Enhancements to the College's system for electronic document storage and information exchange
The Sites folders on eDisk for groups and individuals have been enhanced to provide secure sharing of documents via a web browser. The two changes are:
- New folders that restrict web access to certain College groups
- Directory listing for folders within the eDisk Sites Folder
Restricted Web Access
The enhanced Sites folder structure contains three new folders that restrict web access to certain groups within the College community. A person accessing these restricted folders must enter their F&M NetID and password.
The folder Sites/fandm is restricted to members of the College community (i.e. FPS and students). The folder Sites/fandm/fps is restricted to faculty, professional staff and the eDisk group that owns the folder. The folder Sites/fandm/faculty is restricted to faculty and the eDisk group that owns the folder.
Using a Sites folder to distribute a file makes it easier to email a URL link for the file. The recipient can simply click a URL in an email to open the file directly. The URL is compatible with Macs, PCs, iPhones, and other devices. Being able to restrict file access to certain groups within the College community greatly enhances this capability.
If a URL specifies a group folder on eDisk, but not a specific file, the eDisk web server looks for a file named index.html within the specified folder. If an index.html file is found, the web content of the file is returned to the browser. If it is not found, the web server generates a directory listing.
Directory listing makes it easy to have a web-based distribution folder without writing html or editing web pages. To distribute a file via the web, a person simply has to copy the file to the appropriate Sites folder and it will automatically be included in the directory listing for the folder.
These new features simplify sharing documents like PDFs with the F&M community, with FPS only, with faculty only, or with the entire “world” (anyone who has the URL path) by sharing a web URL rather than an eDisk path to follow.
"How do I connect to eDisk?" is one of the most frequently asked questions to the ITS Help Desk at the beginning of every semester.
Because there is a bewildering number of combinations of web browsers and operating systems in use on campus, we recommend one reliable connection method for each of the two major platforms (Mac and Windows).
Quickstart instructions for connecting to eDisk are available online at http://www.fandm.edu/its/quickstarts/edisk.
If you would like to learn more about eDisk, please contact an IET Instructional Technologist.
NOTE: This article originally appeared in the August 23, 2011 issue of ITS TechTips.
Tim Sipe, Biology, is using technology to provide more effective, personal feedback to his students by digitally recording voice comments on written assignments. "The benefits of providing audio comments seem to be numerous and that's why I've stayed with this idea for many years now." More...
In 500 Billion Words, New Window on Culture
Culturomics: the application of massive scale data collection and analysis to the study of human culture
The Google Labs N-gram Viewer is the first tool of its kind, capable of precisely and rapidly quantifying cultural trends based on massive quantities of data. According to its designers, it is a gateway to culturomics. The tool is designed to enable one to examine the frequency of words (banana) or phrases ('United States of America') in books over time. The tool searches through over 5.2 million books: ~4% of all books ever published.
Type in a word or phrase in one of seven languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese) and see how its usage frequency has been changing throughout the past few centuries.
For example, search on the words "women" and "men" and the graph shows that “women,” in comparison with “men,” is rarely mentioned until the early 1970s, when feminism gained a foothold. The lines eventually cross paths about 1986.
The words "men" and "women" are 1-grams or unigrams. "Ben Franklin" is a 2-gram or bigram, and so on.
The intended audience is scholarly, but the simple online tool allows anyone with a computer to plug in a string of up to five words and see a graph that charts the phrase’s use over time. The tool allows one to search different collections of books (called 'corpora'). The designers emphasized that culturomics simply provided information. Interpretation remains essential. Some effects are due to changes in the language we use to describe things ('The Great War' vs. 'World War I'). Others are due to actual changes in what interests us ( 'slavery' peaks during the Civil War and during the Civil Rights movement.)
The designers published the results of their work in the December 16 2010 issue of the journal Science. In an unusual move for the publication, Science is making the paper available online to non subscribers. The New York TImes published an article about the study on the same day that said this new tool "offers a tantalizing taste of the rich buffet of research opportunities now open to literature, history and other liberal arts professors who may have previously avoided quantitative analysis."
Focus on Social Media in Education
NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles focusing on social media and how it may be used in teaching and learning. This issue will focus on Twitter.
Twitter describes itself as “a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting.” It can also be described as a platform in which users can post and read short messages of 140 characters or less (aka “tweets”).
Twitter can serve as a guide to what people are finding interesting in the moment. Generally, Twitter presents information as a real time stream of posts from everyone you have chosen to follow. It is also searchable, however, making it a valuable tool for those seeking news, information and perspectives beyond what is available on mainstream media or for those seeking to connect with potential primary sources for research or journalism.
As F&M President Daniel Porterfield mentioned during his comments at Common Hour, Twitter may serve as a valuable tool for “sensing the pulse” of a community by following what members of a particular community are posting. This can be accomplished by setting up “lists”, or streams of tweets from specific groups of Twitter users.
Setting up lists and choosing thoughtfully which users to follow can make Twitter a more focused tool. Associate Professor of Communications at Quinnipiac University, Alex Halavais,
notes that although he often follows people he knows, he chooses people more on the basis of their ability to make him aware of interesting things and less out of a desire to keep up with them as friends.
At its heart, Twitter is a communication tool. Twitter can help connect users to others in their field, help them discover interesting projects and perspectives, and allow them to crowdsource questions and technical problems. The more users contribute, the more valuable it becomes.
Setting up a Twitter account is free. If you would like to learn more about using Twitter, please contact an IET Instructional Technologist.
Around the Web
A snapshot of what's going on around
the World Wide Web
Social Media for Scientists, or Why Every Lab Should Tweet
In this article, the author this discusses why, from a global perspective, it is important for scientists to engage in social media.
225 Free eBooks: Download Great Classics for Free
This collection features free e-books, mostly classics, that you can read on your computer, smart phone, or eReader. It includes great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources
MIT Sloan School of Management provides a collection of teaching materials, including case studies, industry notes, and management simulations, that MIT Sloan provides as a free teaching resource open and available to the world.
MIT Sloan School of Management
Kenyon College Creates Center for Innovative Pedagogy
The Center for Innovative Pedagogy (CIP) is primarily designed to address that hunger to learn more about teaching and learning, at Kenyon and in the larger education community. A Director and a staff of four instructional technologists work with faculty members to enhance the art and science of teaching across the curriculum.
Projections of Education Statistics Through 2020
The National Center for Education Statistics has released a report projecting trends in higher education. Among the projections: the gender gap in college enrollment will widen, Latinos will lead in enrollment growth, and college completion rates will fall far short of the White House’s 2020 goal.
National Center for Education Statistics
Goldilocks – A New Series, Filmed on an iPhone, Distributed Through an App
Goldilocks is the first mobile film series to be shot on an iPhone 4 and iPod Touch – combining the action and spy thriller genres in a serial format.
New York Times
Apple introduces Quick Reads iBooks store section
Like Amazon’s Kindle Singles, Quick Reads in the iBook Store offer shorter, cheaper ebooks. The books are much smaller in size than your average iBook and range in price from $0.99 to $4.99.
The Next Web
Doctors turn to tablet computers
Lured by new technologies and financial incentives from the government, doctors are throwing out stacks of paper and replacing them with handheld computers.
San Francisco Chronicle
Streaming Video in Medical Education
Streaming video allows the College of Medicine at Penn State to broadcast complex surgeries outside of the operating room.
Where are we spending the most time online?
According to Nielsen, it's social media. In the U.S., social networks and blogs reach nearly 80 percent of active U.S. Internet users and represent the majority of Americans’ time online.
Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet.
Social media has grown rapidly – today nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.
Close to 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone.
Females make up the majority of visitors to social networks and blogs, and people aged 18-34 have the highest concentration of visitors among all age groups.
Social networking is indeed a global phenomenon. In a look across a sample of 10 global markets, social networks and blogs are the top online destination in each country, accounting for the majority of time spent online and reaching at least 60 percent of active Internet users.
Source: Nielsen [PDF]
eDisk Sites Folders [PDF]
The eDisk Sites folders for groups and individuals provides secure sharing of documents via a web browser. This QuickStart explains how it works.
QuickStarts are designed to provide short, concise instructions
for using hardware, software, and facilities supported by ITS.
What app is on your mobile device?
Mobile Survey Tools
Michael Penn, Psychology
In my most recent studies, I have been exploring the impact of exposure to pornography on subjects for whom such exposure is either congruent or incongruent with their values. In earlier research, we discovered that acting in ways that are inconsistent with one's own values tends to awaken negative moral emotions -- such as guilt, shame, regret and remorse. These negative moral emotions serve as diatheses (or risk factors) in the development of various forms of psychopathology -- such as depression, anxiety, and somatization disorders.
The iPad turns out to embody extraordinary potential for this kind of research. There are two reasons for this. First, the iPad provides an ideal interface with "Surveymonkey", which is a web based program that enables researchers to gather survey data from subjects all over the world. Second, since the iPad is hand held, and thus easy to transport, researchers are able to use the device to survey subjects in a wide range of settings (conferences, malls, and so forth) without the need to transport pen and paper instruments. It is quite possible that devices like the iPad will play an ever more important role in research in the years ahead.
NOTE: Professor Penn used an iPad he borrowed from the CAT Faculty Equipment Loan Pool.
ARTstor in 3 Minutes
Did you know you can watch ARTstor tutorials on YouTube? Topics such as Registering for an Account, Making an Image Group, and Downloading Images to PowerPoint are covered in short, easy to follow videos.
New instructional videos have been added to ARTstor’s YouTube channel, and they are all now close-captioned in the language of your choice!
ARTstor is a non-profit initiative, founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with a mission to use digital technology to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning in the arts and associated fields.
More ARTstor tips and tools are highlighted on the ARTstor Blog.
You Should Know About...
Data Visualization II
Data visualization is the use of tools to represent data in the form of charts, maps, tag clouds, animations, or any graphical means that make content easier to understand. Graphic representations of data are popular because they open up the way we think about data, reveal hidden patterns, and highlight connections among elements. Because current web applications allow anyone with access to data to enter information and easily create a virtualization of it, students, informal learners, and the purely curious can now easily create visualizations that might reveal trends that were not obvious from the numbers alone. For scholars, particularly those whose conclusions depend on interpretation of complex statistics, data visualization offers the promise of easier communication and a wider audience for their findings.
The "7 Things You Should
Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE
Learning Initiative (ELI)
provides concise information
on emerging learning practices
PDFpen is a powerful Mac PDF editor: add text, images, and signatures, make corrections, fill out forms, edit images, redact or erase text, OCR scanned pages and more.
With PDFpen, you can grade papers and correct writing assignments digitally. Split or combine PDFs; reorder and delete PDF pages; add watermarks.
The Faculty Committee on Academic Technology (CAT) has licensed PDF Pen for use by Franklin & Marshall College Faculty and Professional Staff.
If you're already a PDFpen user, be sure you upgrade to the most recent version (5.1.1) to get the latest enhancements.
QuickStarts for PDFpen are available online from ITS. The software is available via the F&M Software Server for authorized members of the F&M community.
Price: Licensed for College Use
Macintosh OS X 10.6 or later
"Souper Tuesday" Brown Bags
October 4, November 8
Informal lunchtime conversations about using technology to support teaching and learning ... and we provide the soup!
October 28, November 18, December 16
Stop in for a cup of coffee, a bagel, and some informal conversation. Charles and Teb will be on hand to answer your instructional technology questions.
Lunchtime discussions about the ways in which faculty are using technology to enhance teaching and learning - lunch provided.
All events will be held in the eLearning Laboratory (eLL), Harris 136.
see the larger image...
Volume 7, Issue 2
Tips, techniques, and tools for using technology
to enhance teaching, learning, and research
IET eNews is published by the Office of Instructional and Emerging Technologies in Information Technology Services. http://edisk.fandm.edu/iet/enews/
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