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.