl Platzer

projectionIt wasn’t very long ago that the number of AV presentation technology-equipped classrooms at SJU could be counted on one hand. Now practically every classroom here has built-in digital presentation technology with a computer at the podium and a projector aimed at the front of the room. This modern ability to show students any manner of digital content, be it PowerPoint slideshows, web pages or video clips, is an undeniable enhancement to classroom pedagogy, but frequently the directness and spontaneity of writing on a big board in full view of the students is required to get the information across.

Our newest classroom spaces were constructed with this best-of-both-worlds requirement in mind, however, in many of the older classrooms, the new projection screen is positioned directly in front of the only whiteboard or chalkboard in the room. If students need to see the board during a PowerPoint slideshow, turning off or muting the projector, manually raising the screen and turning on the lights in the classroom is cumbersome and disruptive to the flow of the class.

A much more elegant method for integrating handwritten notes into the digital classroom space is to use an iPad or tablet as a digital whiteboard so you can switch between displaying a slideshow and handwritten notes by simply pushing a button:

  1. Connect your iPad to the laptop input on the podium using the Apple 30-pin to VGA Adapter or Lightning to VGA Adapter. VGA_adapter
    (3rd party video adapters may limit the iPad’s external display to only specific apps, rather than mirroring the iPad display, and high-definition video may use HDCP controls, so be sure to test your set-up ahead of time.)
  2. At the podium AV control panel, select Laptop as your video source. You should see your iPad display being mirrored on the projection screen.
  3. Use your favorite freehand writing or drawing app to display your handwritten notes on the projector.
  4. To switch back to the display of the podium computer select PC from the AV control panel.

Basically any simple drawing app can be used as a digital whiteboard or blackboard, but when annotating a presentation or PDF, I like to use GoodNotes. GoodNotes is easy to use, with a simple but intuitive tool bar at the top of the screen that provides pen, eraser, highlighter and zoom tools. GoodNotes also has a great palm rest feature that ignores input from the base of your hand on the lower part of the iPad screen so you can position your writing hand more naturally. It also has robust import and export features that accommodate many different file formats. GoodNotes is available in a free version with a 2 notebook limitation and a full version for $5.99.

If you will be frequently using handwriting on your iPad, you should consider purchasing a stylus or pen, which will provide finer control than your fingertip. Many different flavors are available, so shop around to find what works best for your handwriting and your budget. For all-around use, I like the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo, which is currently priced at just under $30.

Below is a handy list providing links to GoodNotes and several other free handwriting apps for your information:

GoodNotes

TopNotes

Paper

Penultimate

ShowMe

Educreations

Bamboo Paper

“Using Collaborate to Provide an Accessible Environment for Individuals with a Hearing Loss”

by Samuel B. Slike, D.Ed., Director
Special Education Online ProgramsSamuel B. Slike, D.Ed., Director of Special Education Online Programs, Saint Joseph’s University, discusses Blackboard Collaborate.

The field of Deaf Education has been my home for the past 37 years. I began as a teacher of the deaf and then worked as a professor and director of a Master of Science Program for the preparation of teachers of the deaf. My first career goal was to determine best practices for teaching deaf and hard of hearing students and, more recently, my focus has changed to best practices for teaching deaf and hard of hearing college students in synchronous online environments. Currently I am the Director of Online Special Education Programs at Saint Joseph’s University where I use Blackboard Collaborate for virtual faculty meetings, faculty training in the use of Collaborate, and to teach a synchronous real-time course in American Sign Language. Below are a few thoughts and tips to consider if you find yourself with a student with a hearing loss in one of your synchronous online classes.

Students with a hearing loss in a classroom setting benefit greatly from the presentation of visual information. Creating a “real-time” synchronous online course for students with a hearing loss requires that we provide them with the same access to information as hearing students. (Note: equal access of information is also required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)). In developing a Collaborate online classroom that includes a student with a hearing loss, you should consider the following checklist:

  • PowerPoint slides or an outline of lecture material (in Collaborate, the white board is good for this) need to be provided so that students with a hearing loss can follow along by reading important lecture points.
  • The course must be closed captioned for those students who have a hearing loss, but who don’t use sign language.
  • For Deaf students who sign, the course may need to be interpreted (using a certified interpreter for the Deaf is a must!) unless the students feel that closed captioning provides them with appropriate information.
  • All students in the class should be encouraged to use the Collaborate chat box so that students with a hearing loss can read the comments of everyone in the class.
  • The course must have volume loud enough for hard of hearing people to hear what the professor is saying. (Because of my hearing loss, I have attached an external speaker to my computer so that I can increase the volume.)

On a final note, professors should be sure to use the archive feature of Collaborate every class so that all students are able to review each lecture as necessary. Interestingly, my hearing college students give as much positive feedback about the use of the archived classes as the students with hearing loss!

Technology Boot Camp Improves Outcomes for Summer Reading Program Participants

The Saint Joseph’s University’s Summer Reading Program, under the direction of Dr. Mary DeKonty Applegate, is a summer graduate studies program in the Department of Teacher Education that provides children in grades K-9 with individualized assessment profiles, small group instruction and collaborative literacy learning focused on higher-level thinking.

The program’s literacy coaches and graduate students experienced increasing technology problems from 2011 to 2012 that were disruptive to the productivity of the program participants. Some of these difficulties were attributable to the diverse models of digital video cameras being implemented as the preferred Flip digital video cameras were discontinued and reaching end of life: unintentionally large file sizes, not sure how to download video from the newer cameras, difficulty deleting videos, etc. Additionally the participants had multimedia file-handling issues such as difficulty inserting large video files into PowerPoint and uploading video files to the university Blackboard server.

In response to this growing need for technology support, Duane Glover, Technical Support Specialist for the College of Arts & Sciences, implemented an intensive Technology Boot Camp for the literacy coaches and graduate students participating in the 2013 Summer Reading Program. Additionally, dedicated on-site technical support was made available for ongoing training and support for the duration of the program. The Technology Boot Camp and the subsequent support sessions covered:

  • Camera setup and use
  • Downloading video from cameras
  • Video file formats and conversion options
  • Resources for editing videos
  • Simple editing of videos (rotate, clip, etc)
  • Blackboard video uploads (supported by a Kaltura video hosting server)
  • PowerPoint (Inserting Audio/video objects)

Pre and post program surveys were provided to the attendees of the Technology Boot Camp to collect feedback to guide future training programs and provide a baseline to assess whether the training proved to be useful to the attendees. To view a report summarizing and highlighting the survey results click here.

With the successful outcomes that were obtained at this year’s Summer Reading Program, we would like to include technology training and direct support every year. We also successfully integrated 3 Apple iPad mini tablets into the program to replace the aging Flip video cameras and would like to add more iPads in the future. The iPads enabled the coaches, graduate students and children to engage in digital audio and video projects that enhanced their learning experience and demonstrated their understanding in many different ways. It is also important for prospective teachers to have sufficient time, support and resources to prepare for implementing the iPad into their curriculum.

The College of Arts and Sciences Warmly Welcomes Its New Faculty

First Name Last Name Department
Shantanu Bhatt Biology
David Parry Communication Studies
Daniel Reimold English
Grace Wetzel English
Brian Yates History
Enrique Tellez-Espiga Modern and Classical Languages
Clare Conry-Murray Psychology
Christopher Kelly Sociology
Adam Gregerman Theology & Religious Studies
Richard Gioioso Political Science
Brendan Sammon Theology & Religious Studies
Reecha Sharma Health Services

Technology Integration within the Modern and Classical Languages Department

Last semester, the Modern and Classical Languages department worked with ATDL to create a workshop, offering faculty a “small taste” of how they can assimilate with hybrid courses in the future.  The workshop began with an interesting presentation titled “Migrating My Course to a Hybrid Learning Environment,” and was followed up with valuable copyright information and a rubric with assigned point values from https://www.qualitymatters.org/.  Next the MCL faculty were given an overview of the variety of communication tools available through Blackboard (Bb) such as Collaborate, Kaltura Media, and Blogs/Wikis.  An integral piece of language learning is utilizing class time to practice speaking it; these tools will help to fill that void.  A couple of professors were kind enough to share their feedback about the workshop below:

Professor Shenk commented “I really liked the hands-on part, working with Kaltura and setting up a Wiki. For languages, audio/visual recording possibilities are a key element, and the simpler the tools are to use the better, (as well as easy to access, such as through Bb), that’s what caught my attention about the Kaltura.  I’m planning to have my students submit their beginning-of-the-semester recording for their linguistics analysis in SPA 380 this fall through Kaltura.”

Professor Caballero stated “I think it was a very helpful workshop in many aspects.  I learned a lot about a few programs I was unaware of and now I want to use them in my classes, especially in my Conversation class. In that class, the students have to create a video in pairs, and I think the tools that we learned about in the workshop would help us get things done more quickly, and in a more useful manner.  By uploading their assignments onto Bb, students would be able to compare the quality of their recordings, and share their opinions through “Discussion Board” to learn from each other.  Prior to this workshop I was doing all of the uploading of student recordings myself, and it was very time consuming.  I always think about how to incorporate technology into the classroom more and more.  This new generation of kids is so used to it, that the transition from using (iPhones, videos, etc.) outside of classroom, to inside the classroom would go smoothly.  The whole presentation was great, as were the presenters.   I liked the fact that we were allowed to create new things on our own, which is better than just listening and taking notes.  I am definitely going to apply these tools in my courses next semester.”

Although faculty have been using Blackboard for a while, time constraints and uncertainty can prevent people from examining some of the newer features available.  After seeing these tools demonstrated, it opened up peer discussions about how to incorporate them into the pedagogy.  Faculty could leave the workshop with new skills and implementation ideas to develop over the summer.  Sometimes people don’t know what questions they will have about a tool, until they’ve had time to use it.  Therefore, we plan on having a follow up workshop with ATDL to provide any additional support that maybe needed.