January 14, 2008

Testing VideoANT embed

February 1, 2007

Equipment roundup!

During this past fall semester, our department secured some new equipment dedicated to expanding the technological possibilities within the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD). The college recognized that video has been getting used more and more as a teaching tool, especially with increasing options available via the internet, and decided that it was time to allocate some resources to secure video equipment for the production of material to be used for teaching and learning.

To that end we have purchased a very high-quality video camera package from Sony including a high-definition camcorder and accessories in order to be able to produce professional grade, high quality video to support the needs of the faculty of CEHD. We now have the ability to shoot, edit, and distribute video material at potentially broadcast quality, and we are working on developing some new tools incorporating this video content to further engage students and learners.

We also have a small space available to us in the Vocational-Technical Education building (St. Paul campus) to use as a shooting studio for smaller-sized productions where we need a quiet, controlled environment. The studio is equipped with lighting and a small green screen in order to utilize the video medium to its fullest extent.

Plenty of departments within CEHD have already been taking advantage of video to augment their courses, whether it be online (Web CT or Moodle) or physical materials (CD, DVD). Examples include Curriculum and Instruction (CI 5938), Kinesiology (REC 5631), Education and Human Development (EdHD 5003 and EdHD 5009), and Work and Human Resource Education (WHRE 5101). We are also available to organizations within the college such as CEED (Center for Early Educational Development) and the TEC (Teacher Education Council), who has used us to record lectures and panel discussions to be shared with both the educational community and the general public via a web based media server.

We invite and encourage more of our faculty to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of this powerful teaching tool to augment their teaching materials. We will gladly help you to develop customized tools that incorporate video for your specific needs, including web-based rich media, interactive gaming and testing, documentation and research, and the archiving of college-sponsored events. And that’s not all! Did somebody say, “vodcast??

My name is Pete McCauley and I am the Video and Media Specialist here in the Academic Technology Services office. If you have any questions about the possibility of using video for your teaching purposes, please do not hesitate to contact me at petem@umn.edu or call me at 612-626-5678. Thanks!

Blind Aesthetics: Exploring Universal Design

Last night a growing community of designers, called (Re)desine, met upstairs at Blarney's in Dinkytown. Every time they get together, a new person speaks to the group about their experiences with designing anything from content and curriculum material to web-based solutions for education.

Last night I spoke about designing for the visually impaired. When your audience has a visual disability, the "beauty" of the design has very little to do with the "look." The already-difficult task of providing a beautiful and engaging experience becomes exponentially complex.

Although the focus was on designing for the disabled, my message was much more broad. It is absolutely crucial that you design for your audience. One of the things I bring to the Department of Academic Technology Services is the ability to understand the design process inside and out. As proposals come in for future projects we'll be producing for the College of Education and Human Development, it is my personal goal to understand each projects audience and create a unique experience for each audience and each individual to provide the most engaging experience possible.

If anyone has any questions about design, accessibility, our department, or multimedia in general, feel free to drop me an email at bhosack@umn.edu!

January 26, 2007

Quality Fair

The Quality Fair was yesterday, and a great time was had by all. ATS' own Instructional Technology Fellowship Program had a poster presentation on display, in conjunction with our partnership with the College of Liberal Arts' IT Fellows Program and the Digital Media Center as well. We had lots of visitors stop by to learn more about the IT Fellows Program and our partnership with CLA and the DMC, and many folks happily picked up a "Quality on a Stick" handout replete with information to take back to their offices and peruse and share with colleagues. We still have plenty of the "Quality on a Stick" items (Qualities on a Stick? Quality on Sticks? you get the idea) if you'd like one; feel free to stop by 17 Appleby Hall during normal business hours to pick one up for your office! They're great cubicle decorations and terrific conversation-starters!

A heartfelt thanks to CLA-ITFP and the DMC for their partnership and assistance with this fabulous poster presentation. We truly demonstrated the innovativeness of our initiative and hope that this will plant ideas in other colleges to investigate the possibilities for an IT Fellowship Program in their own unit, which could naturally lead to a broader base for partnership University-wide.

January 12, 2007

Education Meets Technology

Education is the foundation of our future. It is the reason the world is where it is today. Not physically of course, some astronomical occurrence did that. I mean the advancement of mankind.

Education and technology are a bit of a Pandora’s Box in some ways. You can't make large advancements in one without the other. That is where ATS finds its home in the College of Education and Human Development. We exist to help make sure that both can grow together in harmony. We love education. We love technology. But what we really love is bringing both together to enhance the other. We hope you love it too.

CEHD ATS blog now online!

As you can see, the Academic Technology Service's blog is now online! Please stay tuned for further announcements as events warrant.