New TA Orientation, New Faculty Orientation

I’m headed to New TA Orientation today, and New Faculty Orientation tomorrow. For those who find their way to this forlorn blog, here are the links for the presentation: http://go.uky.edu/orientation.

medieval help desk

Because it’s Friday, and because it never gets old:  Le Book.

Have a great weekend!

thinking about space

classroom chairsI attended a workshop today presented by Lennie Scott-Webber, PhD, of Steelcase Education Solutions.  “Dr. Lennie” has moved from faculty to a research position with the furniture and design company, and she focuses on environments for sharing knowledge in higher education and corporate learning centers. She had some interesting information to share.

I keep going back to her question of whether University tours include classrooms. Think about why or why not. Yeah.  She also asked how we (as in all universities) would deal with our real estate efficiencies, and she pointed to libraries as places where intentional design and efficient use of space lead to form following function.
And, she said, “You want retention? Build community.”

If you are interested in seeing information about her research and affiliated work, you can visit Steelcase’s 360Research webpages.

desktop audio/video capture

keyboard and mouseSometimes a little “desktop capture” is all you need to make a point or distribute information or assistance. There is software available that allows you to capture audio and the content of your computer screen from your desktop for presentations, demonstrations, lectures, and other means.

Microsoft PowerPoint and some other presentation software products have nice features for recording lectures, but if you want to go a bit further, you might try some of the following:

  • University of Kentucky instructors (and staff and students) have Echo360 Personal Capture available to them on UK download. UK instructors who would like to publish to their courses can request publishing permission for Echo360 Personal Capture (be sure to specify “personal capture”) by calling the UKIT Service Desk at 218-HELP.
  • UK instructors and staff also have access to Adobe Captivate at UK download. This product is a bit more complicated, but it provides numerous additional features.
  • I sometimes use Jing, which provides brief (up to 5 minutes) desktop capture capacity.  There’s a free version, but I’ve been using the paid version ($15/yr) at home, which removes the product name from the end of the captures, but that will be replaced in February by Snagit. Apparently Snagit will do the same thing (and grab longer captures), but you only buy it once ($49.95; $29.95 with educational discount) instead of paying a yearly fee.
  • Jing’s big brother is Camtasia Studio, which is very nice high-end desktop capture software. It can be pricey, but there is an educational discount.

sing it!

I hope you had a restful/enjoyable/quiet/boisterous Labor Day weekend, per your preferences. Mine was nice and quiet … but with one cloud. Have you ever had a tune in your head that you cannot name, and it just bugs you to death? Gah!

It’s a happy little ditty, actually. Bouncy, no lyrics. Maybe a Percy Faith number … maaaaaaybe Mitch Miller. But the kind you cannot put your finger on it. If there were words, I would just type them into Google and the universe would serve an answer up to me. Yeah, I’ve done that many times, too. But what do you do when you can’t type it?

The answer is: sing it!

Yes, that’s right, you can search by singing or humming. Am I the only one who did not know this? My son clued me in. I was clueless. So I tried:

Aaaaaaand it did me absolutely no good. Just to be sure I was doing it right, I hummed The Girl from Ipanema, and I did get all kinds of appropriate returns. And so, my search continues.microphone in fish

Don’t click that link!

You’ve seen the links. You’ve gotten the emails. What the heck? Can that video be real? Let me just check it out and see what that’s about. or Wait, email tech assistance says my email’s been hacked? I need to login to update my account? Oh, boy, is this real?

Do. Notfishing lures. Click.

Here at University of Kentucky, there’s an email “phishing” expedition going around, but those hazardous clicks can be found in email, in social media, and so on – even in a message from a friend that doesn’t quite sound right. Use your common sense. If it seems suspicious, it’s probably a trap.

Here are some good resources for avoiding the phishermen:

Google+ please

I have recently had a couple of  instructors and staff check in on Google Plus being added to University of Kentucky”s Google Apps. I thought this might be of interest to a few of my gentle readers, so let me say:  Yes, we would like to add G+. Unfortunately, the addition of G+ does not fall under our current agreement for Google Apps, so I am involved in some discussions to determine what considerations are required before moving toward an agreement. But, rest assured, it is top of the list. The good news: we have a contact at Google who’s been very helpful in this conversation.

In the meantime, if you haven’t explored your options in UK Google Apps, link on over to the Google Apps FAQ and check it out.

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