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Upgrade to UMConnect

Dear Colleagues,

OIT intends to upgrade our UMConnect service <http://www.oit.umn.edu/umconnect/> on March 14, during spring break. The upgrade is welcome because it will offer new utility, but it is also necessary to replace out-of-warranty hardware, and to increase disk space which was reaching its limit. In addition, the new equipment is configured to be redundant for fail over and disaster recovery, making it more reliable for users.

** Adding value **

The upgrade offers useful new functionality including:
- Breakout rooms
- Editable recordings
- Offline, downloadable recordings

A more complete list of functions and their descriptions will soon be available on the UMConnect page <http://oit.umn.edu/umconnect/> at http://oit.umn.edu/umconnect/.

** Changes to service **

After the upgrade, there will be a few differences in service:

- Only the instructor teaching a course will be able to add enrolled students. Staff will no longer have this capability and will need to ask students to initiate their accounts (i.e., log in).
- Adobe Presenter will no longer be available for download on UMConnect, but is offered at a substantial discount as part of the Adobe Acrobat Pro package offered through UTools at http://www.oit.umn.edu/utools/index.htm. Faculty and staff can still publish presentations.
- Due to limited use of the UMConnect training module, it will be available only by request.

** Migration for current UMConnect users**

There are a few things current UMConnect account holders should know:

- Most content can be migrated from an account holder’s content folder by request. In most cases, this will preserve URLs for content used in courses or for other purposes.
- Meeting rooms, groups, and training cannot be migrated. These will have to be recreated by account holders after the upgrade.
- If an account holder has a meeting recording on the current system and would like to edit or download it after the upgrade, the recording must be moved to a content folder before migration.

For more information, see the UMConnect website <http://oit.umn.edu/umconnect/> at http://oit.umn.edu/umconnect/ or email umconnect@umn.edu <mailto:umconnect@umn.edu>.

A fun way to take the stairs

Just something fun to think about that was forwarded to me last week and I wanted to share!

In an effort to better prepare faculty in the event of absent students (and absent instructors), Academic Technology Services has put together a Brown Bag Event for faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and staff in CEHD to explore how technology can assist in making in class content available online.

Please join us next Thursday, November 19th in Room 325 from 10:30-12pm to discuss options available to you, see some examples, and provide you with resources for getting started with capturing your class content (and be ready to followup with me, your IT Fellow to put your ideas into action). To RSVP please send an email to Melissa Martyr-Wagner, Assistant Director of Academic Technology: mmw@umn.edu.

Feel free to email me, the EdPsy IT Fellow, with any questions: edpsyitf@umn.edu

classcapturebrownbag.jpg

I want to thank Andy Zieffler for sending this to me. I can't wait to try it myself (and will of course post video and/or create others to view the test)! This is a Wii hack that allows you to create a SMART Interactive White Board (typically costing thousands) for just about $50 by using a projector screen (previously installed in just about every classroom, a Nintendo Wii remoteand a trip to Radio Shack!

Here is the video with information on the creator of this system, Johnny Lee and instructions on how to do this following.

OR, you can download the video from the site .

Johnny Lee is a researcher from Carnegie Mellon University and currently works as a researcher in the Applied Sciences department for Microsoft. He became famous via YouTube by posting videos of his projects, mostly involving hacks using Wii Remotes. Other projects of his include a Giant Paintball slingshot,, as well as a low cost steady cam for just $14 which he has called the Poor Man's Steadycam.

Here is a YouTube video with instructions on building the IR Pen Johnny used in his Wii Remote hack

Johnny's Wii Remote Projects seem to be the most interesting with lots of uses within higher education. Stay tuned for a presentation on this system in the future!

Here are the links
Johnny's hompage: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/
Wii Projects homepage with full instructions and free software downloads: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/

Have you found something cool in technology that you think others might find interesting? Please send me an email and I'll post it! You may also leave comments on this post if you've had experience with Wii Remote hacks of your own!