February 2014

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Upgrades to the Digital Classroom Podium

The DCP podium controllerDuring the winter break, DCS made several upgrades to the Digital Classroom Podium. These improvements were made based on feedback provided by faculty who have used the Digital Classroom Podium since we first introduced them to Rutgers classrooms a year and half ago. Among the list of improvements are: replacement of the old keyboard and track pad with a new keyboard and mouse, a re-designed Podium Controller, the addition of software that allows instructors to use the podium as a whiteboard, and new accessibility features. For more detailed information about these changes, please view our Spotlight article.


5 New Digital Classroom Podium Rooms Online

DCS's Technical Services & Operations staff upgraded five classrooms over the winter break: Tillett Hall Room 116 and Murray Hall Rooms 210, 211, 212, and 213. These rooms are now equipped with the Digital Classroom Podium, DCS's new standard, classroom system. With these new rooms, DCS is now a third of the way to its goal of equipping all its rooms with a DCP. For more information about these classroom improvements, read our online article.


DCP Faculty Feedback Lunch

Thus far, DCS has been designing and improving the Digital Classroom Podium through online surveys and direct interaction with the faculty who use them. On Friday, April 4th at noon, we are inviting instructors to meet with DCS staff in Tillett Hall Room 118 to share some of their thoughts about the DCP. Faculty are welcome to provide feedback, offer suggestions for changes or new features, learn about some of the design changes we are considering, and generally discuss DCS classroom technology. Lunch will be provided. For more information, and to register, please visit our Workshops page.


Speakers Announced for Faculty Showcase

DCS's first Faculty Showcase, to be held at noon on Friday, April 18 in the DCS Training Center (Tillett Hall Room 118), is a chance for instructors to hear from their colleagues about ways they are using technology to enrich the classroom experience. This year's speakers will discuss ways they use DCS technology to encourage student participation:

DCS staff will be on hand to answer questions you might have about how you can try these teaching techniques in your class. Lunch will be provided. For more information, and to register, please visit our Workshops page.


DCS Video Conference Classroom Now Online

Video conference camera in Tillett Hall 232Tillett Hall Room 232, one of sixteen recently constructed classrooms in this building, has been equipped with video conference technology available for use by classes, conferences, and other Rutgers events as part of a pilot program. A permanent part of the room's architecture, the video conferencing equipment in Room 232 requires no in-room set up. After requesting access from DCS, users will be able to broadcast high quality audio and video from classes and events to viewers watching online. Videos can also be saved online for future viewing. If you would like to video conference in Tillett 232 as part of our pilot program, contact us.


It's Not Too Late to Request an iClicker Base

Several faculty members have taken advantage of our iClicker pilot program, in which we install an iClicker base in your Digital Classroom Podium for the spring semester. Having an iClicker base installed in your room eliminates the need to carry a laptop and base to each class. We still have bases available for use. For more information and to request a base, take a look at our iClicker Spotlight article.


Spring Workshop Schedule Announced

DCS is offering workshops on seven topics in instructional technology this semester, including three brand new workshops on Keynote, video chatting, and incorporating media into classroom presentations. The complete schedule is below. For more information and to register, please visit our Workshops page. If you are interested in suggesting a topic for a future workshop or would like to request a private workshop tailored to you and your colleagues' interests, contact us.  

Giving Engaging Digital Presentations

Wednesday, February 26 at 10am
Friday, March 28 at 1pm

Do you feel that your slide presentation is going over the head of your students? Does your class spend more time copying down your slides than paying attention to you? In Giving Engaging Digital Presentations, we discuss techniques for creating and giving engrossing digital presentations. We spend time highlighting some simple tips that can make your presentation more clear and attention grabbing. We will also delve into graphic considerations for making stylish and clean-looking slides. The topics we cover will apply to all slide-based presentations, regardless of your preferred program.

All About Apps: Hands On

Friday, March 7 at 1pm
Wednesday, April 2 at 10am

In an updated installment of our workshop on mobile apps, we will share some of our favorite tablet apps for instructors. Our staff has waded through the multitude of available apps and hand-picked the very best that are geared towards teaching. We will highlight presentation apps that help turn your mobile device into a whiteboard, video apps that help you edit and incorporate video into presentations, and slide show apps that help you create and run lectures from your hand-held. We will also introduce you to apps designed to make your life easier, including apps for taking notes, scanning documents, and organizing classroom materials. All About Apps: Hands On is also a great opportunity to learn about and try out an iPad. In this workshop, we will provide attendees with a DCS iPad so you can use the apps we discuss themselves.

Getting Started with Keynote

Wednesday, March 12 at 10am
Friday, April 11 at 1pm

Keynote is Mac’s answer to PowerPoint. Many instructors find Keynote to be an intuitive and easy way to create and present slides on a Mac. In this workshop, we will give you an introduction to Keynote and demonstrate the basic steps involved in making and projecting presentations. We will also review how to import slides from other sources and export Keynote slides into alternative formats that can be used with other programs. Finally, we will talk about how iCloud can be used to run Keynote presentations on mobile devices and the Digital Classroom Podium.

Video Chat in the Classroom

Friday, March 21 at 1pm
Wednesday, April 23 at 10am

The advent of video chat has greatly expanded the reach of the classroom. Using video chat, students in a remote location can watch and participate in class from anywhere. Guest lecturers can lead classes without having to travel to campus. Classroom discussions can continue after class and study groups can work together without having to board a bus. In Video Chat in the Classroom we will discuss three popular video chat services that enable students and instructors to see each other, hear each other, and view digital presentations: Skype, Adobe Connect, and Google Hangouts. We will also explain how DCS can help you begin video chatting in your class.

Creative Media in the Classroom

Friday, May 2 at 10am

Video, images, web content, and audio are all great ways to enrich classroom presentations. However, having to close and open programs to access media can take away from valuable classroom time and interrupt the flow of the discussion. Creative Media in the Classroom is a follow up to Giving Engaging Digital Presentations which focuses on how to best identify and incorporate relevant media in to your class. We will review how to embed multi-media into presentations and technical tips for how to quickly switch between presentations and other media.

Emerging Technology Now

Tuesday, May 6 at 1pm
Friday, May 16 at 10am
Friday, May 30 at 10am

As you get your syllabus and materials together for upcoming summer classes, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the technology you will be using during the semester. To best afford faculty the opportunity to learn about and test their classroom’s technology, DCS will hold three workshops during the weeks before and after summer classes begin. These workshops are held near classrooms that have each of the four main types of DCS technology you may find in your classroom: the Digital Classroom Podium, Crestron Touchscreen System, SP Push Button System, and Pixie Push Button System. If you are teaching in one of these rooms, you can attend any Emerging Technology Now session and DCS staff will bring you to a nearby room where we will familiarize you with the equipment you will be using during the semester. We also encourage faculty to bring any media – flash drives, laptop, DVDs, documents – that you would like to test with the equipment. For a sneak peak of your room, use our classroom search.

Intro to Macs

Tuesday, May 6 at 2pm
Friday, May 16 at 11am
Friday, May 30 at 11am

This workshop is tailored towards instructors using the Digital Classroom Podium and anyone who would like to learn the basics of using a Mac. While you can learn the ins and outs of using the podium at our Emerging Technology Now workshops, in Intro to Macs we will focus on what you need to know to use the podium's Mac computer. We will introduce you to the basics of Mac's operating system, including the dock, desktop, and finder. We will also discuss how to use popular applications that you may have used in Windows but not on Macs, such as Word, PowerPoint, and web browsers. Finally, we will show you different ways you can access your presentation material via a USB drive or over the web. We will provide you with a Mac laptop so that you can follow along and try out your new skills.