Wednesday, October 29, 2008


What do you get when you toss together a bunch of CIOs, instructional designers, front-line technologists, faculty, and students? A darn good conference!

It's my 2nd day at the EDUCAUSE 2008 conference. I attended two half-day pre-conference workshops on Tuesday. My favorite of the two:

Teaching with Images: Tools and Resources

by Beth Harris, Assistant Professor, History of Art
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

Beth explained that there are some commercial solutions for image databases, but that none of them have been designed for use in teaching. Now, especially within the last 6 months, there are new Web 2.0 solutions for images. Some of these come very close to what she feels would be ideal for use in teaching.

Beth showed us ARTstor, Almagest, MDID, Luna, ProofHQ, NYPL Digital Gallery, Wikimedia, Flickr Commons, Flickr Groups (search feature), Panoramio, Jing, Skitch, VoiceThread ("the most fun thing in the entire Universe", says Beth), Cozimo, ConceptShare, Imagery, Thinkature, Cyclops, TagGalaxy, CoolIris (was Piclens), OScope Visual Search, Dipity, Fotki, Meadmap. Attendees mentioned new tools they've discovered: Adobe Acrobat 9 for its portfolio feature and its image and video commenting features; Google's gigapan, Equella Project, and PhotoSynth.
Great, great job, Beth!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Have you thought about offering online office hours?


Adobe Connect -- referred to as UMConnect at the U of M (formerly Macromedia Breeze) -- is a web conferencing and data collaboration tool. It provides you with a virtual meeting/classroom environment for sharing your presentations, images, and desktop applications with remote participants. You can also take advantage of features like a digital whiteboard, text chat, polling, and audio/video broadcasting. To attend your web meeting, your students need only a Web browser with the Flash plugin (almost all computers have this already) and a broadband Internet connection.

Here's a link to an informative and idea-generating video that was created at Purdue University. Faculty describe their use of Adobe Connect.

If you'd like to get started with UMConnect, please visit: