Monday, April 13, 2015

2015-04-13 Instructional Technology Newsletter

Instructional Technology  News and Useful Tips.
April 13, 2015
This newsletter is a few days late so that I could include a couple of items, most especially the link to the online workshop.

Contents: Technology Committee Meeting; Online Workshop; LMS Selection Process; Printer Upgrades; Map Your Cloudspace with MohioMap; Getting Appointment Slots in Google Calendar Right

Upcoming Instructional Technology Events

Technology Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Library 016
The Elmhurst College Technology Committee is meeting next Thursday.  If you have any concerns that you would like to bring to our attention, please email them to me at

This online workshop will show you how to create, edit, share online documents using Google Docs.  In the final section, you will see some of the ways in which you can collaborate using the Google Apps system.   You can follow along or just watch to see what is possible.  This one-hour workshop, streamed from the Elmhurst College Google Apps Drive, also allows you to jump directly into the video to view just the section that grabs your interest.  

Evaluation and Selection of an LMS for Elmhurst College
The Technology Committee is beginning the process of selecting an LMS for Elmhurst College.  The first step in this is to request input from the faculty.  A general call for faculty advice will go out in a couple of weeks, but, as readers of this newsletter you have exhibited a high level of interest in the technological underpinnings of instruction at Elmhurst College.  Our current list of candidates is:
  • Blackboard
  • Canvas
  • Desire2Learn
  • Google Classroom
  • Moodle
  • Pearson

Our first task is to add to this list if there are other suggestions.  Our second task will be to winnow the list by removing candidate systems that show clear deficiencies against a list of minimum operational requirements.

If you have some ideas for the list of candidates or would like to participate in the requirements generation and analysis, please contact me at

News From Information Services

Printer Upgrades

Last week the CIO issued a technology update to the campus.  One of the highlights was the ongoing upgrade of the printing system on campus.  Our old printers are being replaced with Xerox Multi-Function Printers that will offer a variety of additional services.  The new printers will allow you to print from anywhere on campus to any of the MFP printers.  

Instructional Technology News

MohioMap - Map Your Cloud Space

If you are like me you have used multiple online storage and filing mechanisms over the years.  Dropbox was the first cloud storage service that I used, but when Evernote came along I jumped into that.  I used it for all of my lecture and writing notes.  I still used Dropbox as a synchronization service, but Evernote replaced it for everyday use.  Then Google Drive came along, and as it and Evernote played feature leapfrog I would switch back and forth for writing and notes.  I still use Evernote, primarily for saving scans of written notes.  Google Drive is for most of everything else.

Now I have notes all over.  But thanks to a new online service called MohioMap, all three services can be viewed together in a unique mindmap-like display which allows searches and connections across the three services.  The interface takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, the advantages of this view become clear...and I love watching the trees build out and the nodes slide around as the spacing gets adjusted.

Here are two screenshots.  The first is my entire tree of the three services.  Dropbox is on the left of the shot, Google Drive, with all nodes below second level collapsed, and Evernote on the right.  The second is the result of a search for “trolley” that brought up the various files and notes across Drive and Evernote that I use in discussing Philippa Foot’s and Judith Jarvis Thomson’s classic Trolley Problem.

Mohio-Full.png    Mohio-TrolleyProblem.png

MohioMap has a free version and one that costs $5.00 / month.  I have the free version.

Question of the Week

When I set up Appointment Slots for my students in Google Calendar, some of them show up an hour early.  

Because Google Apps accounts are designed for worldwide collaborative use, the system automatically translates  time in the appointment creator’s time zone to the attendee’s time zone when displaying in the attendee’s calendar.  Therefore, it is important that you and your students have the correct time zone in the calendar settings.  Here is an instructional web page that I set up showing how to check and, if necessary, change your time zone.  I recommend that you check yours, and then, whenever you send out an invitation to make appointments, add a link to the instructions.

If you would like to learn how to set up appointment slots, please see these instructions:

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