• thoughts & ideas

    Academic Technology Amidst Covid-19

    This week (it’s only Wednesday, correct?) has been a whirlwind. We are still at work assisting in keeping operations smooth for our campus both online and in our library where we work. We invited faculty to campus on Monday and Tuesday to review some of our most important remote learning tools – Moodle (our LMS), Zoom for video conferencing and beyond, Kaltura for video uploading and beyond, and Microsoft’s Office 365 (notably Teams and PowerPoint). Although I do work with and support these tools, one of the most insightful aspects of this has been the fact that I myself have been an online student for the last three years getting…

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  • thoughts & ideas,  tools & tech

    Creating Digital Citizens: The Static and Evolving Web

    As some of you may know, I work with DoOO (Domain of One’s Own) here at Plymouth State. I’ve recently been doing an inventory and looking through every DoOO site to find the gem sites hidden amongst over 1,000 accounts. What I’ve seen is interesting. Some of the sites set up on our platform were set up for courses – students chose their URLs based on for example assignments creating branded sites (for business ideas for example – I’ve seen a hotel, a fishing charter company, and an outdoor adventure company). Some of the sites have not been touched in quite some time. Some students use as portfolios, and some…

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  • makerspaces,  Student Makers,  tools & tech

    Ultimaker S5: A Review

    Now I may not be the most savvy when it comes to dual extrusion, as this is my first ever dual extrusion printer! I’ve found the S5 to be interesting, challenging and fun all at the same time. The interesting parts: a touch screen in the front allows for visual model previews, when you are searching for your models which is super nice, it comes with a nice little USB to hold said UFP files (the file type containing that nice image and your GCode (see GitHub for more information if you want to get into the code side of it). The print cores are interesting and allow for easy…

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  • tools & tech

    Creating a Book Cover Page in Pressbooks

    If you login to your Pressbooks account, you may notice on the Book Info page, if you scroll down you’ll see “Cover Image” and some details. Cover Image should be 1:1.5 aspect ratio. Recommended dimensions are 2500px × 3750px, maximum size is 2MB. You may be asking yourself, well how do I make a cover with limited tools? Well I’m going to show you how to make one using a free online image editing tool called Pixlr – available at pixlr.com The first step is to find an image if for example, you’re writing material about cats. I’m going to find an image from Unsplash and post it below. Note I was looking for…

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  • tools & tech

    Vintage Visualization

      For images that now live in the public domain, there are more and more digital repositories where you can find amazing – let me say this again amazing illustrations and more to help inspire your creative side and or support your research in a visual way. Some of the items out there aren’t in the public domain yet, but you may be doing research say about Punk in Washington, DC in the 1980s, is there an online archive for that? Why yes there is!  I’ve been working within or at least inside of libraries for the last six years and I wanted to note that these visualizations have come…

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  • Blog,  tools & tech

    Plugins and Image Resources within WordPress for Students

    I’m going to today go over and recommend some best of plugins for WordPress and updated photo resources. One of the things students ask all the time is – how and where do you find images? We support Domain of One’s Own here at Plymouth State University, and as a long-time user of WordPress I have some information I wanted to share. I have been recommending http://www.unsplash.com for a while, and I recently found https://pixabay.com/ as well. With those in mind Pixabay has a plugin for WordPress which may be of value for student learners, however, with the new block functioning of WordPress blogging, some of the image tools listed at the…

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  • makerspaces,  Student Makers

    3D Scan Yourself

    One of the big projects I’ve been working on is assisting with a course with our Arts & Technologies cluster called 3D Foundations.  3D scanning using photogrammetry is a part of the curriculum in this course and students in this class are tasked with making their models and manipulating them in some way. In order to have our student employees also have experience beyond assisting with the course models, we went through the process of 3D scanning ourselves. Our student technologists now all have their own 3D scans to go through the same process as the students in 3D Foundations. I worked with our student employees, and I finally had my…

  • Student Makers,  thoughts & ideas

    PiCademy and Learning to Fail

    This summer I had the opportunity to train with the Raspberry Pi Foundation at PiCademy a face-to-face way for educators to learn both about Raspberry Pis and a crash-course in programming. What I loved about the program was an acronym they provided in the midst of our learning. That acronym was extremely valuable throughout my process and learning a new skill-set I had not embraced before. The acronym was – wait for it – FAIL or “First Attempt In Learning”. Why do I love this? Well the acronym approaches FAILURE in a making context, where it’s okay to “not get it”. As a young person I struggled in math for example,…

  • thoughts & ideas,  tools & tech

    Listening to Learn – Higher Education, Learning and Making Us Robot Proof

    I’ve been listening to a few interesting discussions this week on learning, higher education and the future. The first interview I listened to was on a podcast/YouTube channel known as the Rubin Report (as a sidenote Mr. Rubin has libertarian learnings and identifies as a classical liberal, which influences his guests and interview style, however the some of the content of this interview is much of what I was interested in).  The interview was with Rajshree Agarwal, the Rudolph P. Lamone Chair and Professor in Entrepreneurship | Director, Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at the University of Maryland. The biggest takeaway for me professionally from this interview is…