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The next phase of Next.IU – Video Solutions

Do you use video with your class? Have you been waiting for a tool that makes it easier to pull it all together? This fall 2014, we will pilot various video management tools as part of Next.IU (the ongoing investigation into next-generation learning technologies at Indiana University).

Use audio-visual materials like video to capture the attention of your learners, increase motivation, and enhance the learning experience. Plus, today’s learners are not just sitting on the sidelines – they are creating their own videos too.

Ensemble Video and Kaltura SaaS are flexible software programs that offer easy-to-use tools to publish and share video content via an online, on-demand video library. Both tools have a site activity feature that lets you see how students are using your content. There are even ways to get captions encoded into your videos!

Meanwhile, our new learning management system, Canvas, also has the ability to upload video anywhere you see the rich text editor – you can even record video while grading to provide feedback for your students.

If you want to sign up to participate in the video management pilot for Ensemble or Kaltura, visit the Next.IU site and complete the form. For the field, “Reason for contact,” select “I would like to participate in the Video Management pilot.”

If you want to learn more, you can ask us here, or use the Contact Us form at Next.IU.

Pluralsight-It’s here through December!

The spring semester pilot program for Pluralsight has been extended through the end of December 2014! Pluralsight recently acquired Digital Tutors, a leading provider of video-based courses on design topics such as video editing, multimedia, 3D rendering, Adobe applications and much more. All pilot participants can access Digital Tutors training at no charge for the duration of the pilot!

 

To learn more about this pilot, visit our Pluralsight page. If you have questions about this service, please contact us at itpilot@iu.edu.

Screenshot from Pluralsight video.

Screenshot from Pluralsight video.

Try these new proposed library resources

IU Libraries are offering the chance to try some proposed electronic resources and tell them what you think. Visit the trials page and take a sneak peek at the new Libraries web site.

The GeoRef, Papers, and BiblioBoard trials are still going on.

GeoRef is a database containing references to geoscience journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports and theses.  Feedback is due by July 1, 2014. Learn more about GeoRef here.

GeoRef logo

Papers is a reference manager application. You can use it to collect and organize research materials in a variety of formats including email. Papers works on Mac, Windows, and iOS devices.  Watch this video to get acquainted with Papers.  The trial ends on July 31, 2014.

Biblioboard Library is a digital collection that explores books, images, articles, audio, and video throughout history. Current partners include the British Library, and Wake Forest University.  It’s available for desktop, iPad, Android, Nexus, Galaxy, Nook, and Kindle Fire.

BiblioBoard logo

Learn all about these trials at the Libraries Electronic Resource Trials page.

Pluralsight will be here through September!

The spring semester pilot program for Pluralsight has been extended through September 30, 2014!

Screenshot from Pluralsight video.

Screenshot

Pluralsight recently acquired Digital Tutors, a leading provider of video-based courses on design topics such as video editing, multimedia, 3D rendering, Adobe applications, and much more. All pilot participants can access Digital Tutors training at no charge for the duration of the pilot!

To learn more about this pilot, visit our Pluralsight page. If you have questions about this service, please contact us at itpilot@iu.edu.

 

How to manage what syncs from Box on your local computer

Do you want some documents, such as just those files you use at the office, to remain only in your Box account but not be synced to your local computer? You can be selective about what your local Box Sync app slurps from your Box account. There are two ways to do this.

When using a browser in your account on the Web, for each folder you can right-click an options arrow located next to the Share link and choose Sync Folder to Computer or else Unsync.  This includes or excludes the entire folder for all your synced devices.

If you don’t want certain folders on a single local system, you can also delete the folder from your Box folder on that local system. Deleting a folder in your local system does not delete the same folder on Box; it will merely unsync the folder, remove it from your local system, and keep it saved on Box. However, if you want to delete this folder in both locations, you need to explicitly delete the required folder in your Box account on the Web. This behavior protects content from unintentional and accidental deletions.

A special note: This behavior only applies to folders. If you delete a file in your local system, you will automatically be deleting it from Box as well.

See https://support.box.com/hc/en-us/articles/200852677-Box-Sync-4-0-Release-Notes#unsyncondelete

Poll Your Audience – No Clickers Needed

Last October, at the Statewide IT Conference in Bloomington, Brad Wheeler, one of the best presenters that I have ever had the privilege of watching, took questions from the crowd via Smartphone. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but yesterday, when I saw an advertisement for a new cloud-based application called sli.do, I wondered if that was what Brad had used during his presentation.

I decided to check out this application to see if it might be useful for the trainers in our department.

Read the rest of “Poll Your Audience — No Clickers Needed” »

Help! I Can’t See the Unread Mail Envelope Icon on the Taskbar!

NCT submitted this comment on the blog article titled Change Fonts in Outlook 2013:

“Help! I cannot see the unread mail envelope on the taskbar, and I have come
to rely on that. Is there a way to change the appearance of the icon so
that it stands out more?”

NCT is referring to the first icon shown on the taskbar below:

mail_icon

This envelope icon appears when you receive a new message in Outlook 2013, but as you can see in the image above, it is not easy to see. The light orange color of the image doesn’t show up well on the transparent taskbar.

While there is no easy way to change the look of the icon itself, you can customize your taskbar so that the icon will stand out better. To customize the look of the taskbar when running Windows 7, follow these directions:

  1. Click on the Start Orb.
  2. Point to Control panel.
  3. Click on Personalization.
  4. At the bottom of the new window, you see:
    icons at bottom of Personalization windowClick on the Window Color icon.
  5. A new menu appears:
    Window Color and Appearance window
  6. Click on the color swatch that you prefer. One of the darker colors will provide the most contrast.
  7. Press and drag the Color intensity slider all the way to the right.
  8. Click on the Save changes button.
  9. Preview the results in the bottom right corner of your screen:

darker_colored_taskbar

If you aren’t happy with the way the taskbar now looks, repeat these steps and choose a different color. You can also expand the “Show color mixer” section, and experiment with the hue, saturation, and brightness of the window elements.

Weather Information in Outlook 2013

Did you know that you can get weather information directly from Outlook? If you are using Outlook 2013, simply open the Calendar view and look just to the left of the search box. You will see the name of a city, and the forecasted temperatures in that city for the next 3 days.

outlook weather info

If you are not in the city listed, click on the drop-down arrow next to the city name and change it.

drop-down menu for selecting city

If you want additional information about the weather, hover your mouse over any of the days shown and a pop-up will appear, displaying wind speed, humidity, and precipitation.

weather pop-up

Quick way to create background color in Photoshop

Ever want to put a color in the background layer of you Photoshop file? It is so simple.
1. Click on the foreground color in the toolbox.

Graphic of Photoshop's foreground and background tool on the toolbox

 

 

 

 

2. Choose the color of the background desired by clicking in the large area on the menu. That color will appear under the word new:

Color Picker menu in Photoshop

 

3. Click OK in the menu.
4. Hold down the Alt key (Option on a Mac) and hit the Backspace key.
5. The background is filled with that color.
6. If the background color on the toolbox is what you prefer, hold down the Control key (Command on the Mac) and hit the Backspace key.

Just saved you lots of time, right?

Manage Spotlight Indexing on Your Mac

Mac OX Spotlight search is a powerful resource, bringing you all kinds of search results in a flash. However, the downside is that it can take up precious CPU that you may need for other tasks. You can switch it off when you don’t need it and then turn it back on when you aren’t working with processor-intensive applications. Here’s how: http://www.mikesel.info/disable-spotlight/

It’s also best to understand how Spotlight works, and how to manage and fix it. See: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/how-to-fix-spotlight-indexing-in-os-x

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