Fall 2015 Instructional Technology Showcase

Fall 2015 showcase logoJoin Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) for a showcase of instructional technology at UC San Diego. Learn what’s available for Fall Quarter 2015 including Turnitin, i>clicker, the learning management system, classroom technology, and more. Developments related to Integrated Digital Infrastructure and the Teaching & Learning Commons will also be shared.

Faculty, staff, and teaching assistants are invited to attend the showcase and meet the instructional tech team. Registration is required.

See the full schedule and register today!

When: Monday, September 21, 2015 | 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Center Hall 222
Add to Calendar: 

Questions? its@ucsd.edu | 858.822.3315

Fall 2015 Instructional Technology Training

Laptop with i>clicker and Ted

Faculty can enhance their teaching by signing up for instructional technology training. Academic Computing & Media Services’ Instructional Technology team is offering training sessions for Ted, UC San Diego’s learning management system, and the i>clicker student response system.

Faculty can also request one-on-one training sessions that take place after September 12.

Several classes on Ted will be held throughout the quarter:

  • Ted Overview – how to navigate Ted and set up a new course (designed for beginners)
  • Ted Advanced – how to add content, assessments, discussions, blog, and wikis to a course
  • Ted Grade Center – how to customize the grade center and set up weighted columns

i>clicker training is also available throughout the term:

  • i>clicker Overview – how to install the software and set up the equipment for your course
  • Ted / i>clicker Integration – how to sync i>clicker with Ted and upload scores (for Ted users only)

Visit the training webpage to see all session dates and register. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

AV Design & Installation Services

A conference room with AV system from AV Design & InstallatiionAV Design & Installation is UC San Diego’s experts in audiovisual (AV) system installation and maintenance. We serve the UC San Diego campus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and UC San Diego Health System. Our services include:

  • Needs assessment
  • Audiovisual system design
  • Lighting design
  • Infrastructure design
  • Bid document creation
  • Commissioning
  • Electrical coordination
  • Project and construction management
  • Installation
  • Quality assurance testing
ACMS electronics technician Henry Shore on the job

ACMS electronics technician Henry Shore at a job site.

With a track record of success in a wide range of settings, there is no project AV Design & Installation cannot handle. Past projects include:

  • Over 100 general assignment classrooms at UC San Diego
  • Telemedicine building
  • Structural Materials Engineering building
  • Biomedical Research Facility II

To find out how AV Design & Installation can bring the right AV system to your space, contact Project Manager Fred Marques at fmarques@ucsd.edu or by calling 858-534-4331 (extension 4-4331 from any campus phone).

ACMS Aces: Danny Thompson

Danny ThompsonDanny Thompson, Systems Administrator, is the newest member of the Computing Infrastructure team. He primarily oversees the workstations in Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS)-managed computer labs, ensuring the computers function properly and installing software to facilitate requests for lab use by courses. “We respond to any issues where there’s a software conflict, [like when] a teacher needs newer or older software,” Danny explained. To make distributing software to computers easier, he recently helped migrate the department to a new software deployment system. He is using the slower period between spring and fall quarters to help transition five computer labs from Windows 32-bit to Windows 64-bit.

In addition to maintaining the lab computers, Danny works on ACMS servers from time to time. He recently fixed an issue to improve the download speed for course podcasts available through podcast.ucsd.edu.

Since arriving at UC San Diego two months ago, Danny has been impressed by the assistance available to campus through the ACMS Help Desk. “The people at the Help Desk are excellent. Most of them are trained above their position, which is great,” he said. The service that he is most impressed with is the Help Desk’s in-house repair facility, where residential students can bring their computer in to be diagnosed when they develop an issue.

Danny Thompson at Wasteland Weekend

Danny decked out at Wasteland Weekend.

Later this year, Danny will travel to the Mojave Desert for Wasteland Weekend, a four day Mad Max-inspired post-apocalyptic event that he volunteers at. This is his fourth year with the event and he helps host the Mushroom Cloud Lounge. “It’s a 2,000 square foot shaded structure with comfy seating that doubles at night as a dance club,” Danny explained, “We didn’t intend for it to become a dance club, but we had a good sound system and it became what the will of Wasteland wanted.” He spends his spare time throughout the year doing metal fabrication for vehicles and structures for the event. “I’m probably the only guy most people know that does hard manual labor for fun in his time off,” he admitted.

Luckily for everyone at UC San Diego, Danny’s computer skills are just as good as his ability to thrive in the (hopefully never to arrive) dystopian badlands. Glad to have you aboard!

ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of ACMS at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!

Learning Glass Wins 2015 Sautter Award

Don Olliff and Craig Bentley with the Learning Glass

Don Olliff (left) and Craig Bentley (right) with the Learning Glass

Congratulations to Don Olliff and Craig Bentley of the Instructional Technology Integration (ITI) team on winning one of the Larry L. Sautter Silver Awards for Innovation in Information Technology. Established in 2000, the Sautter Award encourages and honors projects within the University of California system that demonstrate innovative deployment of information technology in support of the University’s mission. The ITI team was recognized for their work on the Learning Glass, a tool designed to create engaging videos that deliver instructional content online as part of a course.

The Learning Glass works like a traditional whiteboard or blackboard, but is made of glass. Instead of turning his or her back to the viewer (as would happen in the classroom) the instructor looks through the board at the camera. This creates an engaging, natural, relaxed, and friendly viewing experience for students. The tool was developed at San Diego State University (SDSU) by Dr. Matt Anderson and first built by Dr. James Frazee’s group at Instructional Technology Services at SDSU.

Professor Adam Burgasser using the Learning Glass to create a video

Professor Adam Burgasser behind the Learning Glass, creating a video filmed by Jordi Olimon

“The Learning Glass is one of the most important tools in online education that we’ve found and presents a number of different advantages,” Don Olliff said. “Faculty can easily draw on it to illustrate concepts, thoughts, or equations, using colors for emphasis and contrast. Students are more engaged because Learning Glass videos feel more personal, like a conversation rather than a lecture. Believe it or not, it’s actually easier for both faculty and us to create Learning Glass videos than other types of videos. It’s a much more relaxed process that also creates great educational content.”

Students have responded positively to the Learning Glass. In one survey of students, 94% of students said that videos using the Learning Glass were “very helpful” or “helpful” with 58% calling them “very helpful.” In the same survey, 62% of students cited Learning Glass videos as their preferred instructional video format.

Since building a Learning Glass for Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) in 2014, Don and Craig have assisted colleagues at other UC campuses in adopting the tool by sharing their experiences and providing information about how to create a Learning Glass. They are currently at work creating a new, larger Learning Glass.

For more information about the Learning Glass or support available to UC San Diego faculty creating flipped, online, or hybrid courses, contact ITI at iti@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-1456.

See the Learning Glass in action:

Adobe Creative Cloud & Windows 10 Licenses

Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Windows 10 logosCampus Software Distribution now offers licenses for Adobe Creative Cloud for faculty and staff. The details of the campus license agreement are available through the ACMS Campus Software Distribution website. Student and faculty individual educational licenses are available through the UC San Diego Bookstore.

Microsoft recently released Windows 10 and is available for purchase through SHI or campus volume licensing. Installation files are currently being prepared for campus volume licensing customers. Updates on the Windows 10 release are available from Microsoft through the Windows 10 blog.

To learn more about the software available through Campus Software Distribution, visit their website at software.ucsd.edu.

ACMS Aces: Jim Rapp

Jim RappAcademic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is privileged to have a number of long-time career staff. Assistant Director Jim Rapp, who oversees Instructional User Services, Help Desk/ResNet, and Campus Software Distribution, has been with the department for over 30 years.

Jim started with ACMS in the Instructional User Services group, which assists departments, instructors, and students involved in classes that ACMS supports. “We work directly with the instructors to get information about the software that they want to use for classes for the upcoming quarter,” Jim explained. “It can be as simple as Ted access, the learning management system. It can be as complicated as setting up individual accounts for students with access to specific software.”

Instructional User Services also administers the Instructional Computing Plan (ICP) , through which departments express their interest in new instructional computing resources. Decisions were recently made on requests for instructional technology received through the 2015 ICP. Jim was pleased with how the decision process went this year and is monitoring deployment of the approved tools.

Jim also oversees the ACMS Help Desk, which “is a one stop shop for anybody who is a consumer of services that we provide. Those services span the gamut of all 16 units within ACMS. The Help Desk employs not only full time staff but student workers as well.” There is never a dull day at the Help Desk, as revealed in an ACMS article from last year. The Help Desk team also covers ResNet, the residence hall and apartment Internet network, which “involves making sure that they have access to the equipment they need to connect to handling any problems that come up, providing information when they’re coming in, and collecting the equipment when they leave.”

“Campus Software Distribution is involved in access to software packages for which there is a campus-wide license,” Jim said in highlighting his final area of responsibility. Licenses are often acquired for instructional purposes but shared with campus when they can also benefit research or administration. Campus Software Distribution works directly with departments to coordinate licenses and software downloads.

Jim has always enjoyed helping others, which made his work with ACMS a natural fit. “One of the things that I like best about working here…is that when somebody asks a question, they really are interested in the answer I can provide,” he said.

Going back even further than Jim’s time with ACMS is his enjoyment of kite building. He found that the Conyne delta kite is best suited to San Diego. “It works in light winds and doesn’t come crashing down when the winds pick up,” he said. Another favorite design is the facet kite. Jim has flown a facet kite he made in 1980 annually at a kite festival at Mariner’s Point. It is no small kite, essentially a 10-foot cube (10’ x 10 ’x 10’) with 300 square feet of sail.

Thank you, Jim, for all of your years with ACMS. You’ve always been a high flyer!

ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of ACMS at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!

The Pets of ACMS

It takes a lot of people to make everything that Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) does come together, but we wouldn’t be anything without the animals who lovingly support us.

Shutter and Sprocket the cats

Sisters Shutter (in white and black) and Sprocket (in gray) are the “domesticated felines who own and operate me,” according to Senior Producer-Director Jon Miller. He provides rapid response to AV issues in lecture halls and classrooms.

George the catGeorge the Cat, putting on his most pardine look, belongs to Business Office Admin Assistant Paul Krueger, who tackles human resources and project management.

Sophie, Killer, and Susie the dogsSophie (left), Killer (center), and Susie (right) all brighten Nora Valdovinos’ day when she’s not keeping an eye on computer labs as a Computer Resource Specialist with the Computer Room & Lab Operations team.

Dweezle the dogWith his nifty hat, Dweezle is ready for an adventure with Scott Calman of Computing Infrastructure. As a Systems Administrator, he keeps servers running that support many of ACMS’s services.

Oaki the dog

When he’s not helping fellow students with computing questions, Help Desk Technician Kenny Mai hits the beach with Oaki.

Monkey and Mia the dogs

Monkey (left) and Mia (right) are Managing Producer-Director Adriene Hughes’ pals. Adriene directly oversees the Media Teaching Lab and its many media production-related services for students and faculty.

Sandy the dog

Sandy pals around with Tina Rynard, ACMS’s Business Officer. She provides high level oversight for Instructional Technology Support, Classroom Technology Support, AV Design & Installation, Media Event Support, the Media Teaching Lab, and the Business Office.

Pixie the dog

Pixie, seen here practicing her “You should give me bacon” look, is a companion of Dan Suchy, who leads Instructional Technology Support, which provides the Ted learning management system and supporting instructional design efforts at UC San Diego.

Gus the dog

Wade Blomgren, Assistant Director of Computing Infrastructure, supports all the backend servers and systems behind ACMS and spends time with Gus.

Max the dog and Fiona the cat

Computer Resource Specialist Robert Davalos’s dog Max and cat Fiona are seen here working out their differences. Robert is part of the Computer Room & Lab Operations team that maintains ACMS computer labs.

Katie and Jack the cats

Katie (left) and Jack (right), seen here in a rare moment of synchronicity, cohabitate with Principal Producer-Director Craig Bentley of Instructional Technology Integration. Craig assists faculty in adopting instructional technologies like clickers and videos.

Bodhi and Spikey the cats

Bodhi (left) and Spikey (right) are mates of Systems Administrator Jonny Kent, who provides systems support for ACMS computer labs and other services.

Lemon the dog

Lemon is seen here contemplating one of her favorite snacks, a dried fish treat, from Quyen Tran, one of our Instructional Technology Support Assistants who assists faculty with Ted.

Miko the dog

ACMS Help Desk Technician Villy Belmonte spends time with Miko, who doesn’t shy away from the camera.

Volker and Misha the dogs

Misha (left) and Volker (right), seen here enjoying the shade, are friends of Computer/Network Technician Erick Cassani. Erick keeps computers in ACMS labs up and running.

Shaygetz the dog

Shaygetz earns his name (which loosely translates to “rascal”) when he spends time with ACMS Director Jeff Henry, who guides the overall mission and direction of the department.

Cleopatra and Professor Socks the cats

Cleopatra (left, known as “Cleo”) and Professor Socks (right, more commonly “Prof”) are Maria Andrade’s cats. As an Applications Programmer with Computing Infrastructure, Maria works on creating and maintaining the programs that underpin many of ACMS’s services.

Gus the cat

ACMS’s second Gus (this one a cat) is a friend of Applications Programmer Shauna Thomas, who creates new applications.

Spencer the dog

Spencer would rather run down a tennis ball than be at work. He loosely associates with Senior Writer Michael Sullivan of the Business Office, who composes blog posts (like this one) and other marketing pieces.

Learn more about everything ACMS does at http://acms.ucsd.edu.

New AV Equipment in Pepper Canyon 109

pepper-canyon-109In Summer Sessions I and II, the Lecture Hall & Classroom Refresh Project focuses on Pepper Canyon. Last week, Pepper Canyon 109’s refresh was completed, bringing new audiovisual equipment to the 198 seat lecture hall.

A new brighter projector was added to Pepper Canyon 109. The brighter projection makes it easier for students to see the image. Even though the projector is brighter, it is actually more energy efficient than its predecessor, which contributes to the campus’ sustainability goals.

Controls for the projector, DVD/VCR, lights, and volume are now all accessed through the touch screen control panel in the lectern. Instructors can switch between media inputs and control the atmosphere of the room from one spot. HDMI and VGA connections are also available at the lectern for use with a laptop.

New lighting options were programmed into Pepper Canyon 109 during the refresh. These include several intermediate options that are ideal for projecting images by lowering lights in only in the front of the room.

A document camera can be found in a drawer on the right side of the lectern. Anything placed beneath this versatile tool is projected. Courses that sign up for screencasting through podcast.ucsd.edu will also have these images captured as part of the recording.

After the conclusion of the refresh, Pepper Canyon 109 was cleaned to get it ready for use by students.

An audiovisual system tutorial video is available for instructors who need assistance in a refreshed classroom. Receive immediate assistance by calling extension 4-ACMS (4-2267) from the phone located in every general assignment classroom or lecture hall.

Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) is proud to raise the quality of classrooms and lecture halls throughout campus through the Lecture Hall and Classroom Refresh Project in conjunction with Administrative Computing & Telecommunications (ACT) and Facilities Management.

More information about the Classroom and Lecture Hall Refresh Project: