Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New generation iMacs have minimalist interior

Apple’s new 27” iMacs are following the same layout as their 21.5” iMacs on the inside. The 27” version, however, will have much more storage space with room for a full size (3.5”) hard drive.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Long-suffering iOS 6 users, it is finally here... iTunes Store has Google Maps (iOS 5.1+) for $0 downloaded. Now with voice guided turn-by-turn navigation. Google Maps also has accurate directions, if you're into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall Faculty Retreat Part III

My past two blog posts highlighted two suggested technology opportunities included in the Fall Faculty Retreat for consideration: Blogging to support reflective learning and using Google+ Circles to enhance the development of the teaching and learning community. This blog will provide resources that were provided for consideration of the Flipped Classroom. If you are new to this idea, please review "What is Flipping the Classroom and Who Is Doing It"?

There are many strategies for Flipped Classroom, but perhaps the most common is to have students read and review resources, online lectures, and videos in preparation for classroom assignments, team-based projects and/or discussions. By doing this, more time is provided for interaction and addressing problems and issues for individual students. Using videos from Ted-Ed or Khan Academy may provide useful content- or you might consider recording your lecture! (Please contact OIT for further information).

Team Based Learning is a strategy that aligns with the Flipped Classroom approach. Review "The Essential Elements of Team-Based Learning" for ideas and methodologies.

Academic Computing support is available for all faculty to assist in utilizing these technologies to engage students. Please contact me for further information: Carleen.Shaffer@cgu.edu


Note: Additional Educause article for consideration regarding screencasting and Flipped Classrooms "Screencasting to Engage Learners"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Energy Efficient Technology

The 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year is one of the quickest American four-doors ever built. It has excellent MPGe and it's electric! The all electric super-fast, super-fun Telsa Model S. It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive. But it's also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius. Not only are automobiles using energy efficient power sources, we can make our computers more energy efficient too.The solar-powered, wireless keyboard from Logitech does not use any batteries. It runs on solar power. It might not be a Telsa sports car, but it is another new form of energy efficient technology.
Wireless Solar Keyboared K750 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TEA at Claremont

In my earlier post "CGU Faculty Retreat", I focused on the first of the suggested technology 'opportunities' I provided faculty at the Fall Retreat - blogging. In this post, I will provide information on another suggestion - Google+ Circles - and the Claremont TEA Program. OIT was asked to participate by providing the technology portion of the curriculum to the international students who would be taking part in the program. As a result, Carlos Miranda, User Services Manager, and I were co-presenters for five weeks.

In the first session, students were asked to create gmail addresses then I added them to a class Google+ Circle that I had created. Our 'Circle' would provide a private web-based location for sharing and collaborating - a 'virtual' classroom. Circles are tightly integrated with Google Drive for file sharing, Google Docs for document creation, and Google+ Hangouts for webconferencing. This proved highly successful! Throughout the five weeks, students enjoyed collaborating, connecting, and communicating within their Circle. Even better, now that they have returned to their home countries all over the world they continue to stay 'connected' and keep in touch!

If you would like to know more about the power of Google+ Circles, please feel free to contact me: carleen.shaffer@cgu.edu.



Do you use any of the passwords on this list or something similar? Do you vary your passwords between accounts such as CGU, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc? Does your account include an upper case & a lower case letter, a number, and special character? If you said yes to the first question or no to the others, then you are not protecting yourself as best as you can.

Everyday, people's accounts are compromised. While most of the time, this is only to the dismay of the indivdiual and their friends by the hacker's posting inappropriate comments on their Facebook or other similar service, a lot of times this can be much more serious. It can lead to identity theft which can have financial, social and personal ramifications far beyond an inappropriate post on Facebook or Twitter or spamming your coworkers with email.

Please read this page and think about improving your password complexity and variations to better protect yourself, your peers and your friends/family.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Join the Space Race

Dropbox users: Would you like to instantly add 3 more gigs of space to your account? Sign in here and verify your .edu email address and not only will you increase your space, you'll help contribute to giving all cgu.edu users of dropbox possibly more space.... so Join the Space Race!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tired of the same old PowerPoint?

Try using a web-based presentation software called Prezi. It's now also available for your Mac, iOS and Windows devices.  Prezi is a storytelling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides. That feature will let you be a lot more creative than you can with PowerPoint. Great for teachers or anyone trying to add more spice to a presentation. To learn more go to:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CGU Faculty Retreat

On Friday afternoon, CGU faculty gathered for the Fall Faculty Retreat. OIT was asked to participate in this year's event by providing a brief view of a few 'opportunities' for using technology to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. In this post, I will focus on the first of the three that I presented to faculty, using blogs as electronic reflective journals.

Currently, I am teaching online as adjunct faculty in an MBA program for a small institution in the Chicago Area. My students are required to maintain a weekly reflective journal using either Wordpress or Blogger. I ask them to reflect upon the content, assignments and/or discussions as well as updates on progress with their midterm papers and Final Projects. The course is eight weeks long. A few of the benefits include:

  • Continuing 1-on-1 interaction
  • Student take-aways that assist in course updates
  • Feedback to assist with ongoing course adjustments
  • Utilization of a strategy that is student-centered
In the beginning, many students are timid and hesitant, but they quickly find value in their weekly time to reflect and often include issues and obstacles that may emerge and affect learning outcomes. Several have enjoyed reflective blogging so much that they continue to do so for subsequent classes or personally with family.

For further reading and consideration, you may enjoy reviewing the following research article:

If you need assistance with getting started using reflective electronic blogs, please feel free to contact me at carleen.shaffer@cgu.edu


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Few Free Learning Tools You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

 Ever want to take a class on a subject but not sit in a class? Ever want to learn about some cool new site or service like Facebook or Twitter but do not know where to get started? Take a look at the blog below and see a few sites and services that are absolutely free that will offer you anything from training on specific tools/services to formal classes offered by peer institutions, absolutely free. 

15 Free Learning Tools You've Probably Never Heard Of

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Turmoil in the LMS Marketplace

This year has been quite tumultuous in regard to the LMS (Learning Management System) marketplace. In the spring, Blackboard announced a major change in its business model in that it would start supporting several LMSs including open source, instead of focusing just on its own solution (Inside HigherEd "Blackboard's Open Source Pivot"). Since then, it seems like the "Wild Wild West" in the marketplace! Many institutions are evaluating their current LMS environments, scanning new options, and evaluating opportunities. Since CGU selected Sakai in 2007 there are many new and exciting LMSs to consider, including Desire 2 Learn and Canvas. Additionally, Moodle has made major inroads into the marketplace while Blackboard is quickly losing ground. The image below (in an e-Literate blog post) provides a visual to illustrate the current LMS MarkeetShare.

For more information regarding newer offerings like Desire 2 Learn and Canvas, you may want to visit:


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cool iOS trick

How to Type Smiley or Emoji Characters 
Type Smiley or Emoji CharactersNow you don't need to rely on third party software to type smiley or emoji characters as the iOS 5/6 includes a built-in Emoji keyboard, which you can enable.
  1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
  2. Tap "International Keyboards" and "Add New Keyboard..."
  3. Select "Emoji".
To type a smiley or emoji character, tap the "International" key on the keyboard (or touch and hold the key, then slide to Emoji), now you have a large selection of emoji characters are at your fingertips.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The new Kindle Fire tablets have been announced... Amazon has the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16GB Android Touchscreen Tablet on pre-order for $299 with free shipping. The 32GB model is $369 shipped. The Fire HD sports a 1920x1200 screen, quad-core TI OMAP 4470 CPU and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. It's rumored to have Android 4.0.3, but those details have not been revealed. Scheduled for release on November 20th.

See here to take a look at the new line of Kindle's. 

Oh, and it has 9 point multi-touch which should make for a far superior user experience when combined with the speed of the quad core processor as compared to the previous generation of tablets.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Professional Development Opportunities for Faculty & Staff

For those who are new to Claremont Graduate University, the Office of Information Technology and Academic Computing are responsible for providing technology professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. There are several ways these will be distributed:

  1. Bi-monthly announcements via CGU email
  2. The Academic Support webpage link "Professional Development Opportunities"
  3. OIT's Tech Buzz blog 
Additionally, reminders will be 'tweeted' via the OIT Twitter "handle" @CGUoit.

The September-October Professional Development Opportunities include:

  • Introduction to Qualtrics (web-based survey tool)
  • Introduction to Sakai
  • October Excel Month
For details on each of these offerings, please review the linked copy of the announcement above. To register, please email CGU.Learning@cgu.edu


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New exciting technology coming for fall

A couple of things to look forward to: 
  • The release of Windows 8
  • iPhone 5 (Sept/Oct)
  • New WiiU
When getting ready for new technology you may want to get rid of old equipment. This is a good time to remind all users to dispose of old technology properly.  Best Buy will take recyclable technology, requiring neither a fee nor an appointment. When you wish to dispose of technology you must first remove all the data (sensitive or otherwise) that is on it. There are a lot of software programs to securely overwrite data. Some tools you could use are: DBAN Hard Drive Secure Wipe, Windows Secure Eraser and the Secure Empty Trash option on Mac OS X

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School at CGU

As we look forward to the start of the 2012-2013 Academic Year at CGU, many of the tasks for preparation may seem overwhelming and slip down the list of priorities. One item that should top your list is reviewing your security settings for your online accounts. As more and more of our online lives transition to 'the cloud', we must be judicious in periodically addressing security issues to insure sensitive and important files are not compromised.

You may have missed the recent ProfHacker Chronicle article "Back to School: Secure Your Online Life". It included a list of questions that will assist you in this critical Back to School Task. Additionally, OIT can address many of your questions and needs. Please contact Carlos Miranda at carlos.miranda@cgu.edu for further information.

In the meantime, Welcome Back and I hope you enjoy a wonderful new academic year at Claremont Graduate University!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sync Files Between Macs and iCloud

Have you used DropBox, Box.net, SkyDrive or Sugarsync yet? Do you like them? Have you tried iCloud and hated it because it does not provide a discrete folder for you to access your files directly? Worry no more, it does now. Here is how:


Now you can use iCloud just like any of the other services. This should make all the Mac users extremely more iCloud friendly.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CGU Email Spam filter

CGU uses the Barracuda Firewall to block spam messages. It's a great way to cut down on spam messages in your CGU inbox.

If you are using MS Outlook 2010 software you can also use the built-in junk email filters.
Open the Microsoft Outlook 2010 application and select the home tab from the window. Now choose the Junk option from the home tab. Then select the junk e-mail options. Now the user should select one tab from the three options; safe senders, safe recipients and blocked senders. Enter the e-mail address of the domain in the space provided. Click ok and repeat the steps if more e-mail addresses are there. After entering the addresses, click on ‘Export to file option’ and press ok by giving a particular name for the folder. Repeat the steps for the other two tabs also. In the future right-click on a message and select junk from the shortcut menu options and Outlook will start to block future spam.

Instructions for settings for the CGU Barracuda Spam filter

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blended Learning

One strategy for infusing technology into the classroom is to use webconferencing such as Blackboard Collaborate (aka Elluminate). Replacing 'seat time' with a webinar for students not only utilizes technology but reduces the time and expense of driving to campus. As adjunct faculty teaching fully online, I use webconferencing to enrich my class with experts in their field. These guest speakers may or may not be local but add another dimension to the learning experience. The webinars are well attended and receive high ratings and feedback.

Certainly CGU has many adult learners who are making a long commute in challenging circumstances with LA traffic! Additionally, this presents valuable opportunities to include guest speakers from around the world. In all likelihood, students are already extremely familiar with this commonly used tool through work or other environments. Therefore, implementing the strategy in your course would be fairly easy.

Academic Computing can assist you with getting comfortable and setting up your sessions. You will see Web Based Conferencing listed on our OIT Services page. Just email cgu.learning@cgu.edu for information and orientation to Elluminate/Collaborate.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ever wish you could add more storage to your laptop without having to take it apart or replace any internal components, but you still want to do it yourself rather than waste your money on Best Buy or Fry's 'geeks?' Do you have an unused SD card slot? Well NOW YOU CAN! : ) Look HERE. Take a look at a new way to make use of your existing hardware to potentially drastically increase your computer storage capacity.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Technology Webinars @ CGU

July is vacation time at CGU and many faculty and staff take time off with family to travel and enjoy much-needed relaxation. As a result, Professional Development opportunities are adjusted to reflect low enrollments and attendance but will 'ramp up' again in the fall. However, that does not mean there are no available webinars for your consideration! We have added past recorded sessions on a variety of topics to our OIT Professional Development page. By doing so, you can access and review at your convenience new or previous topics for additional information. A sample of topics includes: Diigo, Dropbox, Evernote, Blogs & Wikis, Twitter & Google Reader, or iPad Tips & Tricks. Please take a few minutes and find a topic of interest and 'tune in' to one or more of our webinar recordings!

Happy Listening!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Time

Now that summer is here make sure you take the time to back-up your important data. Four ways to back your data up 1) External Hard Drive or Flash Drive: Western Digital My Passport USB 3.0 Hard Drive, 1TB sells for about $100 2) Cloud: use a service like DropBox to save data to the cloud 3) A different computer: take your data from your desktop and save to your laptop 4) Optical Media: you can always burn your data to a DVD or CD disc.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Diigo for Teaching and Research

Cloud, mobile, social (i.e. sharing) - three 'buzz words' that are constantly being heard in regard to technology. Many of these web-based tools are very useful to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom as well as online. All of them are lifelong tools that can enhance personal and professional interactions, collaborations, and communication.

Diigo is described as a "research and knowledge sharing community". I create course groups for my students and build a professional development library with relevant content that students can continue to use after the course is completed and they leave the institution. This can easily become an annotated bibliography that provides students with resources on an ongoing basis. Diigo is a lifelong technology that is mobile, i.e. accessible anytime, anyplace, on smartphones, tablets, or ultrabooks.

In her blog post "Diigo for Professional Development", Dianne Krause provides additional thoughts and perspective for your consideration. Diigo is an excellent technology for both students and faculty as they collaborate, communicate, connect, and co-create knowledge.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to find original sources of pictures from the web

Have you ever wanted to use a picture in your academic work but could not because you could not find the original source? Well, Google is here to help. According to this article, the process of floundering through the misleading paths is easier than would would think. While there is not a tool that tells you where a picture is from, this is pretty close. Now the trick is properly citing the sources in APA, MLA, Turabian or whatever other form you are supposed to use in your given discipline.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About...Flipped Classrooms

In early May my post, "TED-Ed and Flipped Lessons", provided information about the new website within TED that provided strategies and content that might be used to create a 'flipped classroom'. Recently, I came across yet another valuable resource for flipped classrooms - this time from one of my favorite educational organizations, Educause. Their Series "7 Things You Should Know About..." has consistently provide valuable resources regarding emerging technologies recommended for the classroom. Articles focus upon the questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who's doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for higher education?

This particular two-page resource "7 Things You Should Know About...Flipped Classrooms"  includes essential facts and answers to the above questions on flipped classrooms. Clearly flipped classrooms can enhance classroom time and allow faculty to customize student assistance. Also, mobile technologies play a huge part in access and availability as the flipped classroom gains popularity. Placing increased responsibility on the students' shoulders can also result in added benefits.

After reviewing this resource, are you interested in flipping your classroom?


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Microsoft going after Facebook and Twitter

Is Microsoft going after the big 2 of social networking? Microsoft has just opened their social search site www.so.cl to everyone. Microsoft seems to make it clear in their FAQ that So.cl is not intended to compete with social-networking giants such as Facebook or Twitter. "It is an experimental research project using a minimal set of features which help combine search with the social network for the purpose of learning,". Is this a way of saving face if this is not a hit? Let's see if it catches on or if it is a little too late for Microsoft.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Using Evernote for Conferences and Conventions

Summer frequently brings professional development opportunities through attendance at conferences and conventions. As many conference organizers go paperless with distribution of agendas and materials, new strategies for saving and organizing electronically have emerged. Personally, I have enjoyed using Evernote as my tool for recording, organizing, and distributing my conference notes and observations. As a cloud-based, mobile technology I have found the flexibility and accessibility from any device to be invaluable. The convenience of using either my laptop or tablet to record notes during sessions as well as view them from my smartphone is ideal. Sharing any relevant notes or folders with colleagues is much more efficient and effective than emailing attachments.

I encourage you to review this blog post "Going Paperless: Conferences and conventions" for additional valuable and creative strategies for using Evernote at your conventions this summer!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Colleges and the Technology Industry

Like the discussion in this recent article about the relationship between Stanford and the Silicon Valley, one must ask him/herself if the relationship between colleges and the technology industry are closer than they appear. Even the recent public offering of Facebook was due entirely to the development by college students and its fruition. Moreover technology driven companies are using education as fodder for investment, while the old thoughts and notions of traditional education are resisting these changes. In the face of big money versus student debt, there seems no end to the reciprocal nature of the relationship between colleges and technology.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive

As previously noted in CGU Tech Buzz, Google recently announced its long-awaited cloud storage device, Google Drive. As a result you now have several options for storing, sharing and backing up your files: Dropbox, Drive and SkyDrive. Cloud-based storage has become increasingly popular as users have found the ease and convenience of easy access to all file types from mobile devices (both smartphones and tablets) a 'must have'. Sharing files with family, friends and work colleagues has never been easier. Doing so minimizes email inbox clutter and allows for larger file types such as photos and videos to be easily distributed. New features are rapidly being added to these web-based tools making them necessities for our daily technology use.

However, you may be perplexed as to which tool fits your needs and technology requirements. A recent USA Today Review may assist you with that decision. "Which cloud storage site is right for you?" provides an informative comparison of the three tools based on storage, sharing, search, and software. Analyzing your options will provide some clarity - at least for now - and until the 'next best' comes along!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Malware Alert / DNS Changer

For all OS: DNS Changer is a form of malware that has been infecting Windows and Mac OS X computer’s since 2007. At its height, around 4 Million computer’s were infected throughout the world, including individuals, business’s, and even government agencies. Find out if you have been violated and infected with DNS Changer. No software will be downloaded to perform the check. http://www.dns-ok.us

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TED-Ed and Flipped Lessons

It's been a year since I wrote about the virtues of TED, a rich resource for videos to support teaching and learning. If you have not explored their website, I encourage you to do so.

Last month, The Chronicle of Higher Education included an article ("New TED-Ed Site Turns YouTube Videos Into Flipped Lessons") that focused upon TED's new website, TED-Ed. According to the author, this new resource will help to transform a video into "an interactive part of a lesson". This strategy, frequently referred to as the 'flipped classroom', has become a popular methodology for creating engaging content that can be reviewed by students outside the classroom. As a result, more time is provided inside the classroom for relevant activities, discussions, and interactions among students and between teachers and students. 

To find out more about TED-Ed take the tour!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's Tax Day! Could Evernote Help You Prepare Next Year?

It's no secret - I'm a big fan of Evernote. There are many reasons for my passion about this web-based (cloud) technology, but just a couple include assisting with personal and professional organization as well as providing a mobile tool to serve as a repository for multiple types of media and artifacts. 

One very clever way to consider using Evernote is for tax preparation. In fact, HR Block recommends the use of Evernote to their clients and has added it to their interview process. This video provides the details and recommendation to their clients:

The Evernote blog provides more information about this partnership, including HR Block's offer for a 20% discount of tax preparation for Evernote users! However, this may be 'a little too late' for most of us, so additional information is provided in the Evernote blog to help you get started on next year's taxes (see "Evernote Makeover Series: How to Do Your Taxes With Evernote")

Good luck with your taxes - and hopefully you are receiving a refund!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mac Malware

If you own a Mac run the Flashback Checker to make sure your Mac is not infected. https://github.com/jils/FlashbackChecker/wiki

Tips for MS Outlook

Great article on things to remember when using Microsoft's Outlook email program. One of the most important tips is the following:

Data files can blow up

Outlook data files (.pst) are susceptible to corruption if they grow too large. To avoid trouble, train users to keep an eye on the size of their data file. The limit is 2GB; users should regularly delete unwanted mail and archive old messages long before the .pst file reaches that size.

Read the rest of the article:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blogs as Reflective Learning Journals

Blogs have long been utilized by businesses, experts, politicians, and organizations to provide information, updates and opinions on a variety of topics. Creating and maintaining a blog has become increasingly easy with the use of Blogger (as used here) and Wordpress

Reflective journals have traditionally been a valuable teaching tool for students to think about the content and learning that has taken place and how it can be applied. These journals were often paper-based. However, with tools like Blogger and Wordpress, Learning Journals can easily be maintained online and shared as required. 

I currently teach an online Masters' level course for a Graduate School of Management in the Midwest. My students are required to write a weekly blog post as a Reflective Learning Journal. I have found this strategy has been invaluable for feedback and input from my students. The favorite part of my week is reading my students' journals! For more guidance regarding the use of blogs as reflective learning journals, review this article: Application of Blogs to Support Reflective Learning Journals.

Finally - and personally - if you have a 'passion' or a cause, a blog can provide a wonderful opportunity to 'get the word out'. Soon after the birth of my great-nephew and the discovery that he was a Downs Syndrome baby, my niece started maintaining a blog as a means of reflection and education for others about this condition. An Unexpected Journey chronicles their family experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Mac OS update : Mountain Lion

Get a quick look at the new Mac OS update coming later this summer. http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Zotero at the Library

I recently attended a wonderful workshop on Zotero at the Claremont Colleges Library. As a web-based citation manager, Zotero is a critical tool for faculty and students at CGU. The presenter, Char Booth, was engaging, knowledgeable and articulate. Approximately 12 attended, many of whom were CGU graduate students. This was my first time attending a library event - but certainly not my last! This was a lunch time event with food! How great is that? 

The library provides support and training on both RefWorks and Zotero along with many other opportunities for faculty and students who are actively engaged in research. Review their calendar of offerings and find one that 'suits your fancy". As a Claremont Consortium collaborative resource, the library is one of the 'jewels in the crown' available with excellent staff and workshop opportunities. To receive up-to-date information and news from the library, you might consider 'following' them on Facebook, Twitter, or through their RSS feed. Visit their homepage and click on the appropriate icon in the right column next to "News". Happy researching!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How your favorite devices are made

Ever curious as to how and where your devices are made and who makes them? Take a look at a recent news story of looking into Apple's, one of the largest technology companies in the world, makes their devices through Foxconn, one of the largest technology manufacturers: http://abcnews.go.com/watch/nightline/SH5584743/VD55173552/nightline-221-apples-chinese-factories-exclusive

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

March-April Professional Development Announcement

You may have noticed that the OIT Professional Development Announcement for  March-April has recently been sent. I hope you will take note of several items of importance:

  • OIT Excel Month has been a huge success with 78 registrations total! We have two advanced sessions remaining: Thursday, February 23 at 10:30 am and Tuesday, February 28 at 1:30 pm. Contact cgulearning@cgu.edu for more information.
  • We continue to review the feedback obtained from the Fall OIT Survey to guide in the development of new initiatives. In that regard you will note three new offers: 
    • Using Twitter and Google Reader for Professional Development Webinar on Thursday, Marcy 8 at 1:30 pm
    • Using Skype and Google+ Hangouts on Thursday, March 22 at 10:00 am
    • Google Docs Overview and comparison to MS Word on Wednesday, March 28 at 1:30 pm 
  • We will once again offer the popular "Tips and Tricks for the iPad" on Thursday, April 12 at 1:30 pm
  • We will once again offer "Using Collaborative Web-Based Tools: Diigo, Dropbox and Evernote" Webinar on Thursday, April 19 at 12 Noon
We hope you will continue to take part in these informative sessions as a part of your continuing professional development at CGU! Contact cgulearning@cgu.edu for further information!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OIT Services

This blog post will serve as a reminder to all faculty, staff and students of the wide array of services provided by the Office of Information Technology at CGU. As noted on the website: 

"The Office of Information Technology at Claremont Graduate University provides strategic technology solutions in order to support CGU's mission of preparing a diverse group of outstanding individuals to assume leadership roles in the worldwide community through research, teaching, and practice in selected fields."

OIT strives to update and expand services as new and emerging technologies and practices develop. Please take a few minutes to explore the list currently available on our website by clicking OIT Services. Each service includes a link to a specific location if available, a brief description, and the appropriate user group. Please let us know of your questions, needs, or suggestions for further improvements in our services!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newsstand on iOS

Do you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch? Do you know what the Newsstand App is built into the device? Do you ever use it? If not, or if you would like to move it into a folder to get it out of the way, try this: http://www.macrumors.com/2011/10/13/how-to-put-newsstand-in-a-folder/

Now you can put Newsstand in a folder to better organize your home screen.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

YouTube for Schools

In December, YouTube announced a new initiative "YouTube for Schools". Although this is aimed at providing more secure access to videos for K12, there will also be benefits and a large selection for Higher Education. Integrating technology, especially appropriate video to illustrate or enhance content, can enrich the learning environment and address a variety of learning styles for students. Certainly YouTube has become a favorite for many and is widely used by university students of all ages. Therefore I encourage you to explore the following websites and resources for more information on YouTube for Schools and reflect upon how you might use them in your classrooms.

The New York Times, "YouTube Creates Separate Site for Schools

The Official YouTube Blog, "Opening up a world of educational content with YouTube for Schools"

YouTube for Schools FAQ

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Ultrabooks are making a big splash this year. What is the Ultrabook? The Ultrabook is an ultra-slim laptop, think MacBook Air. They are not a netbook, but more powerful laptops with a very slim design.

Read more here: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/43843/ces-2012-ultrabooks

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skype vs Google+ Hangouts

CGU Tech Buzz was created to provide up-to-date news, information, and updates from OIT at CGU. Through our bi-monthly Professional Development Announcements we try to provide new, innovative, and practical technology training opportunities for the CGU community. The annual OIT Survey is just one of the many resources we use to assist us with the decision on what to offer. 

One of the new offerings we will provide for March-April will be a session that examines two popular videoconferencing tools: Skype and Google+ Hangouts. Our survey indicated many students, faculty, and staff already are familiar with Skype and use it consistently to connect with friends and family in remote places. Additionally some departments (for example recruitment) are using it to connect and communicate with prospective students. Our session will include relevant examples and testimonials in that regard.

Included in this session will be a comparison of Skype with the new tool available in Google+ called Hangouts. Hangouts is quickly gaining acceptance and should be considered as an alternative to Skype. For example, yesterday it was announced by the White House that President Obama would be using Hangouts as a vehicle for continued discussions after tonight's State of the Union Address. 

Registration details for the Skype vs Hangouts session will be available the end of February in the March-April Professional Development Announcement. In the meantime, to evaluate your interest in this session you may wish to review the following resources and articles:  

Time Techland "Obama to Hold Google+ 'Hangout' After State of the Union Address"

The Chronicle of Higher Education "Collaborate with Colleagues Using Google+ with Extras"

Media Tapper "Hangouts vs Skype: Why Hangouts Are the Future of Conference Calls"

...and for a little fun, a short clip from Google about Hangouts!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hotmail now with Exchange Active Sync (EAS)

Hotmail Users!

Ever want to access your calendars, contacts and other features of your Hotmail or Windows Live Mail account from your mobile device? Now you can! Despite Gmail's popularity, Hotmail is still the second largest free email provider in the world today behind Yahoo, and until now did not provide more than just POP support of your Hotmail inbox to your email readers, but now they do.

If you have a hotmail account, you can use the following settings to get full access to your Hotmail mailbox features:

Server/URL - m.hotmail.com
Username - your full email address
Domain - (leave blank)
SSL - enabled

Now you can access your Contacts, Calendars and Tasks in addition to your Mail.

See this page for further details: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2010/08/30/hotmail-now-supports-push-email-calendar-and-contacts-with-exchange-activesync.aspx

*Warning for Android users - Android only supports natively 1 exchange account per device, so if you have more than one, you'll have to choose which you would like to use. This does NOT affect iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch users.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Professional Development Using Twitter

Yes, 140 characters seems limiting - but not impossible. In fact, that required limit helps to maintain conciseness and brevity! In so doing, the information received can be scanned and a decision quickly made to pursue further.

Twitter, the tool that only allows 140 characters, can be a very valuable professional development tool. By following Twitter feeds of organizations, publications and experts in your field, you will obtain resources, articles, news, and ideas that may be missed or overlooked using other strategies. If you would like to 'test the waters' and have an interest in politics, you might try selecting a few individuals from a list of accounts related to the current presidential election that was recently posted on the Twitter blog.

One feature that is now frequently used at conferences and webinars is the Twitter hashtag. This provides a way to aggregate all relevant tweets and insure valuable information for that session or topic is available. For more about the use of hashtags review the following resources:

The New Yorker: "Free Range, Hash

Twitter Help Center: "What Are Hashtags?"

Additionally, OIT uses Twitter for news, updates, professional development opportunities, and latest CGU technology information. Our Twitter ID is "CGUoit". Please consider following us!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a major technology-related trade show taking place the week of Jan 9 - 13, 2012. This year the theme is thin. New cutting-edge products including ultrabooks, voice/gesture-based technologies, smartphones and OLED TVs. See all of the new Tech products coming this year at http://www.cesweb.org/.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Ed Tech Predictions

Happy New Year from OIT! Now that we have all taken time to reminisce about 2011, it seems appropriate to think about the exciting technology innovations and predictions for 2012...I have to admit, I can't resist reading all those educational technology predictions that have surfaced the last couple of weeks. I have a few that I would like to include here for your consideration and I would enjoy hearing your thoughts! Of course there are those that are predictable, i.e. growth of social media, cloud technology, and mobile technology - but then there are others of interest that will surely influence and certainly enhance the way we teach and learn at CGU. What do you think?

  1. From CNN Tech - "The Top 10 tech trends for 2012"
  2. From socialmediatoday.com - "Social Media: What to Expect in 2012"
  3. From Mind/Shift.com - "12 Education Tech Trends to Watch in 2012"
  4. From Campus Technology - "5 Higher Ed Tech Trends for 2012"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Upgrades to Albrecht Auditorium

Recently the technology in Albrecht Auditorium was updated to meet current standards. The 3700 lumen, 12 year old projector was replaced with a 10,000 lumen high definition projector and the projection screen size was increased from 140 inches to 200 inches. The in-room computer was upgraded from a core 2 duo processor to a core i5 processor with Blu-ray support and discrete graphics. A Blu-ray/vhs player was added to the room as well as additional inputs for Auxiliary Audio/Video including composite and HDMI video. Audio outs were also supplied to provide sound recording opportunities. 2 additional microphone inputs were added to the room as well as 2 built in wireless microphones - 1 handheld and 1 lapel. The Keyboard and Mouse were replaced with longer range ones to provide better responses to typing. For better pedagogy, a local monitor was added to the lectern for the lecturer, so the lecturer does not have to turn his/her head away from the audience as the lecture occurs. The laptop connections are now permanently wired into the lectern for ease of access and the system is entirely integrated with 2 control panels (1 on the rack and 1 on the lectern) for flexible control of all components of the system without the need of remotes including the individual remote control features of the Blu-ray player.