September 2014

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Welcome back to the start of another academic year! DCS has been busy upgrading classroom technology, preparing fall workshops, and more. Here are the highlights:

Digital Classroom Podiums Installed in 31 Classrooms

Beck Hall 251This summer, we passed the century mark. One-hundred and nineteen classrooms are now equipped with Digital Classroom Podiums (DCPs) - our new, standard classroom system. Our Technical Services & Operations staff upgraded every DCS classroom in Hardenbergh Hall, seven rooms in Murray Hall, the entire second floor of Beck Hall, and three more Allison Road Classrooms. We also installed new podiums in the Hill Center auditoriums.

For more information about these upgrades, including a complete list of classrooms, view our Spotlight Article.


More Improvements to the Podium

Blu-ray driveThese thirty-two classrooms received our latest versions of the DCP.  The new podiums are all equipped with document camera lifts, to facilitate easier writing. New DCPs also utilize Blu-ray drives that are connected to the podium's computer, enabling instructors to play a wider range of discs and control playback without having to turn to face the screen. We have also gone back and installed these drives in some of our older DCPs as well. All of our DCPs, both old and new, were also updated with the latest version of the Podium Controller - which includes a Sakai hot button - and the newest Apple operating system, Mavericks.

View the Spotlight article for a full list of podium improvements.


New Ways to Find Info on the DCS Web Site

We have moved things around on the DCS web site to provide more ways to quickly find helpful info. Now, if you are looking for information relating to one of our classroom systems, you can visit our In-Class Technology section. Within this section, we have created web pages for each system containing relevant information such as instructions, photos, classroom lists, and more. Or, you can browse all of our "How-To" information on the Videos, Tutorials, and Instructions page. This page includes all of our how-to videos, interactive tutorials, articles, and printable PDFs relating to using classroom technology, including our new videos about how to use the whiteboard and annotation software available on Digital Classroom Podiums.


New Semester Loan Procedure

Wireless presenter and webcamDCS has portable equipment available for use in classrooms, including projectors, wireless presenters, iClicker bases, and more. This equipment can be delivered for up to four course meetings or checked out as a semester-long loan. To better track equipment loans and provide more convenient locations for picking up loans, we have revised our policy for the fall semester. Loan equipment can now be picked up from and returned to one of our annex offices located on each campus.

For more information about requesting equipment under our new policy, please read our Spotlight article. To request equipment, please fill out our Equipment Request Form.


Fall Workshops & Training Opportunities

Our upcoming fall series brings back several popular topics from last semester, including sessions on using iPads, Macs, and Prezi. We have also added a new Taking the Pulse of Your Class workshop centered around "clickers." It may seem far away, but we are also offering two opportunities to learn how to use DCS's classroom equipment for the spring semester in our DCS Technology Training sessions, formerly known as Emerging Technology Now. All workshops will be held in Tillett Hall Room 118. Visit our registration page to sign up.

Video Chat in the Classroom

Friday September 26 at 1pm

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, DCS staff discuss three commonly used 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 also explain how DCS can help you begin video chatting in your class.

All About Apps: Creating Content

Wednesday October 1 at 10am

Our staff has handpicked some of the most popular apps used for creating and delivering content – both inside and outside the classroom. In this showcase workshop, you can follow along on DCS iPads as our staff will walk you through using Evernote – a useful organizational, productivity, and classroom tool.  We will also demonstrate how Educreations and Doceri can be used to create and capture lessons. We will explore Videolicious, a quick and easy way to convert images into a video collage. Finally, CamScanner provides a quick and easy way to import documents into your mobile devices as an image. While these apps are available for free on multiple platforms, our All About Apps workshops are great opportunities to learn about and try out an iPad.

All About Apps: Google Tools

Friday October 10 at 1pm

In this hands-on workshop, we  introduce you to several mobile apps offered by Google or designed for use with Google products. We demonstrate some of the benefits of using Chrome and Drive across multiple mobile devices.  We discuss YouTube’s mobile app and how PlayTube can be used to download and playback video. While these apps are available for free on multiple platforms, our All About Apps workshops are great opportunities to learn about and try out an iPad. In this workshop, we provide attendees with a DCS iPad so they can try out the apps we discuss themselves.

Giving Engaging Digital Presentations

Wednesday October 15 at 1pm

Do you feel that your slide presentation is going over the head of your audience? Does your class spend more time copying down your slides than paying attention to you? In this workshop, 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 also delve into graphic considerations for making stylish and clean-looking slides. The topics we cover apply to all slide-based presentations, regardless of your preferred program.

Creative Media in the Classroom

Friday October 24 at 1pm

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. This workshop focuses on how to best identify and incorporate relevant media. DCS staff will review how to embed multi-media into presentations and technical tips for how to quickly switch between presentations and other media. 

Beyond PowerPoint

Wednesday October 29 at 10am

Are you interested in using a computer-based presentation to enhance your class, but don't know where to begin? Are you a PowerPoint user looking for alternatives? Over the course of a half-hour, we will introduce some of the most commonly-used presentation options, including Prezi, Keynote, SlideShark, and Adobe. We feature presentation applications that require software purchases as well as free online options. The workshop also demonstrates the various ways these presentation tools can be utilized in DCS classrooms.

Perfecting Prezi

Friday November 7 at 1pm

Prezi offers an alternative to slide-based presentations. It is a free, online program that enables you to create presentations that are not limited by a linear structure. Instead, presentation content can be laid out graphically in a manner that many faculty find to be more intuitive to how students learn and flexible enough to follow class discussion. In Perfecting Prezi, Digital Classroom Services will provide you with an introduction to some of Prezi's features and walk you through the basic steps and shortcuts you need to know to begin building your own presentation.

Getting Started with Keynote

Wednesday November 12 at 10am

Keynote is Mac’s answer to PowerPoint. Many users find Keynote to be an intuitive and easy way to create and present slides in class. 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, DCS's in-class presentation hub.

Taking the Pulse of Your Class: Web-based

Friday November 21 at 1pm

In this showcase workshop, we demonstrate ways that you can poll your students and receive instant feedback during class, including Poll Everywhere and Socrative. The applications we discuss are web-based solutions for posing discussion topics, giving quizzes, and receiving questions in real time from your students through their phones, laptops, or tablets. We will focus on polling solutions that are quick, free, easy to use, and require no additional hardware aside from the mobile devices many faculty and students already use. Bring along your phone, laptop, or tablet and you can test out the polling applications during the workshop.

Taking the Pulse of Your Class: Clickers

Friday December 5 at 1pm

In this showcase workshop, we will demonstrate ways that you can poll your students and receive instant feedback during class using “clickers.” We will show you two of the more commonly-used clicker solutions at Rutgers:  iClicker and TurningPoint.  Both of these solutions are free for instructors, relying on students to purchase clickers or smart phone apps.  We will also review what you need to know to begin using one of these solutions in a DCS classroom. 

DCS Technology Training

Friday January 16 at 9:30am

Friday January 23 at 1pm

As you get your syllabus and materials together for spring 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 holds sessions during the weeks before and after classes begin. These sessions are held near classrooms that have one 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, attend this workshop and have a chance to learn how to use our equipment. We also encourage faculty to bring any media – such as laptop, DVDs, or documents – that you would like to test with the equipment.

Intro to Macs

Friday January 16 at 11am

Friday January 23 at 2:30pm

This session is tailored towards instructors using the Digital Classroom Podium and anyone who would like to learn the basics of using a Mac. 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 Safari. 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.