TOW: Get organized with Evernote

Tip of the WeekEvernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to gather all of those scraps of paper, to-do lists, Web clippings, notes, etc. and put them in one, searchable online notebook. Notes can be organized by tags, and are stored on the Web, so they will sync between all your devices.

You can easily share your notes with others: students, faculty, colleagues at other institutions, and invite them to collaborate on documents if you wish.

Potential uses:

  • Collect research notes as you discover articles or Web sites. Evernote will let you take a snapshot of the Web site, file it in a particular notebook, and make a comment for your future reference.
  • Store ideas and reminders related to your courses.
  • Take notes during meetings. You can even take a photo of an item and upload it to Evernote directly.
  • Develop collaborative documents with colleagues from other institutions.
  • Make vacation plans!

Here are some other ideas for using Evernote academically, from Raul Pacheco-Vega.

Proceed to Evernote.com to get started.

Join Our Growing Digital Scholarship Team at Trinity!

screenshot of a story map

Why Work on Digital Scholarship at Trinity?

A week or so ago, Trinity College posted a job opening for a digital scholarship coordinator, a position designed to build on recent momentum in digital humanities and other forms of born-digital scholarship. We anticipate that the successful candidate will work with faculty interested in conceptualizing new methods or modes of research, as well as with students looking to build digital research skills for a thesis or other forms of scholarship. The digital scholarship coordinator will work closely with the educational technology group and the library in support of all this work.

The digital scholarship coordinator posting speaks for itself, but I did want to highlight a few things that might make this post even more attractive than I think it already is:

  • We’re currently beginning to design a digital scholarship studio in the library, which the successful candidate will have significant input in finalizing and implementing.
  • We are seriously evaluating partnering with Reclaim Hosting’s Domain of One’s Own program to ensure that our students and faculty have the digital infrastructure to develop exciting new projects. I am not a gambler by nature, but there is every possibility that we’ll have reached an agreement by the time interviews for this position start.
  • Staff support for digital scholarship projects is already quite sophisticated–we have expertise in WordPress, GIS, timelines, 3D printing, and more.

We’ve been building toward being able to make this move for several years now, and it’s a very exciting development in Information Services that we’re able to go forward.

The most compelling reaason to come to Trinity as the digital scholarship coordinator is that we have terrific faculty who are already doing exciting work in this field. While this blog post can’t begin to do justice to the rich environment you’ll find here, let me just briefly mention a few we’ve either supported or are in development:

  • Jack Dougherty (Educational Studies) draws on digital history and data visualization tools to reveal the relationship between schooling and housing over time. Examples include On the Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and Its Suburbs (currently hosted at TrInFo Cafe’s PressBooks; under contract with Amherst College Press); Data Visualization for All, Web Writing(U of Michigan P, 2015), and Writing History in the Digital Age(U of Michigan P, 2013). You can see his course syllabuses on our WordPress site.
  • Jack Gieseking (American Studies) uses digital methods and analytics to visualize and make public hitherto invisible lgbtq histories and geographies. All of his work is online at http://jgieseking.org/cv, but let me specifically call attention to two ongoing projects, The Queer Public Archives and the Trans Tumblr Project, as well as his course on Data-Driven Cultures.
  • Alden Gordon (Fine Arts) has worked with his students to develop art+Hartford: A website that catalogs public art in the Hartford area, with photographs and scholarly entries for each item. The site is designed for mobile devices, and includes customizable walking tours of the area’s public art. Alden is also working on a digital mapping project illustrating travel in the 18thC.
  • Seth Markle (History/International Studies) is working with the Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center to develop a digital archive about the history of hip hop in Hartford.
  • A variety of faculty have developed assignments that build on mapping or other forms of digital storytelling that aren’t currently publicly available. Cheryl Greenberg (History) had students crowdsource a story map (pictured above) showing how the civil rights movement unfolded in a small Mississippi town. Zayde Antrim (History/International Studies) has students working concretely with maps. Beth Notar (Anthropology) and Molly Helt (Psychology/Neuroscience) have students produce digital artifacts during the semester. This list is very partial!

When it comes to teaching, the resourcefulness of the faculty is even more apparent, using tools such as hypothes.is, Zotero, Gelphi, QGIS, Google Docs, WordPress, and much else besides to accomplish myriad pedagogical goals. Some faculty also have student-driven research projects that could potentially become more open and public, but could use help making that happen. We have a dedicated, innovative faculty, and are poised to take further steps in the realm of digital scholarship and pedagogy.

If you have questions about the position, please feel free to get in touch! Again, the full job listing is here: https://trincoll.peopleadmin.com/postings/1308.

TOW: Using Qualtrics for Survey Research

Tip of the Week

There are many ways to field a survey online including free services such as Google Forms and Survey Monkey. But what if your survey requires some complex logic or you need to track participants and automate the process of sending reminders and follow up emails? Trinity College has a subscription with Qualtrics, a powerful and flexible survey tool used by many top researchers. While it does take some getting used to it is easy to use and is powerful and flexible enough for any survey research you can throw at it.

To get started simply go to http://trinity.qualtrics.com and create an account using your Trinity email address. You will then have access to a sandbox area where you can design a survey and see if it is the tool for you. If you decide to use it for your research you should contact your department’s Instructional Technologist and we can help get you started. We will have to fully enable your account before you can activate your survey. To do this we will need some information from you especially proof that you have completed the Institutional Review Board process.

 

Winterize Your Course!

Tip of the WeekSince we are in the season of flu outbreaks and 18 inch snowfalls, it seems to be a good time to review how to “Winterize Your Course.” If you are not able to make it to campus, but would prefer not to cancel class – there are many options for presenting a lecture or interacting with your students remotely.

If you want to conduct a synchronous session during your scheduled class time, we recommend a variety of options including Skype, WebEx, Google Hangouts, Moodle Chat or a simple conference call. If you want to post materials for students to review in a self-paced format, there are a number of tools that can be used to create a video or narrate a screen-capture, such as PowerPoint and Camtasia.

If you are interested, review this handout that describes the different tools in more detail. Then, contact your Instructional Technologist to get started. Stay warm!

Visit the new Center for Educational Technology!

The CET is complete! Located on the south end of Raether LITC Level 1, the Center for Educational Technology is a newly remodeled space for collaborative and individual study using the latest in technology and applications.

The space is open 24/7; and staffed by Student Technology Assistants during both day and evening hours. (Hours available on the right.)

The CET is outfitted with large screens of various sizes that you can connect any device to; Mac minis with dual monitors, and some with Adobe’s Creative Cloud software suite; USB charging plugs in every outlet; 3D printers; virtual reality headsets; and of course – plenty of modern soft seating.

Visit us soon!

 

TOW: The Moodle Resource Website is Ready to Help!

Tip of the WeekAre you new to using Moodle at Trinity College? Or are you a Moodle veteran who suspects something simple has changed, or you’re missing a step?

The Moodle Resource Website, at commons.trincoll.edu/moodle/, probably has the answers you’re looking for, including:

  • How to make your course visible to students
  • How to add your TA
  • How to upload files
  • How to import materials from a previous semester
  • … and more!

Visit commons.trincoll.edu/moodle/ to get started. If there is a topic that you would like to see included on the site, email your Instructional Technologist.

If you need immediate help on your Moodle course, the STA desk is the fastest way to get help. Visit their information on the Trinity website at this link or contact them:

TOW: Digitization Service

Did you know Educational Technology provides a digitization service to faculty? Tip of the Week

You may have noticed VHS decks, 35mm slide projectors and overhead transparency projectors aren’t as common as they used to be. They are also becoming harder to replace and keep in working order. These items are going the way of the Dodo so what can you do to future proof your course materials?

If you have VHS tapes, 35mm slides or overhead transparencies you use regularly we can convert them to a digital format for you. We can convert VHS tapes to MP4 files or DVD or scan 35mm slides and transparencies to a variety of image formats.

To get started contact your Instructional Technologist!

 

TOW: Using Moodle Scheduler to set up student appointments

Tip of the Week

If your class uses Moodle regularly, the Scheduler plugin is very useful for setting up appointments with students in your class, either individually or in groups. (Outside of Moodle, a handy way to schedule appointments is with the WASS scheduler.)

Start by turning on editing in Moodle, and then click on ‘Add an activity or resource.’ In the box under Activities, choose Scheduler and click ‘Add.’ SchedulerIcon

A new page will appear called ‘Adding a new Scheduler’ where you enter in a name (required). This page contains numerous options for setting up the appointments, including limiting how many times a student can make an appointment, whether there will be a grade assigned, and if appointments can be made by groups. Note that if you decide to use groups, the group assignments will need to be defined under Course Administration, and this plugin requires that the teacher or teaching assistant be a member of each group. Once you have finished with the settings, click on ‘Save and display’ located at the bottom of the page.

SchedulerAddSlots2To set up the times for the appointments, click on ‘Add slots.’ Under the drop-down, you can choose to add a single slot or repeated slots. The repeated slots option is recommended for setting up blocks of time where students can make appointments. Choose the appropriate days of the week, start and end times of the appointment block, and then the duration of the appointment (typically 15 or 30 minutes.) You can also activate a setting where an automatic email reminder will be sent to the student before the appointment. Once you have created the appointments, then click on ‘Save changes’ at the bottom of the page.

Students will see a listing of the available times (as shown below), where they use the “Book slot’ button to make an appointment. Additional time slots can be added by the instructor at any time, and statistics summarizing the appointments can be easily viewed and exported. (It is worth mentioning, however, that the Scheduler does not sync with calendar software, such as Outlook or Google Calendar.)

Scheduler

If you have any questions about using the Scheduler in Moodle, please contact your Instructional Technologist.

 

TOW: The STAs are here to help!

Have a question about Moodle? Tip of the Week
Not sure how to upload media for your WordPress post?
Want to know more about 3D printing?
Heard a rumor that we have an Oculus Rift you can use?

The Student Technology Assistants are here to help faculty and students with all your educational technology needs! Just a few of the things we can help with:

  • Moodle
  • WordPress
  • Multimedia projects using iMovie and Audacity
  • Photoshop
  • Charts and graphs in Excel
  • PowerPoint Presentations and Posters
  • 3D printing
  • Oculus Rift VR headset (yes the rumors are true)

We are here every day so stop in (LITC 113), call (860-297-2589), email (sta-help@trincoll.edu) or make an appointment online. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

3D printed Jack-O-Lantern   3D printed skull

3D printed Halloween fun!

TOW: Running lab applications on your personal computer

Tip of the WeekThere is the option on campus to run lab software such as Matlab, SPSS, STATA, Atlas.ti, ArcGIS, EViews and more, on your personal computer, rather than always having to go into a public lab. We have 30 seats of a virtual Windows 7 image that is running most of the applications you will find in the labs and classrooms. You can access this window image from virtually any device including Macs, and iOS and Android mobile devices. So if you need to run a lab application for an assignment and don’t want to come to a lab keep reading!

To set this up, VMHorizon Client software needs to be installed on your personal computer by downloading the latest version of the Horizon client. For Windows and Macs start at https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/infoslug=desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_horizon_clients/4_0 for mobile devices find it (for free) in your app store.  Once the VMWare Horizon Client is installed and running, then add the new server “vdi.trincoll.edu” from the File menu.  Afterwards, click on the vdi icon to login, then use your trincoll username and password (as well as cmpcntr domain) to connect to the remote computer.  Select the “Labs” image for the connection, and after Windows 7 opens, the applications can be accessed through the Start menu.

The fine print:

  • This currently only works on campus, though you should be able to connect to the virtual image through VPN from off campus. Instructions on using VPN are found at http://www.trincoll.edu/LITC/its/computing/Pages/default.aspx .
  • The versions may be slightly different than what is installed in the labs. You shouldn’t have any issues but be aware there could be some slight differences.
  • This image resets on restart just like the labs so save your work to a flash drive, network/cloud space or email it to yourself.

 As always, please contact the Help Desk if you run into any problems.