Monday, June 20, 2011

QR Codes - Have you seen them on TV commercials yet?

I saw my first television commercial featuring a QR code this past week. I don't know how useful it really was, though. In a 15 second commercial, the QR code was only displayed for a few seconds -- not enough time for me to grab my cell phone, start the scanner app, and get it scanned! I suppose I could have paused my HD DVR/Cable Box at that moment and then grabbed my phone and performed the scan, or if I had been viewing a recording of a program, I could have paused and scannned the code. Still though, it doesn't seem real effective or practical to be including QR codes in television advertisements.

I searched the Web for additional thoughts on this subject:

QR Codes in Television Advertising (Technorati)

Shin-B Music Video Featuring QR Codes (Quite interesting, and the codes work!)

Designer QR Code -- this one made TV history:


View the clip and you'll see exactly how quickly the QR Code appears and clears!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Google Calendar Adds Appointment Slots

We've found Google Calendar to be indispensible for organizing our time and sharing our schedules with friends and coworkers. Now we can let others know about our preferred availability!

That's right! Set up blocks of time you'd like to offer as appointment slots. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on "Appointment slots." From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots.

Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL to students and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.

When someone visits your sign up page, their calendar is overlaid for convenience and they can sign up directly for any available appointment slot. When they sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new shared event on both of your calendars.

Google Help on Using Appointment Slots

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One University's Key to Sucess: Investing in people, not just technology

Interesting read today (June 2011, eCampus News): Louisianna State University is being recognized for its commitment to staff IT training and support. "Campus leaders have combined an online knowledge base with face-to-face assistance to help faculty integrate technology into their teaching and research" (June 2011, 8).

Brian Voss, LSU's vice chancellor for information technology, described that LSU has invested in the people necessary to train and provide one-on-one technology support to facilitate the transition to new technologies. They also created the online knowledge base which houses step-by-step instructions for those interested in self-paced, individual learning. Their Faculty Technology Center provides face-to-face assistance to faculty across campus interested in utilizing technology for their teaching and research. This Center provides training as well as opportunities for faculty to demonstrate to other faculty their use of technology.

Says, Brian Voss, "Invest in the people to support the technology used on campus; it is the best way to maximize the investments you make in the technology itself."

Even though the University of Minnesota, Morris hasn't been recognized for its efforts in faculty technology support, I can tell you that we have a very personal, supportive unit on the UMM campus that is committed to providing assistance and training to faculty, staff, and students -- the Instructional and Media Technologies department. This is my unit, and I am proud to say that we focus on the individual and provide customized service and support to all of our clients. We offer campus training to faculty, staff, and students. We also hold events that give faculty and staff the opportunity to share their knowledge with the campus through demonstrations and discussions. We provide online resources, including step-by-step guides, screencast tutorials, and recorded seminars. And, in this fast-paced, ever-changing digital world, we investigate emerging technologies and offer demonstrations and seminars to share our discoveries.

I ask you, is UMM eligible for the "eCampus of the Month" award? I say, "Yes!"

eCampus News Current Issue

Note: Brian Voss will assume his new position as Vice President of Information Technology and CIO at the University of Maryland in August 2011. Thank you to Neil Tickner, Senior Media Relations Associate, University of Maryland, for this notice.