Monday, August 18, 2014

SU Technology Tips and Tricks by Devon Taylor

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Good Morning Everyone,

Hope that you all had a great weekend! Today I've got a reminder about the new Blackboard, a great way to view trends in your Google Sheets, and a quick Bb Collaborate User Experience survey.
If you have any questions, let me know!

There will be no scheduled drop-in's this week due to the many various training's and IM Learning distributions that we have  going on this week.

SU Tips and Tricks

Don't Forget, Blackboard Has Moved
Just a quick reminder that everyone should now access Blackboard at not put a www. in front of it) If you haven't done so yet, go ahead and click the link above to go to the sign in page and change your bookmark to reflect the new web address. If you need help with bookmarks, let me know!
Do You Want to See Into the Future?
If you use Blackboard Collaborate for meetings, classes, or anything else, you'll want to take a look at this.  The Blackboard UX Team, who frequent the SU campus often, has provided us with a quick labeling survey that shows off the look and feel of a future version of Collaborate. Click the link and take a few minutes and go through the survey, and in the process see a glimpse of the technology that is coming in the future!
Add a Trendline to a Chart in Google Sheets
Trendlines are a handy feature for seeing patterns in your data. With an update that rolled out last week, we now have the ability to add trendlines to charts in Google Sheets. Check out the link to see how you can start viewing trends in your data by adding trendlines to your charts in Google Sheets.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Student Tech Buzz 8/11-8/15

Student Tech Buzz 8/11-8/15

The new SU Bb environment is here.

How does the server change impact you?
  • Fall courses will take place on the new server!
  • Fall courses will NOT be available to students until professors make their courses available (courses will automatically become available on the first day of class)!
  • The Blackboard link on will NOT change to the new SU Bb environment until the complete conclusion of the summer semester.
  • Change any Bb Bookmarks you have made to the new server's URL so that you arrive in the right location.
ePortfiolios in the New SU Bb
On the landing page of the new Bb environment ("Courses"), you may notice that there is a "Tools" module on the left side of the page. The first link on the list will take you to the incredible ePortfiolio tool.

With ePortfiolios you can store, manage, maintain, and share the valuable experiences that you have worked hard to achieve. Now, the product of your academic labor can stay with you in a simple, attractive, and well organized portfolio, right inside of Blackboard.
Edit Your Notification Settings on the New SU Bb
Want to receive a SMS when your professor grades an important test? Care for an email when a class announcement is made? Maybe you would like to receive a Voice-to-Text (a sweet robot voicemail) when a new assignment becomes available. 

All of this can happen, let's talk about how!
  • If you intend on having Bb send a SMS or a Text-to-Voice to your phone, first you will need to edit your personal information to include your cell phone number. (follow the below instructions, but instead of clicking "edit Notification settings" click "Personal Information" and then "Edit Personal Information").
  • To edit your notification settings, click the area with your name in the top-right corner of Bb, and a drop-down list will appear. Click "Settings." Now click "Edit Notification Settings." From here you can edit the notification settings of courses in bulk or individual courses. Make sure to pay close attention to the options so that you can perfect the ways in which you are notified about your academic experience.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What are Blackboard (Bb) Notifications?

Notifications are essential for saving time and keeping teachers and students informed. Blackboard tells users what is current, what needs attention and makes them aware of alerts. Teachers can stay on top of classroom activity while students see what is new and what is due – all in one location.

The Notifications Dashboard consists of four modules that advise both students and instructors of What's New, Needs Attention, To Do, and Alerts. This allows the instructor to notify users of changes and events in their Course. Such changes and events can include when a test is deployed, when a grade has been posted, or when an assignment is due.

Notifications are delivered to Blackboard Users in one of three ways:
  • Email (daily digest or individual emails)
  • My Blackboard (Global Navigation)
  • Notification Modules (four kinds)
Notifications can allow or not allow other users to change their individual notification settings.
There are four types of Notification Modules.  The table below summarizes the contents and audiences for each one.
StudentStudent & Instructor
To Do
  • What's Past due
  • Assignments
  • Surveys
  • Tests
  • What's Due
  • Assignments
  • Surveys
  • Tests
What's New
  • Courses/Organizations
  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Content Items
  • Grade Center Items
  • Surveys
  • Tests
  • Blog Posts
  • Discussion Board Messages
  • Journal Entries
  • Assignments
  • Surveys
  • Tests
  • Early Warning System
Needs Attention
  • Assignments
  • Surveys
  • Tests

If you put your mobile number in your personal information, you can even get announcements via SMS or Text-Voice communications. If you use Bb's Mobile Learn you will get all of this information their also if you flag it to go "mobile'.
Reprinted from Bb Community Course

Blackboard Cloud Highlights

Small ProfileInformation in profiles is shared when users post to blogs, journals, wikis, and the discussion board. Profile cards are shared in the roster tool and people tool.  The new Profiles feature allows each user to create a rich profile to identify him or herself in Blackboard Learn.  Profiles are available with Course Delivery only, but greatly enhanced with the addition of the Community Engagement license.
Because the Profile is cloud-based, a user can present the same Profile across multiple Blackboard instances. For example, a user, Melanie, may be teaching an undergraduate course at the local community college while she gets her graduate degree at the state university.  Suppose Melanie logs into the state university. She sees the prompt to create her profile, and it will ask her if she has created a Blackboard profile before at this or another institution. Since she's never created a profile before, Melanie goes ahead and builds her new Blackboard Profile. When she logs into the community college (where she teaches a course), she'll see the same prompt. Knowing she has created a profile, she selects that option and the system ask her to verify her primary email address entered when she created the other profile. Once verified her existing Profile is mapped to her community college Blackboard account. So now Melanie has two Blackboard accounts (one at the state university, one at the community college), but both share the same cloud-based Blackboard profile. 
Full ProfileThe full profile has a number of features: 
  • Privacy: The only component of the Profile or Profile Card that is automatically shared is a user's name (as that would normally be shared in the context of being able to see the user in other areas, e.g. a Discussion Board or course Blog). The other parts of a Profile are under the control of a user.  A user also has the ability to control the overall access to the Profile. There are four levels of privacy:
    • Public: the Profile can be discovered and seen by Blackboard Learn users at your institution and by Blackboard Learn users at other institutions
    • School Only: the Profile can be discovered and seen by Blackboard Learn users at your institution only.
    • Private: only users in users with whom you share a context (e.g. other users in your Courses, Organizations, or Spaces) can discover and see your Profile
    • Hidden: Your Profile does not show up in discovery searches at all.
  • Profile Blocking:  Users may encounter other users that are offensive or bullying or otherwise undesirable. Blackboard Learn will allow a user to block any other users. When a user has blocked another user, the blocking user's Profile will appear private to the blocked user, even if it's set to be a publicly viewable Profile.
  • Profile Wall: Similar to other social networks, a Blackboard user can post information directly to a "wall" on their Profile. Other users who can see their Profile can read and comment on those posts. Users who "follow" another user receive those Profile Wall posts in their My Blackboard Posts (more on Following below).
  • Following:  Similar to other social networks, a Blackboard user can "follow" another user by selecting the Follow button on their profile. Following a user means that their Profile Wall posts appear in your My Blackboard Posts. For example, Melanie looks at Eric's profile. He has posted some interesting thoughts and links on his own Profile Wall, so Melanie thinks he's a user worth following. She clicks the Follow button on Eric's profile. Now, whenever Eric posts something to his Profile Wall, that post will appear in Melanie's Posts on her My Blackboard page. That way Melanie never has to miss something interesting that Eric posts and she doesn't have to keep navigating back to his Profile page to check his Profile Wall.
    • If a user's Profile is set to the “public” or “school only” privacy settings, another user can simply click the Follow button to follow that user.  That following user will now receive the followed user’s Profile Wall posts in his posts tool.
    • However, some users may want to control who can follow them. If the user doesn’t want others following him without permission, on the Edit Profile page he can check a box to require others to request to follow him. In that scenario, when another user clicks the Follow he receives a “Follow Request” (displayed in the People tool) and can then approve which users he will allow to follow him. If approved, that following user will now receive the private user's Profile Wall posts in his Posts tool.
  • Interest tags: a user can tag his or her own profile with their interest. When viewing a Profile or Profile Card, clicking on an interest will automatically discover other users who share that same interest. For example, if Sarah had listed “Biology” as an interest, clicking on that tag would provide a list of other users who had also tagged themselves as being interested in “Biology.”
  • Social Integration: A user has the option to “seed” her Blackboard profile with information (avatar, email, “about me”) from her Facebook or Twitter account. To further enrich his or her Profile, a user has the option of publishing his Twitter feed or his public-facing Facebook posts to his Blackboard Profile as well. (Twitter or Facebook posts that are visible through Blackboard do not automatically appear in the Posts of a user's Blackboard followers; only Blackboard Profile Wall posts can appear in Posts.)
In response to client needs to respect the privacy of individuals, no data about end-users will be transferred from the Learn instance to the Blackboard Social cloud service without explicit end user "opt in" and consent.
  • New workflow that presents every end-user with individual terms of service to accept before they can access any of the Cloud Profiles and Social features. 
  • The interface provides an optional component for the institution to communicate their own institutional policy statement regarding the use of third-party cloud services to the student. This institutional policy statement is not intended to be used as a contractual agreement.
  • Individual users will have the ability to delete their Profile from the cloud service at their discretion, as long as they have access to the Profile through a Blackboard Learn instance.
  • After 12 months of inactivity, the cloud service will send an email to the end-user’s Primary Email Address identified in their Profile indicating that their Profile will be deleted automatically unless they take steps to retain it.
  • The system administrator will be able to “blacklist” select Courses or Organizations so that those selected Courses and Organizations will not appear in the People tool nor enable discovery and viewing of the Profile by other users enrolled in the Course or Organization. This allows system administrators to ensure those institution-wide Courses or Organizations do not circumvent a user's privacy setting.
Spaces View 1
The Spaces section of My Blackboard provides access to a user's Spaces.

  • A Space is a lightweight group that can be easily and quickly created by any user on the system.
  • When a user creates a Space they automatically become the owner/manager of that Space. However, they can promote other users to manager as well.
  • Spaces might be used for a variety of purposes from a Chem 101 final exam study group to supporting athletic teams to special interest groups on campus. The purpose of Spaces is to empower users to build an academic community outside of Courses and outside of the more formal Organizations.
  • The Spaces section/tool is where a user can go to access the Spaces they have already joined or discover new Spaces to join.
  • Spaces have a Space Wall (similar to the user's individual Profile Wall), where users can post. Users can post text, as well as post links, and share files or media.
Spaces come in three flavors:
  • Spaces View 2
    Public: a public Space appears in searches for Spaces and anyone can join it.
  • Restricted: a restricted Space appears in searches for Spaces, but to participate a user has to make a request to join and have that request approved by a manager of the Space.
  • Private: a private Space appears in searches, but users cannot request to join. The only way to become a member of a private Space is to be invited by a manager of the Space.
   The Messages section provides access to the user-to-user messages that are part of the new Social Learning features.
  • This is separate from and does not aggregate messages from the Course Messages tool. 
  • The Messages section of My Blackboard is where users can view messages sent to them by other users in the system.
  • One user can send simple messages to another user by clicking on the Message link on a user's Profile Card or full Profile, or on the New Message button in the Messages tool. 
  • These are not instant messages; these are asynchronous messages, similar to a lightweight internal email system or messages you might send/receive through another social platform like Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • The conversation -- both messages received and a user's replies -- are all aggregated through the Messages tool.
  • My People provides access to a person's academic network. 
  • Depending upon the cloud settings and additional licensing of Community Engagement, this may include only users at this institution or other institutions.
  • The People section of My Blackboard enables users to discover other users.
  • Users can browse their Academic Networks. Some networks are automatically generated -- your fellow classmates in your Courses, your fellow members of Organizations, and your fellow members of Spaces can all be viewed through the People tool (as long as they have created their Profile).
  • Through the People section, a user can see the Profiles of other users that he is following or that are following him.  The People tool is also where a user would come to act upon Follow request received from other users.
  • A user can search for other users – at other institutions or within their Academic Networks -- in the system by entering a name, a tag used in their profile, or a keyword.
Text Republished From Bb Inc Community Certification Course

Monday, August 11, 2014

SU Technology Tips and Tricks by Devon Taylor

Where I'll Be This Week

Monday -
Bowman Building

11:00 - 1:00 Room 212

Thursday -
Wilkins Building 

11:00 - 1:00 Conference Room

Friday -
Health Professions Building 

11:00 - 1:00 - In Front of Library
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Good Morning Everyone,

This week I've got a quick overview of the new Blackboard, a great way to unsubscribe from newsletters and a tutorial on how to split a pdf using Preview.
If you have any questions, let me know!

SU Tips and Tricks

New Blackboard is Here
The new hosted version of Blackboard is up and running and available for all at
Students will not see their Fall 2014 courses until the first day of the semester (8/25) or until the instructor of record makes the course available to students. The new system has several new features such as a content collection, an ePortfolio system, less clicks, and much more. IC is currently working on updating the Bb support site, with information on all the new features so stay tuned.
Easy Unsubscribe from Newsletters
It happens all the time...we sign up for a service online and then get inundated with emails and newsletters we really don't want.  Well no more! Google has recently started moving unsubscribe links to the very top of emails. Hopefully this can help you turn the tide of junk emails in your inbox! Click the link for a quick explanation of where you can find these unsubscribe links.
Split a PDF Using Preview on Mac
Using Preview on your Mac, you can create new PDF's out of a current document.  If you want to save just one page or even several pages out of document, it is as easy as click, drag, and drop! Check out the link for a short walkthrough video demonstrating the process.