EdTech Help Hours

Our current help hours:

These hours sometimes change, so please check this page often. Click the Continue Reading link below.

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Kaltura Capture for Mac (v 4.2.29)

Some instructors have reported an issue with synchronisation of audio and video when using Kaltura Capture on a Mac. We have posted below a link to the latest version of Kaltura Capture for Mac (4.2.29) which we believe solves this issue.

Please note that this version is currently unsupported and you use it at your own risk.

https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/content/static/classroom/v4.2.29/KalturaCapture_4.2.29.dmg

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General Guidelines for using Zoom

Zoom is a modern web-based video communication platform that can be used to introduce a synchronous (real-time) element to online teaching and learning. For example an instructor could use Zoom to conduct online office hours or use the breakout rooms functionality for student group-work.

It takes commitment from all participants in a Zoom session — instructors and students — to develop and maintain a positive learning environment. Everyone is responsible for creating a safe and inclusive collaboration space when using Zoom and is expected to behave in a manner that is professional and ethical.

Before Using Zoom

For resources on using Zoom, visit Langara’s Zoom landing page to learn more about the functionality and use of this platform.

Ensure Zoom is accessible to the students in your classes. Synchronous learning tools often present unique challenges to students including whether they have access to devices with webcams, caps on data, internet speed and stability, finding a quiet place to participate, and the challenge of studying in different time zones. If in doubt consider using pre-recorded video instead.

If you are recording synchronous Zoom sessions, students need to be notified. Zoom recordings are to be used to support student learning only and should not be shared or used for any other purpose. Ask students to turn off their webcam and identify themselves using a first name only. If you upload the recording to Kaltura Mediaspace for sharing, make sure you delete the recording from your personal computer.

Setting up Zoom Sessions

There are a number of recommendations below on how to use Zoom effectively in teaching and learning to increase the safety and security of the learning environment.

  • Set up a password for all Zoom sessions as an added layer of security.
  • Enable the “mute upon entry” feature for your classroom participants
  • Control the chat function and disable private chats. Chats are retained if a session is recorded, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • If possible, set up a co-host to help during Zoom sessions. This could be a colleague,  teaching assistant or other responsible student that can assist you to host the session. Co-hosts can help manage the chat function, set up break out rooms, and help manage the learning environment.
  • If practical, you can enable the “Waiting Room” feature – one of the most secure ways to allow only those invited to the session to attend.
  • The default screen-sharing option for educational accounts is “Host Only” – this allows only instructors to share their screen, unless they change it. If you want others to share their screen content, you can invite them during the session to do so, or via settings beforehand. See here for information on screen sharing.

Adapted from University of Calgary Guidelines for Zoom

This content is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Posted in Best Practices, Web Conferencing | Leave a comment

OER Publishing With Jekyll, Reveal.js, and GitLab

Learning management systems (LMS) have some great content authoring tools. Unfortunately, LMS have some limitations when it comes to OER publishing. Students typically lose access to the content once the course ends and LMS are not really designed for broad collaboration among content authors. One practical solution is to author OER content outside the LMS. The problem then becomes which tools to use and how to make that content available to others to collaborate on. I recently completed a project to do just this using a collection of open source software and services.

I wanted to create a collection of lecture notes, lab exercises, and presentation slide decks for a new course I was developing and make the content available online to students. For the lecture notes and lab exercises, I settled on using the Jekyll static site generator. A static site generator transforms simple content written in markdown into a beautiful website. Using markdown allows the author to focus solely on the content without getting hung up on the minutiae of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Many themes are available and most of the more popular ones produce a website that works well on desktop as well as mobile browsers.

For presentation slide decks, I used Reveal.js. Like Jekyll, slide decks can be authored either in markdown or very simple HTML. The major benefit of Reveal.js is that you can present directly from the browser. No special software or plugins are required. Presentations can contain many of the basic features that you might expect from PowerPoint or Keynote.

The final piece of the puzzle is making the content available and inviting collaboration. Both of these objectives can be met using the GitLab service. GitLab is an online service primarily designed to enable computer programmers to collaborate on the development of software projects. The service can be easily adapted to collaborative authoring of OER content. It is a simple matter of creating a public project and letting others know. For public projects, anyone can submit a “pull request” which the project owner can accept and incorporate into the project. For an OER project, this might be other instructors or even students. Like any other public project, if some members of the community are dissatisfied with the direction the project is taking, they are free to “fork” the project and continue developing the project independently. Finally, GitLab offers a service called “Pages” which allows the project to published in a format suitable for consumption by students and others.

jekyll logo reveal.js logo GitLab logo
Posted in Best Practices, Open Education, Tools and Apps | Leave a comment

We’re (still!) here to support you!

Ed Tech is still here to support you, but we’ve moved to remote support.  We are available via email and Zoom (https://langara.zoom.us/j/6043235403), which will be staffed by an Instructional Assistant between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Email questions can be answered between 8:30 am and 8:00 pm. You will need at least a microphone to participate in Zoom meetings.

As you can imagine, many people are trying to contact us now.  Please be patient:  we will get to your requests as soon as we can.

In the meanwhile, check out our resources for teaching remotely here:  https://langara.sharepoint.com/sites/edtech-employees/SitePages/We-are-Here-to-Help.aspx

Hang in, Langarans!

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A new way of adding video and audio to Brightspace Content

There’s a new way of adding Kaltura MediaSpace items to your Brightspace course Content. Click here for a step-by-step of the process.

 

 

 

 

Note: this method only works in the Content tool. Everywhere else in your course, the Insert Stuff method still applies.

 

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Meet the people supporting you as Educational Technology’s Instructional Assistants!

 

 

Daniel Andrade Fonseca 

My specialties are web development and project management; I offer technical support to instructors in Brightspace and other Langara tools, like Zoom and Kaltura.    

My interest in technology started early.  I’ve loved video games since I was a kid in Brazil; I have a big collection of consoles and games, including PS4, Xbox One, and retro games, such as Super Nintendo.  I am also a big fan of sports, especially soccer and basketball. I recently attended NFL, NBA games and went to the last Olympic Games in Rio. During my weekly 10 k run, I enjoy Vancouver’s weather and think about life. 

 

  

Nimmy Nelson 

I have been with EdTech since 2016. 

I did my Bachelor’s in Computer Science (2011-2015) in Kerala, India and my PDD in Business Administration here at Langara (2016-2017). 

My hobbies include cooking traditional South Indian dishes like Sambhar and Kozhikode biriyani and I recently picked up crocheting and embroidery. I also love listening to books in Audible. Most recently, I’ve read Inglorious Empire by Shashi Tharoor and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. 

 

 

Heidi Mede 

I joined the EdTech department in 2006 as an Instructional Assistant and became the Supervisor of Department Operations in 2016. My career path has had several zigzags; working in a shelter for the homeless, with children with physical and mental challenges, in a transition home for people with traumatic brain injuries and operating my own daycare. Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved taking apart electronics, so during the dot-com boom, I went back to school to learn about computers & graduated in network administration. I worked at Oracle Corporation for 5 years, but always felt like a square peg in a round hole and didn’t know why. It wasn’t until I came to Langara that I realized it was the public sector where I belong; showing people how to blend technology and education has become my passion. 

Outside of work, I get out into nature as much as possible and I love to garden. I’m known to remove dead flower heads from plants on my walks, which shocks my walking partners. 

 

  

Brett Foster 

Since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed taking things apart to see how they work and then putting them back together.  I operated a computer consulting business for over ten years and worked with the IT Department at the Vancouver Sun/Province newspapers for many years. To this day, I love to learn about technology and share what I’ve learned. 

I came to Langara in 2018 to work as a Technical Services Coordinator for Ricoh Canada in the Information Technology Department, where I managed over 100 Ricoh Multi-Function devices. 

In December of 2019, I was hired to work in the Educational Technology Department as an Instructional Assistant. I love my new job and coworkers in EdTech and TCDC. 

When I am not on the campus, I run, play guitar and listen to music. 

 

 

Serenia Tam 

My technical education began in San Francisco, from which I have a BA in Industrial Design, concentrating in Web Design; AS concentrating in Computer Science; AAs in Illustration & Fashion Design and a certificate in Library & Information Technology.  I also have certificates in Web Developer & Publisher from Langara, where I’m currently studying photography.  I’ve worked with EdTech since early 2010 after having worked in BCIT, VGH, VPL, and San Francisco Public Library in addition to freelancing as a website designer.  I’m currently an Instructional Assistant in both EdTech & Library & Information Tech.   

I read and write Cantonese & Mandarin, and have studied Japanese, French & English.  I love traveling, photography, fabric arts and gardening and am passionate about animal rights & social justice.   

  

 

Craig Madokoro 

I’ve been the Media Production Technician for the Educational Technology department for 4 years, after having worked at the College for many more.  In addition to maintaining the EdTech recording studio, I livestream College events, facilitate workshops and preserve and convert analogue to digital material.  I also enjoy helping faculty and staff create audio & video content to enhance learning using state of the art technical equipment. 

After graduating from the Vancouver Film School, I worked in the local film & television industry (CBC, Roger’s Community TV) as an editor, camera operator, audio recorder and special effects artist.  

When I’m not at work, I enjoy painting, playing hockey, and caring for my 2 dogs, Coco and Bboshong.   

 

Arien (Ari) Crosby 

I love learning new interfaces and technologies and helping others learn them. I’ve been with EdTech since 2011, around the time that we began the transition from Blackboard to Brightspace. I have a background in web design, and started at Langara in the Library & Information Technology program. Now you can ask me your questions about Brightspace, Zoom web conferencing, Kaltura/MediaSpace, or setting up or maintaining your WordPress site on CourseWeb or iWeb. 

 In my free time I do a lot of knitting, gardening, hanging out with my dog, Pekoe, and fitting in as much tabletop gaming as I can manage

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Email your students

Need to email your students, but not accustomed to using Brightspace? Watch the video below for a how-to on using the Brightspace email tool to easily contact your students, or click here for a step-by-step PDF.

Note: With the retirement of Course Tools, Brightspace email changed on Dec 23rd, 2019. It is no longer be possible to receive email messages in Brightspace. Your message will be sent from your @langara.ca email address and sent to your students’ @mylangara.ca email address. When they respond to the emails you send from your course, the message will go to your Langara email address, and your replies to them will be sent to your students’ MyLangara email address.

Click here for more information.

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Welcome to EdTech/TCDC’s New Home!

On Wednesday, January 29th,  Elder Mary Jane Joe officially welcomed people into the beautifully renovated EdTech/TCDC offices on the second floor of C Building.   

 

Our new acronym, TLC, suits the light-filled, welcoming space, which features a recording studio, flexible furnished meeting rooms, a cosy reception/book club nook and airy new offices.   

 

 

Family, friends & staff joined us to celebrate the opening, during which people noshed on food and “teaching/tech tasters” ranging from the use of the lightboard to creating a podcast.   

If you were unable to make the official open house—or want to bask in the ambience once more—feel free to visit; we’re here to support your teaching needs.   

 

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At Play in the Realm of the Liminal: AI, AR & VR as Pedagogical Tools

As part of my EdTech remit, I’m exploring how Artificial Intelligence, Virtual & Augmented Reality might be used to enhance teaching & learning.  To that end, I recently attended the “Alternate Realities” segment of the Sheffield DocFest, “AI:  More than Human” at the Barbican Centre, London, and “VIFF Immersed” at the Vancouver International Film Festival.  In all three instances, I realised that anxiety about the “singularity” (the point at which AI will become self-conscious and possibly uncontrollable) can be tempered by what Chris Milk refers to as its capacity to become an “empathy machine.”

This dichotomy can be summed up by one of my favourite theories, that of the Burkean sublime, which posits that art (in this case, AI/VR/AR) is capable of jolting us out of complacency by exposing us to either extreme beauty or extreme horror.  Our discomfort with the “uncanny” nature of AI is mirrored in Gothic cautionary tales of the inanimate made animate:  the Golem

Frankenstein and his bride photo

Frankenstein and his bride

Roy & Pris (Bladerunner)  photo

Roy & Pris (Bladerunner)

But these monstrous AI possibilities balance with divine promises of enlightenment, companionship and connection.  Which is one reason, apparently, why AI & robots have been readily accepted in Japan, where Shintoism accepts that all matter is animate.   

I’m happy to chat about the philosophical ramifications of AI, especially as it relates to creativity.  But wanted to share some of the highlights of my recent investigations into how AR & VR might be used in the classroom.  In a perfectly funded academic world, we’d have access to the equipment and expertise necessary to create seamless virtual realities, transporting Literature students to the streets of Elizabethan London, Biology students to the interior of a cell undergoing meiosis and Kinesiology students into the threads of slow-twitch muscles.  For most of us, however, augmented reality, which enhances the live world with a digital overlay, is within the realm of possibility, especially now that EdTech owns a 360 camera (anyone interested in joining me on a project?)  Both VR and AR are useful training tools, as participants can be firmly guided toward specific learning outcomes using interactive overlays.  However, in my experience, the greatest power of both technologies lies within their ability to elicit powerful emotions, transcending individual experience to connect with an “other;” a truly sublime experience.  I am still processing what I experienced last summer: interacting with AI in a generative art experiment to release butterflies and tendrils of flowering vines from my hand; listening to Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” remixed a hundred different ways by AI; playing a virtual pinball machine that ricocheted LGBTQ coming-out narratives within a set of interconnected virtual family kitchens.  But I want to share a few of the filmic highlights. 

Which are, as good art always is, self-explanatory.  Enjoy! 

Echo: Empathy and Narrative 

https://vimeo.com/219620329     

4 Feet Blind Date https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVL1G267ywo 

Fatherland https://youtu.be/2CkOGb3lf_I 

Spheres 

https://vimeo.com/285035081 

Gloomy Eyes 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpFJrmPuFeM 

Carne y Arena 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF-focK30WE 

 Karen Budra
EdTech Advisor

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