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.

Enhancing Teaching & Learning with Mobile Technology

The Academic Technology Leadership Committee sponsored their second annual Teaching and Learning Forum at the Cardinal Foley Campus Center on June 7th. The theme for this year’s Forum was “Building Learning Communities” and the faculty-led program committee prepared a full-day agenda of presentations and discussions. New for this year’s forum were poster sessions and discussions from several of our technology vendors such as Apple and Extron.

TPACK Diagram

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
© 2012 tpack.org

Dr. Megan Raymond, a Development Executive with Apple, Inc. led one of the afternoon break-out sessions. Dr. Raymond discussed how mobile technologies such as Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone mark a fundamental shift in the traditional classroom. She emphasized TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge), which is a framework to understand and describe the kinds of knowledge needed by an educator for effective pedagogical practice in a technology-enhanced learning environment. This framework is illustrated by a Venn diagram with three foci: Pedagogy, Content and 21st Century Technology. The convergence of these spheres, representing a masterful 21st century classroom focused on essential learning with the application of sound learning theory and efficient technological support, is the target of Apple’s mobile solutions for education.

Dr. Raymond highlighted a suite of apps that, while intended for the Apple iPad and iPhone demographic, are also indicative of the functional role of a tablet computing device in a modern teaching and learning ecosystem:

FaceTime — an Apple-developed video telephony application for supported mobile devices running iOS, as well as current Mac OS computers.

Evernote — a free productivity and information organization app that supports notes, photo capture, to-do lists, and voice reminders, across all of your devices.

Penultimate — supports natural, hand-written note-taking and sketching with integration with Evernote.

Explain Everything — a very flexible annotation and presentation tool that allows manipulation of a variety of presentation and document file formats.

GoodReader – a robust PDF reader with enhanced annotation and file format support.

Dragon Dictation — a voice recognition application supporting voice-to-text transcription in email, messaging and document creation applications and integration with popular social networking services.

ITunes U — a free service hosted by Apple for the distribution of audio and video podcasts and other course materials by educational institutions.

TurningPoint (A.K.A. Clicker) Integration with Blackboard

TurningPoint ResponseCardTurningPoint ResponseCards (A.K.A. Clickers) are one of the coolest and most interactive instructional technology items we have at SJU. The clickers work in conjunction with a USB receiver and the TurningPoint Anywhere v.3 instant polling application that is installed on most podium computers across the campus. There are 35 clickers in a set, and they pack into a convenient carrying case.

Instant polling adds significant interactivity to your lecture and can really help increase student engagement. Polling may be performed anonymously when surveying the audience generally, or the unique identification number of each response unit can be entered for each student in a managed Participant List integrated with your Blackboard course.

TurningPoint Anywhere provides two actions that are integrated with Blackboard:

  • Import a Participant List from your Blackboard course
  • Export session Grades to your Blackboard course

To Import a TurningPoint Participant List from Blackboard (Mac OS):

  1. Launch TurningPoint Anywhere
  2. From the Window menu, select LMS Integrations
  3. Enter the Server Address: blackboard9.sju.edu
  4. Click Continue
  5. Enter your SJU Username and Password
  6. Select the option to Remember this information and click Continue (only your server address and user name will be remembered)
  7. Select Import Participant List and click Continue
  8. Select the appropriate Blackboard course and click Continue
  9. Specify the TurningPoint participant list file name and destination (the default location is your Documents/TurningPoint Anywhere/Participants folder) and click Save
  10. Click Done

After a session has been completed and saved, the grades can be exported to Blackboard. We’ll review those steps in the next post.

Lecture Capture

For hundreds of years, students have practiced lecture capture through the process of taking notes. Lecture capture has since evolved, first with audio cassettes, then television, and now through web streaming with rich media. This latest lecture capture technology is available at Saint Joseph’s University. Our technology can automatically capture both you and your computer screen and then make it available over the web as streaming video. The best part of the technology is that it is all “automatic”; you, the faculty member, simply have to lecture like your normally would. About an hour after your lecture, you will be emailed a link to the streaming video that you can then post to your Blackboard page or send out to your students via email. Give your students another opportunity to learn by contacting ITDL at x1770 to schedule the capture of your lecture today.

Help for Curriculum Advising

In the “Advisor Menu” section of “Faculty Services” on MySJU, one can find an electronic “curriculum worksheet” for any student (full directions for access below). This worksheet is current in that it lists courses in which the student has enrolled as well as courses that she/he has completed. While the system updates all current course information and is mostly accurate, all advisors would do well to peruse carefully the “Courses Not Used” section of the worksheet. Sometimes the software does not recognize a course and places it in this limbo—the advisor should notify the registrar as well as the student of any misplaced courses on the worksheet.

An advisor may open two similar versions of the worksheet. Once one clicks “Advisor Menu,” she/he may click either “Student General Requirements” or “Completed Student Program Requirements (Printable).” Either path will take the advisor to the main page with the student name, advisor, program and other information. The latter path requires fewer clicks.

NB: At the top of the page, three paragraphs each begin in bold print: Disclaimer; Note; Updating. Under Updating, click “Click here” (in red print) to receive the most recent data for the student’s work sheet.

Path 1
Log into MySJU or a “work around”
Select the following:
Faculty Services
Advisor Menu
ID Selection – enter appropriate info
Submit
Completed Student Requirements (Printable)

or

Path 2
Log into MySJU or a “work around”
Select the following:
Faculty Services
Advisor Menu
ID Selection – enter appropriate info
Submit
Student General Requirements
Program Requirements
Area name for specific detail
Requirement name to see courses

SPSS Legacy Viewer

Did you recently upgrade to SPSS 16 or SPSS 17 and are now having trouble opening your old Viewer (.spo) files?

Your problem is that Viewer files created in versions prior to release 16.0 cannot be opened in SPSS 16.0 or later.  If you are using a Windows operating system, following the directions below will solve your troubles.  If you are using Mac OS, you are out of luck.

SPSS Legacy Viewer (Download and Install Instructions) – Windows only

  1. Launch a web browser and browse to http://www.spss.com/statistics/
  2. Click the “Downloads” tab
  3. Scroll down and click on the link that reads “Legacy Viewer application known as SmartViewer (English)”
  4. Save the file to your computer
  5. Double-click the “SPSS_Legacy_Viewer_win_en.exe” file that you downloaded to your computer
  6. (if applicable) Click Run the “Security Warning”
  7. Wait while setup loads
  8.  Click Next
  9. Choose “I acceptŠ” and click Next
  10. Click Next
  11. Click Next
  12. Click Next
  13. Click Install
  14. Wait while program installs
  15. Click Finish
  16. You will now find “SPSS SmartViewer 15.0” somewhere in you Start menu

Students’ Perception of Podcasting: A better tool for underclassmen who use it to review lectures and replay test preparation sessions

In late February 2009, I reported on my experiences with utilizing podcasting for two history courses during the fall. These courses included HIS 1011: Introduction to Western Civilization I, a thirty-five student lecture course with some discussion, and HIS 2591: From Baghdad to Burgos: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Medieval Mediterranean, a seventeen person seminar course.

In this posting I share the results of two BlackBoard surveys of my students’ use and perceptions of the utility of podcasting. In general, while 100 percent of HIS 1011 students (primarily sophomores) reported they listened to at least one podcast, in contrast, only 50 percent of HIS 2591 students (mostly juniors and seniors) did the same. This may indicate that lecture versus seminar students may find podcasting more helpful because they are less experienced university students and that their note-taking skills may still be developing. It also may reveal that in general education requirement courses, where one might have a large number of students from other schools and majors, that these students may be using podcasting to review material they may have not understood during lecture. For example, over 36 percent of HIS 1011 students listened to podcasts between three and seven times and 9 percent listened to eight or more podcasts. In contrast only 13 percent of HIS 2591 students, almost all of whom were history majors, used podcasts more than three times during the semester. Therefore, it appears that if podcasting is to be used, it is better suited for lower division courses that serve a general student population. This finding is further bolstered by students stated rationales for listening to class podcasts – over 90 percent of HIS 1011 students reported they used these audio recordings to review for exams. None of the HIS 2591 students reported they used podcasting to study for exams. In closing, students appear to value professors’ podcasts, but only for a limited number of purposes.

Note: My complete podcasting survey results can be accessed from the links below.

HIS 1011 – Fall 2009 Podcast Survey Results
HIS 2591 – Fall 2009 Podcast Survey Results

–Dr. Roger L. Martínez, David H. Burton Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of History

Take Control of your Class

If you can’t take control of your class, at least you can take control of their computers with the help of “computer classroom management software”.  The College of Arts and Sciences currently uses 3 varieties of classroom management software:
LANDesk Classroom Manager in Barbelin 221 and Barbelin 225
Apple Remote Desktop in Bellarmine 329 and Post Hall 202
NetSupport School in Science Center 212 and Science Center 214
All 3 varieties of the classroom management software allow you to demonstrate lessons directly on student computer screens, supervise/monitor computer use, and lock keyboards, mice, and screens to focus student attention on you.  The software keeps you in control so you can teach more effectively.

Not all of these computer classrooms are for general use, but if you are lucky enough to have access to these rooms or have been scheduled in one, please be sure to take advantage of this useful technology.

The Opportunities and Opportunity Costs of Podcasting at SJU

Dr. Roger L. Martínez, Burton Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of History

During fall 2008, I decided to take the leap into podcasting with my two History courses—Introduction to Western Civilization I and From Baghdad to Burgos: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean World. My primary motivation for experimenting with podcasting via iTunes U, which can be seamlessly integrated with BlackBoard, was to determine if it might provided a pedagogical edge when trying to intellectually engage our increasingly tech-focused student body. I would say that the results of my podcasting were definitely—mixed. Podcasting is not a panacea for connecting with students, and in some ways it does not play to the strengths of our Jesuit institution and its emphasis on cura personalis. Continue reading “The Opportunities and Opportunity Costs of Podcasting at SJU”

Microsoft Windows now available in the Literatures Lab (BE329)

The Intel-based Macintosh computers in the Literatures Lab (Bellarmine 329) are now able to run both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.  Faculty are no longer limited by “Mac-only software” and “Windows-only software”.  “Boot Camp”, the software that allows Macintosh computer to run Microsoft Windows, was configured this past winter break.