Tech Tools to Work Smarter

Here are slides to a talk I gave earlier this year at the OSU Administrative Professionals Conference. Tons of recommendations for tools I use in order to cut wayyy down on email, make meetings more efficient, and manage people/projects. Some are OSU supported, and some are not.

*Note: each slide w/ an asterisk is stating the tools I’m about to introduce that accomplish that goal. Each simple slide (black background with large white text) is the particular tool being recommended, so subsequent slides are describing features and ways I use that tool. Although I’ve embedded the presentation into this post, I recommend you flip through the slides here, from Haiku Deck’s website so you can see the presentation notes for context.

Carmen’s Down. How to deal.

You might have heard that Carmen has been on a little unplanned hiatus. Meanwhile, check out these Carmen Alternatives for Coursework. The page outlines alternate ways to accomplish the major functions Carmen provides such as tracking grades, sharing content, and accepting assignments. It’s always stressful when the daily tech we depend on fails us, even though realistically we know that this will happen every once in a while despite the best efforts.

This video always gives me the attitude adjustment I need to take a breather, enact an alternative, and be grateful when my service comes back online.

3D Printing for OSU Coming Soon!

The Digital Union is getting ready to launch a pilot that will make 3d printing available to all current faculty, staff, and students for free! We’re currently working out all the nitty gritty details such as policies, procedures, maintenance, and software. I can’t tell you too much yet, but stay tuned. Here’s a 3d vase we just printed to test out one our brand new MakerBots!

Gray 3d printed vase; very angular. In the background is a word mark on the wall that reads Digital Union, Enarson Classrooms Building.

And as if life couldn’t get any better, I just found that Lynda.com offers seven different courses on 3d printing, so take advantage of your free access to these online tutorials, and we’ll see you in the lab.

 

Make a Video Available to Your Class

Computer generated graphics of lego movie characters fleeing from an explotion in the background.Have a video on disc or tape  you need to make available to your class? Unless you made, and therefore own the copyright to that video, you’ll want to go through a service offered by the Office of Distance Education & eLearning called Secured Media Library. According to the website: Continue reading

Easy Peasy Screen Recording on Mac

Screen recording window w/ red record buttonDespite the misnomer, Quicktime Player actually does a lot more than play videos. You can use it to make screen recordings, and it’s oh so easy! Here’s the method I recommend, which involves recording and saving your video using Quicktime, then compressing to an mp4 of reasonable file size using MPEG Streamclip.

Install this software to record from your computer OR reserve time to use the Digital Union recording studio, where we have all the software, hardware, and staff assistance to help you get the job done. Either way, here’s what you’ll need to do. Continue reading

$100 Video Studio for ESL

Panoramic photo of the studio; beige patterned carpet; blue movers blankets hung on the walls; a desk, chair, and tripod on the left; a green screen backdrop covers the entire right wall.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Digital Union’s upcoming studio in Denney Hall. It turns out great departments think alike, because ESL just built a super low key, low budget version for their own use. Here’s my Q&A with ESL colleague, Chris Hill.

How will the studio be used?

Chris: Many courses in the American Language Program (pre-admission ESL) and most courses in the ESL Composition Program (post-admission ESL) have been flipped, which means we’ve been creating a lot of materials for students to access online.  Continue reading

Encoding or Transcoding?

Most people use the terms encoding and transcoding interchangeably, however there is a distinct difference between the two.

Encoding & TranscodingEncoding refers to taking an uncompressed source and converting it to a compressed file whereas transcoding is taking an already compressed file and converting it to another compression scheme. These compression schemes are commonly referred to as codecs. Codec, in this context, is the standard or format of the compression. Continue reading

Beyond H.264

Banner with the initials HEVC, under which it reads High Efficiency Video CodingToday the most commonly consumed media format is MP4 files using the H.264 (Advanced Video Coding) compression scheme for video and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) for audio. These provide the best, easily consumable, compression ratios and as such became the format of choice for mobile device designers and manufacturers. While H.264 does a very efficient job of compressing video, making larger sizes and higher quality possible at lower bit rates than previous formats, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where H.265, or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), comes in. Continue reading

Bring in the Video Expert!

Photo of Justin Troyer, a smiling cuacasian male with dark hair and full, well kept beard, wearing a red polo shirt. White background.Meet Justin Troyer, our very own Media Services expert from the Office of Distance Education & eLearning! He has his own blog called Medialogue where he writes about tips, info, and current standards of video production in higher ed. I’ve just added Justin as a guest blogger, so feel free to follow him on Medialogue, or simply look forward to his posts on my site. That’s right, right here!