Academic Technology @ Palomar College

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I Can’t See It

In handling the hundreds of help requests concomitant to rolling out a new version of Blackboard and beginning a new semester, a typical sub-thread running through the support requests is “I can’t see the documents, or discussion post, or content area…” There may be several reasons.  Let’s take them in order of importance, items 1 & 2 from the student perspective, 3 & 4 from the instructor’s perspective. 1.  I can’t get into Blackboard at all, and my teacher has emailed me saying I have to… Those who cannot login at all must set a new password in...
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Simple Diagrams

I ran across a fantastic free tool yesterday while reading Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid eLearning blog.  It is called SimpleDiagrams and it IS simple and it makes them quickly and effectively.  They look like this: Or like this: Or this: In the case of this latter diagram I used an image map to create the link to watch the video, as the diagram implies. The diagrams were so simple to create, and the program so elegantly put together, that I bought the for-pay version immediately (only $19) which gave me the right to download additional image libraries (not as useful as you might think) and have access...
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Last night my colleagues and I presented our semi-annual plenary break out on Academic Technology at Palomar College. It was well attended, but necessarily by only a small percentage of the enormous number of adjunct professors employed by the college. As a reference for those who did not attend, here is an encapsulated version. We conducted our workshop using the sandbox AT@PC workshop course we had developed. Each professor at Palomar College has an account on our sandbox system. We set the course up for self-enrollment through the Academic Technology Training course, also on the sandbox system. One...
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Using the Wimba Voice Authoring Tool in Blackboard 9

Audio messages from instructor to students can be a very important and dynamic part of the online experience.  Even if you are meeting in-person with your students, placing audio messages in parts of the course Blackboard site can provide explanations for difficult concepts that the student can play repeatedly while viewing other materials you have placed there.  In fact, there are hundreds of uses for audio messages within Blackboard, and now with Blackboard 9 it is easier than ever to create them.  I have created the following screen video that explains how (Play time = 8:48): Wimba was recently...
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Embed PowerPoint or Excel from Office Web Apps

Microsoft announced today a terrific new way to embed PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets into web pages using the new Office Live web apps.  There are definitely some gotchas to consider, however before going full steam ahead with these great new abilities.  First, let’s take a look at the video that explains it all, and then we’ll consider the implications for our academic environment.  (Play time = 7:36, but worth it): [vodpod...
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