UC Davis Information & Educational Technology

IET Report : Educational Technology


New workshops added on blogs, podcasts
IET Mediaworks added two new workshops to its March training sessions for faculty: “Blogging: An Introduction,” and “Getting Your Message Heard! Podcasting.” The training sessions are geared toward faculty but are open to interested staff and graduate students. At the two-hour blogging workshop on March 6, participants heard blogging success stories and got ideas on how to use blogs in classes without increasing their grading workload. Participants also set up a blog, learned how to make their first post, how to draw readers to students' blogs, and how to track their students' work with an RSS reader. The two-hour podcasting workshop on March 7 described basic concepts in podcasting, examined pedagogical case studies and academic uses, described how to record and edit, and discussed how to make lectures available to classes or the campus. For upcoming blogging and podcasting workshops, visit trc.ucdavis.edu/trc/calendar/index.html.


UC Davis begins transition to replace MyUCDavis’ course tools with SmartSite
SmartSite, UC Davis’ new system for collaborative projects and course management, is emerging from its pilot phase and beginning the campus’ transition to replace the course management tools in MyUCDavis. Both systems will continue to run in parallel over the next year until MyUCDavis’ course tools are shut down in 2008-2009. To help faculty begin their transition to SmartSite, two trainers were hired in January to develop a curriculum of SmartSite and educational technology-related classes. These rotating, biweekly sessions are available through the Teaching Resources Center (trc.ucdavis.edu/TRC/calendar/index.html) and include topics like “A Crash Course on SmartSite” and “Communicating with Students in SmartSite,” as well as more pedagogically oriented courses on incorporating technology like blogging and podcasting into teaching.
Another aspect of the campus’ transition will be the transfer of existing course content from MyUCDavis to SmartSite. Tools for exporting course Web sites, tests, and quizzes created in MyUCDavis for import into SmartSite are now available. Faculty members are encouraged to email the SmartSite team at smartsite-help@ucdavis.edu for assistance and attend one of the training sessions dedicated to this migration. Some of coming changes for faculty users during the transition include the ability to create class and project sites (available this summer) and added features and functionality to existing tools like the Gradebook and Chat Room (available over the next year). As of April 2007, SmartSite has grown to include over 6,000 individual workspaces and approximately 1,000 course and project sites. For information regarding UC Davis’ transition from MyUCDavis’ course management tools to SmartSite, please contact: Kirk Alexander at kdalex@ucdavis.edu. To learn more visit smartsite.ucdavis.edu.
IET evaluates online collaboration software for campus adoption
IET has conducted a number of pilots over the last year-and-a-half looking at two products: Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional (formerly Breeze Meeting) and Elluminate Live. Both products enable online, real-time communication and collaboration for classes, meetings, and training. IET has held focus group meetings, interviews, and training sessions, conducted comparisons and stress tests, solicited pilot participant feedback, met with vendors and campus stakeholders, and researched other institutions’ experiences with online conferencing software. From that research, a list of requirements was created, and from that list the key differentiators between the two products were established. With the help of over 60 volunteers, comparison testing was performed under heavy-use conditions. The findings and recommendations were presented to the IET Leadership Council in April. The next steps include taking findings to the CCFIT Educational Technology subcommittee for discussion and recommendation; developing a project plan; and formalizing the funding structure with considerations for instructional use. For more information, contact Pat Kava at mpkava@ucdavis.edu.


TeamSpot collaboration zone added to Meyer Media Lab
Part of the Meyer Media Lab in 1154 Meyer Hall is being slightly remodeled to create a TeamSpot collaboration zone, available to students, faculty, and staff. TeamSpot creates a public space—typically in front of a public computer with a large screen—where people can easily work together when using and sharing digital resources. The service is free, but clients will need to reserve the TeamSpot area through the lab and bring their own laptops. Learn more at teamspot.ucdavis.edu/
Expanded wireless printing
Classroom Lab Management has expanded wireless printing to include 163 Shields as a printing destination. The available destinations are now 177 MU, 163 Shields, 75 Hutchison, 1101 Hart, 1154 Meyer, and 15 Olson. The service was well received by clients, who printed a total of 2,093 print jobs wirelessly during the winter 2007 quarter. For more information, see wirelessprinting.ucdavis.edu.
Classroom Lab Management conducts student surveys to meet user needs
To help identify areas to improve our quality of service and meet user needs, Classroom Lab Management (CLM) conducted two student surveys. CLM emailed each survey to 2,000 students who used labs during winter quarter 2007. The first survey focused on students’ computer ownership and experience in the computer rooms. The second focused on student laptop use. The results for these surveys will be available in June at http://clm.ucdavis.edu/pubs/survey/student-w07-1.html and http://clm.ucdavis.edu/pubs/survey/studentw07-2.html. For more information, contact Tim Leamy at tcleamy@ucdavis.edu.