A summer of change

Campus tech kept busy this summer. Catch up with this rundown of eight key developments:

Shed some light on Elluminate
IET-Mediaworks is looking for UC Davis instructors to pilot Elluminate, an online communications and collaboration tool, in their courses this fall. Participants will receive a brief introduction, free training, and phone support. After the pilot they will be asked how well they think Elluminate would work in the classroom.
Tools such as Elluminate and Breeze Meeting offer many benefits to UC Davis students, staff, and researchers, and Mediaworks chose Breeze Meeting and Elluminate as the two systems most compatible with campus needs. Mediaworks has evaluated Breeze Meeting. The Elluminate pilot will help it compare the two systems.
Faculty and students can use Elluminate to work together in virtual meeting rooms or classrooms, whose features include:
--Streaming video
--Direct text messaging and chat
--Synchronized Web tours
--Multimedia playback
--Digital white board and drawing tools
--Remote sharing of applications and desktops
--Live, interactive audio and voice transmissions.
Elluminate presentations can be recorded and archived, and made available online. Elluminate can be used for:
--Online office hours: Meet over the Web.
--Tutoring: Instructors can remotely control a student's computer to help solve a problem.
--Class collaborations: Break students into online groups and let them meet from home.
--Research collaborations: Work together online by using the whiteboard tool, viewing research images/results, or by sharing an application such as Word or Mathcad.
"Online communications and collaboration tools can be used for many different purposes--instruction, research, and general business meetings," said Liz Gibson, the director of Mediaworks. "We have pilots using Breeze and Elluminate in all three of these areas, and would welcome more."
The time required by the tryout will vary depending on an instructor's needs, but one to five hours per week should suffice. To sign up, contact Mediaworks at 752-2133.

How IET spent its summer
UC Davis moved forward in various areas of technology over the summer, as a glance at the June-September IET Report shows.
The report, issued by Information and Educational Technology three times a year to the general campus community, highlights work done since May in four major categories: campus technology, infrastructure, educational technology, and administrative computing.
Highlights in the latest report include new cyber-safety standards; planned improvements to the campus email system; the choice of a single brand of "clicker" or "personal response system" for use in UC Davis classrooms; free EndNote bibliographic software for home and campus use; the addition of high-definition video editing software to the Meyer Media Lab; the return of the Summer Institute for Teaching and Technology; and the disconnection of 3,500 residence hall phone lines due to low demand now that cell phones have become so common.
To read the report online or download the PDF, visit iet.ucdavis.edu.

Computer rooms boost printing charge
The campus rate committee has approved higher printing charges in campus computer rooms. But the service is still free to faculty, staffers and students who print no more than 90 sheets per quarter. (One sheet can handle two pages if computer room clients use the printer's default setting, which prints both sides of the paper.)
Computer Lab Management, the IET unit that manages the computer rooms, started charging clients 6 cents per sheet as of Summer Session 1. The charge begins accruing at 61 sheets but isn't collected unless a client's volume exceeds 90 sheets in a given quarter. The old fee was 5 cents per sheet, set in 2001. Until June, the fee ki cked in after 100 pages.
In spring quarter 2006, computer room clients printed slightly more than 1.6 million sheets. Sixty-five percent printed fewer than 100 sheets apiece. Individuals can find out how many pages they've printed here.

Campus buys license for EndNote
University of California, Davis, signed a three-year agreement this summer that lets its students, instructors, and employees use EndNote, a popular bibliographic software made by Thompson ResearchSoft.
The license allows all current students, faculty, and staffers to install and use EndNote on computers at work and at home. Updates and support are included for the duration of the contract.
EndNote is used to search databases, and to organize and format references for academic and scholarly papers. It runs on Windows and Mac OS, and is compatible with recent versions of Microsoft Word.
The software is available as a free download from the campus software Web site, https://my.ucdavis.edu/software, and will be included on the 2006-07 Internet Tools CD available in a few weeks.

Classroom Technology upgrades
Many general assignment and computer classrooms were revamped and upgraded with newer equipment and instructional technology over the summer. Here are the changes that kept IET Classroom Technology Services busy:
--New high-tech data projectors were installed in more than 40 general assignment classrooms.
--Another projector was added to Roessler 66 to accommodate "clickers."
--TV monitors in nine classrooms were replaced with new, high-quality media cabinets and data projectors.
--New sound systems were placed in six lecture halls: Haring 2205, Kleiber 3, Young 198, Hunt 100, Wellman 2, and Storer 1322.
--Three School of Veterinary Medicine classrooms were converted to general instruction: 1309 Surge II I, and 1227 and 2016 Haring.
--Digital recorders to record lectures for podcasts are now installed in eight lecture halls: 1100 Social Sciences, 179 and 194 Chemistry, 198 Young, 3 Kleiber, 6 Olson, 100 Hunt, and 2201 Haring Hall (see podcast.ucdavis.edu for more information about podcasting).
--A new computer room opened in 2060 Sciences Lab Building, thanks to a joint effort by IET-Computer Lab Management and the College of Biological Sciences. It will offer open access when not used for classes.
--Six computer stations in Meyer Media Lab were upgraded to support high-definition video editing. Upgrades include dual monitor setup, special keyboards, and additional video editing software.
--More than 90 computers have been upgraded in 73 and 93 Hutchinson and 163 Shields Library. The computer room at 163 Shields Library was completely renovated, including better lighting, new furniture, and handicap accessibility.
--Print queue kiosk displays were added to select computer rooms. The kiosk displays the most recently printed jobs to help clients locate their printed work and reduce congestion around the printers.
To track additional classroom technology updates throughout the year, read TechNews.

Banner upgrade postponed until Veterans Day weekend
The upgrade of the Student Information System to Banner 7 has been rescheduled for Veterans Day weekend. The system will be down from 5 p.m. Nov. 9 through 8 a.m. Nov. 13, the least disruptive rollout time for the campus available.
Leon Washington, the assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and Dave Shelby, the assistant vice provost for Information and Educational Technology, announced on Aug. 31 that the upgrade--originally scheduled for Labor Day weekend--was being postponed.
Safeguarding students' data remains a top campus priority. So when test results with th e updated software revealed some persistent problems, Washington and Shelby felt it was best for the campus to delay the upgrade. The extra time will let the core offices and Banner team keep testing the system and ensure that the campus has the best product possible. Washington and Shelby said they appreciate the efforts of Banner users, technical support staff, and many others who have worked to prepare the campus community for the upgrade.
Updates will be posted on the Banner Web site.

Tech, teaching mingle at July institute
Faculty got in touch with their technological side this July at the 11th Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology. For a week, the campus forum reviewed new tech tools for the classroom and recent research on teaching and learning.
More than 100 faculty members attended as SITT 2006 focused on five main themes: SmartSite, the new campus course management system; multimedia in the classroom; writing as a teaching tool; collaborative group work; and developments in pedagogy.
As a main attraction, SmartSite received a lot of attention. Professors D. Kern Holoman and Don Meisenheimer from the campus SmartSite pilot program shared their experiences and the various projects they created with SmartSite. SITT also scheduled hands-on workshops and tutorials for instructors to try the new Web tools firsthand.
Other tech presentations covered wikis (communal Web sites), blogs, "clickers" ("personal response devices"), and podcasting.
The institute invited two winners of the UC Davis Academic Federation Award for Excellence in Teaching to speak. Susan Keen, lecturer of evolution and ecology, emphasized the value of student interaction to break the monotony of lectures and keep the class engaged. University Writing Program lecturer John Stenzel talked extensively about the importance of using writing to teach.
To read the daily recaps filed on the cam pus TechNews site from July 24 to July 28, search the TechNews site.
The Teaching Resources Center has posted resource materials from SITT and audio recordings of many SITT sessions.

Viruses on screen, over cheese
This year's SITT, deviating slightly from its regular agenda of presentations and workshops, asked Davis instructors to submit their best visual presentations for display and review over late-afternoon snacks.
On day four of SITT 2006, several dozen people made their way from campus lecture halls and computer labs to International House. Between sips of Italian soda and bites of fine cheese, attendees admired and critiqued exhibits in the building's high-ceilinged gallery.
One of SITT's goals is to improve teaching through technology. The small competition at I-House sought to recognize beautiful and effective visual presentations, which can invigorate a long lecture or clarify a complex topic. By showing what instructors have created, SITT hoped to encourage creativity and inspire other faculty to explore the visual medium.
Submissions included sociology diagrams, photos of Italian dictators, comics of Spider-man, and watercolor daffodils. Undergraduates, the intended audience, chose the winners.
These are not your garden variety PowerPoint slides.
Beth Post, a psychology lecturer, won for her graphic representation of random sampling methods. Mikaela Huntzinger of the Teaching Resources Center earned honors for the student journals from her trip to Kenya. R. Holland Cheng, professor of molecular and cellular biology, won first place. He used 3-D modeling to depict microscopic viruses in startling detail.
A PowerPoint file of the images is available through "The Art of Teaching: Visuals from the Classroom."