Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Challenge #4: Encouraging Faculty Adoption and Innovation in Teaching and Learning with IT

The EDUCAUSE "Top Teaching and Learning Challenges 2009" project identified five main issues/challenges for teaching and learning with technology. Number 4 is near and dear to my heart! How are other institutions encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with technology?

The University of Indianapolis hosts week-long summer and winter camps to help encourage technology adoption and innovation among faculty. Current faculty serve as "Camp Counselors," demonstrating how they have integrated various Web 2.0 technologies into their teaching. This year's Winter Camp, for example, introduced faculty to micro-blogs, social bookmarking, start pages, aggregators, wikis, blogs, collaborative tools, chat tools, social networking, and associated applications. The Web 2.0 topics were presented during morning sessions, and discussion continued with Camp Counselors dispersed across various tables during a shared lunch. Afternoon sessions were devoted to hand-on activities, with assistance provided by Camp Counselors.

Camp Survival Kits were also distributed, including resources such as the 7 Things You Should Know About . . . series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the ELI Discovery Tool, Applying Technology to Teaching and Learning.
Related articles from EDUCAUSE Review and EQ were also included, along with software quick-tip guides. A wiki was created to house camp materials, and a social networking site was used to promote use of the tool and to maintain longer-term contacts.

On the final day, camp attendees were invited to participate in a Camp Revue, showcasing various projects they had created during the week. The campus community was inviited to attend. The university also created a Web 2.0 community of practice that meets twice monthly to showcase and discuss current developments with the integration of Web 2.0 technologies into their teaching. The camps have enabled the university to not only introduce the tools to the faculty, but also to develop a sense of community and continued support long after the camp session has officially ended.

EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2009, Pg 42-43

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Google Apps for UMM


The Google Apps for the University of Minnesota implementation remains on schedule.

The University will use the Google Apps for Education Edition, which includes the following applications:

  • Gmail (e-mail)

  • Google Docs (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations)

  • Google Calendar

  • Google Talk (instant messaging)

  • Google Sites (web pages)

Students will not see advertising while they are active students. However, once a student leaves the University, their account will revert to a regular Google account and they will be subject to advertising like any other Gmail account. Faculty and staff accounts will not be subject to advertising.

Google Apps will be available for retirees who maintain their Internet ID access.

IMPORTANT: Google Apps for Education are not hosted by U of M OIT. Signing up for a University Google Apps account means that your e-mail is transitioned away from U of M hosting to being hosted by Google. Because OIT does not host Google's e-mail (Gmail), or any other documents created in Google, OIT is not able to maintain or secure the content in Google Apps. Individual users must be responsible for making backups of and securing any content they choose to place in the Google Apps domain. For example, OIT cannot recover an accidentally deleted file, document, or e-mail, nor will Google provide this service.

Gmail accounts are provided with 7GB of e-mail storage.

You can retrieve your Gmail messages with OIT-supported clients or devices that support IMAP, such as Thunderbird, Outlook, or Apple Mail, as well as with your mobile device, but you will need to set a Google desktop/mobile client password if you want to use either of those options. To read your Gmail with another e-mail client, you will need to use your Google Desktop (IMAP)/Mobile Client password to access your e-mail in that other client.

While the Google Calendar will be available for use with the University's suite of applications, at this time it is not the official University of Minnesota calendar system. You will be able to use Google Calendar with your iPhone. Complete information about Google Calendar, including a link to Google Calendar for Mobile can be found at www.google.com/support/calendar/?ctx=ausers&hl=en.

Google Talk with video chat will be supported.

Here are a couple of other links that may assist you as you consider the change to Google Apps:

OIT's Google Apps Page: http://oit.umn.edu/google/

Getting Started: http://oit.umn.edu/google/getting-started/index.htm

Video Tutorials and Handouts for Learning how to Use Google Apps: https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/glearning/

As always, please contact me if you have questions!