RSS Feed RSS Feed

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Ed Loewenstein

April 29th, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Ed Loewenstein

Dr. Ed Loewenstein

Dr. Ed Loewenstein

I really think that multimedia allows me to modify and improve my teaching in a much more timely fashion. It gives a better idea of what the students are learning and what they are not. It allows me to organize things in a much better fashion.

While a typical class in the forestry department’s Silviculture course is spent outdoors, technology is still a very useful and influential component for teaching this course.

Dr. Loewenstein has found that using a flip camera to take pictures and capture video has been useful for his course. Most students are able to participate in outdoor activities, but others may have limitations to such activities. The video footage is thus an essential component for students with disabilities. The video footage from the flip camera, which has a usb interface, may also be uploaded to YouTube.

When students are indoors for a class lecture, the class typically starts out with a quiz. However, no paper, pencils or pens are needed for this one thanks to the i>clicker. The i>clicker is an audience response system that allows for the instructor to display the quiz questions to poll the class. With answering tools which resemble remote controls, students select from the multiple choice options which are immediately sent to a receiver to calculate the results. The results from the quiz are immediately displayed in real time on the board as students anonymously submit their response. This approach to using the i>clicker allows for the professor to check on the amount of information that students have retained from previous class lectures. Respondus is yet another assessment tool which can be accessed online. On this website, instructors may create quizzes to either be printed or uploaded to Blackboard.

Dr. Ed Loewenstein is an Associate Professor of Silviculture in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. He projects that Google Wave and distance learning will increase in importance in relation to his courses and similar courses over the years.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Sue Berry

April 15th, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Sue Berry

Dr. Sue Berry

Dr. Sue Berry

Whenever there is something new to learn, I send my GTA’s to IMG.
IMG does alot of training for my GTA’s.

While there are only about five students in the actual classroom, Dr. Barry’s class is full when counting her distance students. Ranging across a five-state area, distance students in her course combine with her local students to fill-up the class.

In order to do this, Wimba Live Classroom is the primary tool used to allow local and distance students to communicate and collaborate on class assignments. Wimba Live Classroom offers several methods of communication including document sharing, live talking, and live chatting through typing. Using this program, students are able to share their computer screens so that other classmates may view documents, videos, and other items that are related to the discussion for the day. Equipped with a laptop and headphones, classroom students along with distance students can respond to one another in the appropriate foreign language. Each class session is recorded and streamed live through Real Player and Java with the help of GTA’s Katherine Taylor and Meaghan Boyd. There are also several back-up options for saving recorded lessons, including DVD copies. Blackboard is also useful for large group assignments where students need to collaborate on work using the chat feature. While classroom students are engaged in online communication with distance students, Dr. Barry is able to pull up the discussions on the classroom computer to display on the overhead projector. This allows her to keep up with the chat discussions and moderate them when necessary.

Dr. Sue Barry is an associate professor for secondary foreign language education and program coordinator for distance education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. She considers the program’s use of multimedia as unique at the university and foresees the expansion of such uses.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Susan Waters

April 1st, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Susan Waters

Dr. Susan Waters

Dr. Susan Waters

I like using multimedia because I like things that are current.
As teachers, we need to be current.

Most professors would censure the use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools in the classroom. And while such social media sites can be distracting from class, there are ways in which they may be incorporated into classroom lessons and activities.

In the Social Media course taught by Dr. Susan Waters here at Auburn University, it is not uncommon to occasionally find students with blogs, Twitter, and other popular forms of social media pulled up on their computers. Through research and application, students in this class are learning how not only to use social media for their own personal exposure, but they are also learning how they can apply their social media frenzy to internships and work experience. Blogging is the main project that these students are working on. At the beginning of the semester, the class created blog accounts for free using either Blogger or WordPress. Each week, the students post blogs based on the different social media tools that are covered in class. Since a primary question that employers ask nowadays revolves around social media, blogging and other forms of social networking are important skills to have. One student in the class attested to the fact that knowing how to use social media helped in gaining an internship offer. Blogging allows for professors and students to be exposed to newer and more exciting experiences dealing with assignments while also preparing students for a skill that is becoming more commonly sought after in the business world.

Dr. Susan Waters is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism. She encourages her students to learn the basics of social media; pushing them forward to explore creative and other aspects of social media research.

Faculty are reminded to check FERPA issues before requiring the use of any social media.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. John S. Jahera, Jr.

March 1st, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. John S. Jahera, Jr.

Dr. John S. Jahera,   Jr.

Dr. John S. Jahera, Jr.

Distance education is making it so that location is not relevant anymore for graduate education. You can break out of the geographic limits, and I think that’s beautiful.

Can you imagine having military students in Afghanistan currently taking your course? In the Department of Finance, distance education is making this a possibility for students in various other locations.

In 1989, distance education became integrated into the Auburn University Department of Finance. Of course, at that time, the delivery was quite different than it is today. Snail mail was the only way to disseminate class lessons on cassette and video tapes. With advances in technology, the department was finally able to create audio and video formats of class lessons available online. Also, online multimedia has allowed for finance professionals from New York to speak to students here in Auburn without ever leaving the Big Apple.

Through Embanet, a learning platform that is similar to Blackboard, students are able to download class lectures to their iPods or through streaming video in less than 30 minutes after the class is taught. The Media Production Group here at the university has been particularly helpful in making this a possibility. You might think that online videos just create one more reason for students to skip out on or not pay attention in class. However, the online videos are intended for distance students only so restrictions are placed on access to those who are enrolled as distance students.

Dr. John Jahera is the Colonial Bank Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the Department of Finance. He believes that graduate education will begin taking advantage of more media-rich programs.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Kevin Gue

February 15th, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Kevin Gue

Dr. Kevin Gue

Dr. Kevin Gue

What comes to mind when you think of the term Garage Band? It may or may not surprise you to know that this Mac application may be used to create podcasts. Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular and useful learning tool for students who have already have their ears plugged with the latest tunes.

ProfCast, another Mac software application, allows instructors to create a visual presentation (somewhat like a PowerPoint). The lesson would then be taught as the instructor normally teaches classe, with the possible exception of a portable microphone. The resulting product is what can be called an enhanced podcast. With a few clicks, the visual presentation along with the audio can be saved and uploaded to a site where students can easily access the information. Dr. Kevin Gue has experimented with ProfCast and found it to be very user-friendly. While still using traditional methods of teaching, he notes that ProfCast accommodates classroom learning by providing a means for the students to review what they’ve learned in class.

Dr. Kevin Gue is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In the future, he sees the use of videos as being a functional tool for his courses.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Norman “Ed” Youngblood

January 29th, 2010 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Norman “Ed” Youngblood

Dr. Norman Ed Youngblood

Dr. Norman "Ed" Youngblood

The students have been really positive about [embedded videos]. By giving them a little more context, it encourages them to do a little more reading.

With one bit of HTML, discussions are becoming more engaging in Blackboard. Dr. Ed Youngblood’s journalism students are focusing on is the conversion of The Reporter, the Department of Communication and Journalism alumni magazine, to an online version. By posting video tutorials from YouTube into Blackboard discussion posts, his students are learning about HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), WordPress, and podcasting. The tutorials, which relate to class readings, are helpful in showing students how to use these tools.

Embedding a video in a discussion post is relatively easy: select the Discussions tab, Create Topic, and Blog Topic. In the Description box, HTML coding may be used to format information that you want to post for your students. To embed a video, simply go to YouTube and copy the embedded code from the description box to the right of the video that you would like to use. In Blackboard, paste the embedded code into the Description box for the discussion post and check “Use HTML.” When students view the posting, the video will appear just as it would on YouTube. Not only are students able to view the video within Blackboard, but they are also able to type comments right under the video while viewing it.

Dr. Ed Youngblood is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism. His interest in future teaching methods include creating video tutorials as well as audio files in response to questions submitted from students via e-mail.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Robert French

November 19th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Robert French

Robert French

Robert French

What I want for students is the experiential real world in an academic setting.

Welcome to the family!, that is. One of several social media sites that students are involved with in Robert French’s public relations course, this site serves as a virtual home to Auburn students, perspective students, alumni, faculty, staff and others who carry the “War Eagle” cry in their hearts.

The P.R. Messages in Style and Design course provides students the opportunity to expand and apply their knowledge about various forms of multimedia. In this course, students’ work include public and printed material via social networking websites such as PROpen, The Loveliest Village, and printed press such as The Corner News. Another site that the students manage is Everything on this site is moderated and offers refreshing insight into Auburn University from student perspectives.

Adobe Suites software is used along with Windows Movie Maker, Snagit (Jing), and Audacity to prepare students’ projects for the main screen. Students use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (Mac) in order to edit captivating video footage. The makers of Snagit offer a free version of their software -Jing- which may be used to capture screen shots for tutorial purposes. Making dreams a reality, students also use Dreamweaver to compile website components. According to Mr. French, although the students initially approach multimedia with hesitation, they eventually realize the value it adds to future employment possibilities.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Guofu Niu

November 6th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Guofu Niu

Dr. Guofu Niu

Dr. Guofu Niu

This type of [multimedia], if we can use it effectively, I would say is certainly helpful.

It’s not magic. It’s Camtasia Studio! Used in conjunction with the Windows XP tablet, these two programs combine to create wonderful teaching capabilities. In Dr. Guofu Niu’s Semi Conductor Electronics and Digital Electronics courses, students have the opportunity to go online and view what they learned in class as if they were sitting back in the classroom all over again. This method of teaching is very useful for students who happen to miss a class, do not fully understand the material reviewed in class, or for students with learning accommodations.

Camtasia is a screen recording software that records graphic memory from the computer. Since it is basically recording from inside of the computer, the quality of the graphics are just as clear as if they were pulled up on the desktop. Camtasia is useful for classroom teaching as well as for tutorials. The tablet allows for the creation of continuous slides using a program called Windows Journal. After the slides have been prepared, with, say, a diagram, a special pen may be used to write additional information on the tablet which will display on the screen. And if you make a mistake, no worries; just flip the tablet pen over and it will act as an eraser on the screen. This tablet pen also serves as a mouse to move around and select various options on the computer.

Dr. Niu is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition to teaching classes, he has also set up an ad hoc network (an intranet for a set number of computers) for lecture purposes. This allows him to pull up students’ work from his own computer, and presenting their work on the projector using Classroom Presenter. Samples of his lectures are available to view. Click Number 5 for an example of the pen tool.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Jennifer Adams

October 23rd, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Jennifer Adams

Dr. Jennifer Adams

Dr. Jennifer Adams

The students really like [multimedia] because it’s a new skill set
that they can add to their résumés.

Students at Auburn University are staying on the cutting edge of journalism. In the Multimedia Journalism course taught by Dr. Jennifer Adams, students are fully equipped at the beginning of the semester with a video package including a camera, tripod, and various other items that are relevant to their field. Using software such as SoundSlides and Audacity, these students are well equipped for future careers in the transitioning field of journalism.

With SoundSlide, students are able to create flash movies with pictures literally sliding from one side of the screen to the other. SoundSlide also allows users to apply sound to the photos to fit the function of the message, from music for an entertainment aspect to speaking for tutorials and other explanation of the material being presented. SoundSlide is much like a video which students can edit using Final Cut Express; the only difference is that still shots are used in place of a continuously streaming film. This is a feature that is becoming a highly popularized method of delivering stories on newspaper websites. However; even on a more fundamental level, such as in the classroom, SoundSlide may be an option alongside PowerPoint in giving presentations. With Audacity, users of this sound editing software can manipulate the sounds on their projects, for example, by slowing or speeding the pace of the speaker’s voice. The goal for some of the Multimedia Journalism students is to have their projects posted on the website for The Plainsman.

Dr. Jennifer Adams is an Associate Professor of Communication & Journalism at Auburn University and Faculty Advisor of The Plainsman. Her research interests include convergence and how it affects newsroom employees.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tech Spotlight – Dr. Stewart Whittemore

October 9th, 2009 IMG Posted in Tech Spotlight Comments Off on Tech Spotlight – Dr. Stewart Whittemore

Dr. Stewart Whittemore

Dr. Stewart Whittemore

What I like best is that you can teach students to convey
a meaning through a variety of images.

Refreshing it is when something new can be created from something old. A new perspective, idea or concept has the power to bring new life to the mundane and lifeless. This is the angle that Professor Whittemore is taking with his Document Design course. By starting out with something traditional and foundational, Professor Whittemore is challenging his students to take documents design to a higher level.

In his Document Design courses, Professor Whittemore encourages his students to upgrade traditional modes of technical writing into more innovative interfaces. For instance, he suggests that his students take an ordinary document such as a set of directions that have been typed up, and to add audio or video components using software such as iMovie and the Adobe Creative Suite so that the directions may be more accessible and easy to understand. A video component to a set of instructions would provide more clarity for the process being described since the instructional video would visually walk users through each step. The students’ finished products are then ready to be posted on YouTube or Blackboard.

Professor Whittemore also has students to design websites, and while admitting that the students are initially rather uncomfortable with the web design programs such as Dreamweaver and iMovie, it creates for an interactive and energetic learning environment that keeps him on his feet to assist students with their individual assignments. Projecting towards the future, Professor Whittemore sees multimedia becoming much more prevalent in education and gearing more towards user assistance software and material.

Dr. Stewart Whittemore is a Professor of Professional and Technical Communication in the English Department here at Auburn University. His research interests include studying how people communicate in the workplace using Wikis and Blogs for daily communication.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button