Infomration Technology Services
ITS' electronic newsletter highlighting technology services & initiatives
 

Wordpress Blog Service

Wordpress LogoITS is excited to have added a Wordpress server to the arsenal of tools available for enhancing education here at UIS.  Wordpress is a popular blog publishing system that gives bloggers the power to have multiple contributors, control over the theme and layout, and many other great features.  Check out the Instructional Support and Training team's blog for an example of how we are already taking advantage of Wordpress to share information.

For information about how to create a blog as well as for ideas on how and why to use a blog in your course, visit our Wordpress Blog Service webpage.  Visit our Workshops page for upcoming training on blogging with Wordpress.

Password Vault

Password Vault LogoPasswordVault (for Mac and PC) is a simple program that securely stores all your important passwords, PINs, website usernames, and software registration details for quick and convenient access. No matter how many passwords you store, you only need to remember your master password to access all of them. All University of Illinois students, staff, or faculty can run PasswordVault on home, work, or portable devices as long as they are associated with the University. PasswordVault also comes with a companion program, PasswordVault2Go, which stores your passwords on a portable media drive (like a USB flash drive) that you can carry from computer to computer. PasswordVault and PasswordVault2Go can be downloaded from the UIS WebStore.

 

iPhone/iPad Apps

 

Apple App Store LogoTo better manage software licensing for iOS applications purchased with university funds, ITS has joined the Apple App Store Volume Purchase Program. Under this program, ITS can purchase iOS apps in volume and distribute them to multiple university-owned devices. Since UIS is tax exempt, we will not be charged sales tax when we purchase apps through this program. Any faculty and staff wishing to purchase apps through this program should send an email request to UIS Mailbox for Apple App Works Administration with the list of apps (and the publisher name if available) and an account number for chargeback. ITS will then purchase the apps using a special account that we have set up with Apple, and send you the link for downloading and installing the apps (note that each app comes in a separate email for downloading).
 

Managing eDocs Files: A New Solution

ITS has recently purchased licenses for Xythos Drive, an add-on for eDocs that allows users to work with files and folders with greater ease and flexibility.  Xythos Drive allows us to map eDocs to a drive and thus work with our files on eDocs in the same way we would work with files on our computers or a flash drive.

File synchronization can be challenging - having confidence that your edits are being saved back to eDocs and will be there when you re-open the file. Xythos Drive answers that challenge, allowing users to work with their files in the environment with which they are already familiar. There is no need to learn the eDocs interface; with Xythos Drive, users can stay in the application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) and work with their eDocs files as they normally would.

For more information, including how to download, install, and configure Xythos Drive, visit the Xythos Drive webpage.

 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup LogoEvery wicket counts at the 10th ICC Cricket World Cup, the biggest cricket tournament of the year. Hosted by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, 14 countries will come together to compete for the ultimate title as World Champions, from February 19 to April 2, 2011.

ITS and the Office of Electronic Media are working together to bring you the Cricket World Cup on Campus Channel 59.

Testing Made Easier with Respondus

Looking for easier, faster, more efficient ways to incorporate tests and quizzes in your on campus and online courses?  Respondus may be the answer!  Respondus allows instructors to create and manage exams and import them directly to Blackboard.  Exams can be created offline in an easy-to-use environment, with support for 15 question types (multiple choice, true/false, etc).  Questions may be imported from Word and may include images, mathematical and scientific symbols, audio, or video components.  Respondus also includes access to thousands of Respondus-compatible publisher test banks for instructors who have adopted participating textbooks.

Visit our Respondus webpage for more information.  Contact the Instructional Support and Training team for assistance.

 
Faculty Showcase

Dr. Tena Helton, Assistant Professor of English, recently shared with us how she integrated a multimedia project in her course on Hitchcock.

Remixing has been a cultural phenomenon in America for at least three decades, spurred to popularity by rap DJs who remixed and “scratched” albums, creating new and vibrant musical modes. Remixing has more recently become a watch word in composition and in cultural theory where practitioners and theorists are grappling with ideas about what is new and who “owns” a text. ENG 510: Hitchcock asked students in Fall 2010 to consider doing remixes of Hitchcock as final projects.

Students studied the film “auteur”—and his biography, his films, and his critics—to determine how to interpret the man and his work. The final project required students to use media other than a traditional word processor and printed sheets of 8 X 11 white paper. Students could write a researched essay, including screen shots, but most in the class chose to reinterpret Hitchcock’s work more creatively. Students spent an introductory session with an instructional technologist, who helped them learn about editing film clips, taking stills, and doing voice-over work.
The results? Three students produced well-shot and well-edited short films interpreting Hitchcock’s techniques through an original script. One student spoke a precisely-timed original poem and essay over PowerPoint in order to discuss Vertigo. One used the same technology to present ideas about teaching Hitchcock films. Another used Prezi to present his argument about one of Hitchcock’s most respected films, Rear Window. Another spoofed Psycho using elements from the YouTube phenom, Sassy Gay Friend—and then put it on YouTube. And still another used screenshots of Facebook and Camtasia to edit a text chronicling the plot points and thematic elements of Rear Window.

The class—and campus and community guests—were excited to see the remixes of Hitchcock. Students were highly motivated to learn technologies in order to complete these remixed projects, and what they produced was top notch. This project and class exemplifies how technology integration enhances student work.

To learn how we can support you in incorporating technology into your curriculum, please contact Kara McElwrath.

How Do I...
Learn more about Wordpress?  Watch this short video to learn how.

Please keep in mind that you can easily embed any video file from Atomic Learning into your Blackboard course or course website, allowing students to review or learn new skills that will help them complete course assignments and projects.

 

Congratulations to our Students!
ITS would like to acknowledge our Students of the Month for November, December, and February.  Stephen McMillan worked in the Technology Support Center and recently graduated with a BS in Computer Science.  Chris Maxey has worked in our Media Lab for the past 2 years.  He will graduate this May with a double major in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology.  Jessica Gaido has worked as a GA with the Instructional Support and Training team since August.  She is currently working on her masters in Public Health. 

We appreciate the exceptional level of support that Stephen, Chris, and Jessica have provided and continue to provide to the UIS campus community.


Contact Us:  Technology Support Center | 217/206-6000 | techsupport@uis.edu
Media Lab | 217/206-6550
UHB 2000 Lab | 217/206-7100