Upcoming Kaneb Center Events

Check out the Kaneb Center for Teaching & Learning events page at:  http://kaneb.nd.edu/events/

There’s a session on November 6 on teaching with Sakai, plus other seminars and events in November.

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The Insatiable Demand for Printing

     Printing is not my favorite thing to write about, but it does touch on a number of important issues at the university.  I’m often asked what the Learning Spaces group is going to do about the continual rise in printing by students.  I’m always torn when I get that question, because I see my main responsibility as running a reliable printing service.  It seems to me that the larger question of student printing is a strategic issue that needs to be addressed by higher level administrators.  I am happy to help with data and some perspective gained by running this service for ten years.

     Leaving the strategic questions aside for a minute I want to summarize the chart just a bit, and then leave it up to the reader to click on it and examine it in more detail.  Spring 2012 was the first time we’ve ever cracked 7 million clicks in a single semester.  For some reason we always print more in the second semester than in the first, but 7 million is a new record! 

     In the past seven years printing has doubled.  Our largest jump happened in the middle of the 09/10 AY, where printing increased 50% in one semester.  As you can see from the trendline, if nothing changes, in 12 months I’ll be reporting to you that we set a new record of 8 million clicks in a single semester.

     Something has to give, because this kind of increase is unsustainable.  What are you doing at your institution to control printing costs?


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Upgrades to Large Auditoria in DeBartolo Hall — Multiple Screens

The term “google jockey” is sometimes used to describe a student or audience participant who is given official license by the instructor to surf the web while a presentation is in session.  There is more than one way to use a google jockey, but often a google jockey serves as a moderator for back-channel discussions among other students, and the jockey’s screen is displayed for all to see right alongside the presenter’s slides.

     Instructors sometimes turn to this technique in an attempt to use the students’ personal devices to further class discussion, rather than fighting a losing battle against Facebook and espn.com.  Of course this requires that there be more than one screen in a classroom, and that the control system offer some mechanism by which a student’s device can be easily connected. 
     Our traditional classrooms still feature a single projector and a single screen, but one of our goals in the Learning Spaces group is to give faculty the option of displaying multiple sources of information to the class at the same time.  A few years ago we started to move screens off-center, thus allowing faculty the option of using both the projection screen and a blackboard at the same time.  Some rooms, like Jordan 101 & 105, were built with the capability of showing multiple sources on multiple screens.   A couple years ago we added a small MIT-style ‘TEAL’ classroom in the basement of DeBartolo.  This summer we upgraded the classroom AV control systems in DeBartolo 101, 102, 155, and 141, and while we were doing that we equipped each room with three projectors and three screens. 
     Faculty can still use a single source on a single screen if they prefer, but they now have more options.  A single screen, accompanied by a traditional PowerPoint presentation tends to lock the presenter into a very linear approach.  Multiple displays allow faculty more choices about how they teach.  One screen can remain relatively static and display to the students the overall context of the problem they are discussing such as a problem statement, or a map of a geographic region, or simply the agenda for the day.  A second or third screen can display more dynamic content such as a computer simulation, a calculus problem in process of being solved, or a guest speaker via a Skype session.  The specific examples are not that important.  The additional flexibility that faculty have to design improved learning activities is really the key factor.
     Part of the reason we can do this is that we are able to control our amortized annual costs for projectors.  We partner with NEC for almost all of our projectors, and over the past 7 years we have moved from a 3-year warranty to a 4-year warranty, and now this year we can register our projectors for a 5-year warranty.  When we combine that longer life-cycle with lower costs per unit we are able to add devices to existing rooms without increasing the overall annual MUR need (for projectors).
     One of the principles that guides our thinking when we design learning spaces is to promote Active Learning.  We do not want to create spaces that are hostile to other modes of instruction, such as lecturing, but we do seek to design learning spaces that allow faculty to choose from a wider variety of instructional approaches.  If you would like to see some of the rooms mentioned please contact me or any of the other Learning Spaces staff to arrange a demonstration.



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Jordan Hall of Science hosts “A Walking Guide for Virtual Shakespeare”

Click the poster above to read more about “A Walking Guide for Virtual Shakespeare”

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PrintND Print Management System Upgraded

Over the summer the OIT made significant improvements to the PrintND print management system.  New servers were stood up, and printer queues were consolidated making it possible to submit print jobs to a single print queue and release them to any PrintND printer in any lab or residence hall.

The project also addressed the increased demand from students for more print quota.  More details about the changes to print quota are available here:


These changes were also featured in a September 15th Observer article:


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Classroom technologies featured in “Notre Dame In Depth” series

“Notre Dame In Depth,” a series of infographical articles featured on nd.edu, recently highlighted the classroom technologies being utilized around campus. Specifically, the article mentions DBRTB011, which was recently redesigned by the TELS staff.

Click here to read the entire article.

To read other “Notre Dame In Depth” stories, click here.

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OIT presents enhanced classroom in Debartolo Hall

This articled is syndicated from Notre Dame’s student-run newspaper, The Observer. Though the article is no longer available on The Observer’s website, click here to read an archived .pdf of the article

Click here to read the entire article

In the basement of DeBartolo Hall, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is testing new gadgets for an educational setting, and the office held an open house Friday to show students a new, technology-based classroom.
“This room lends itself to more collaborative, interactive type classes,” Paul Turner, manager of academic technology, said. “We wanted the room to be radically different.”

There is no designated front of the classroom, Turner said. It is also completely wireless and can be rearranged to fit any technological need.

Turner said that the classroom is not discipline-specific, but rather more based in the professor’s teaching style.

“We wanted a room that was completely flexible, and so far, so good,” Turner said, “We can test new technologies in the lab and then implement them in the classroom.”

One example of technology implementation is the use of iPads in classrooms, but Turner said this is not the only project OIT is working on bringing to campus.

The open house featured various technologies including Microsoft Surface, Xbox Kinect and some projects with Sprint.

The Microsoft Surface is a multi-touch surface that multiple users can manipulate at one time. Turner said the College of Science was one of the first to utilize the technology and the University will probably get more in the future.

The Xbox Kinect is another technology in the testing phase.

“[The Xbox] Kinect is just fun,” Turner said. “It’s like the Wii , but without the remote.”

Kinect tracks your movement instead of relying on a handheld controller of some sort. OIT wants to eventually implement this technology into a classroom setting, Turner said.

Junior Ben Keller has also worked on new technology for OIT — taking high quality panoramic photographs. He said he traveled to Rome with the School of Architecture for the project.

“We use a gigapan, [which is] a robotic base that rotates and takes pictures in sequence,” he said. “Then we can put the pictures together and create one big image.”

Sophomore Bridget Curran said she enjoyed working in OIT with the new technologies on campus.

“The people we work with here are really great,” Curran said. “It’s pretty cool to play with an iPad the day it comes out. No more waiting in line at the Apple store.”

Some new technology is being tested in cooperation with Sprint mobile. One project is with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Android equivalent of the iPad, Kevin Abbot, an educational technology professional in OIT, said.

“The Galaxy Tab is an open resource that can pretty much do anything,” Abbot said.

Notre Dame is also working on ND ID with Sprint, which is a service for cell phones that plugs into Notre Dame specific apps.

“If you open your Gmail on your phone, it goes to your University e-mail address,” Abbot said.

This technology is already available but not many people know about it, Abbot said.

Abbot said OIT hopes to move to a completely e-book campus. When that happens, the campus will move to a 4G wireless network to handle all the Internet traffic.

“We would have a 4G network that is super fast, so anywhere on campus, you can use your e-book or search the web,” Abbot said.

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