Humanities Open Source Remixes!

If you are a Professor of Art, History, Literature, or Humanities, or just a humanities nerd (like me), 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the open source bonanza! Three really exciting new resources are available to help you find, remix, and use digital visual culture, free of charge! 

Metmuseum.org

Recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, North America's largest museum, announced that it was switching to an Open Access policy for all of its artworks that are in the public domain under a Creative Commons 0 license. This means that researchers, designers, artists, and students can download, print, change, and remix any of the artworks that have the Creative Commons 0 icon under their catalog entry at metmuseum.com (see example below). Since the Met has one of the largest collections of fine arts and historical artifacts in the world, this opens up a wealth of possibilities for publishing, displaying and sourcing these works without paying exhorbitant fees for the rights! 

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

The Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review describes itself as "an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age...with a focus on the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful". It is an open-source treasure trove of digital cultural artifacts that are divided into four categories: film, audio, books, and images. Articles are periodically written that are curated around a specific subject. This results in the bringing together of objects from all four categories by theme, period, or topic, so that readers can dive deeply into the material documentation of a subject that they find personally or academically interesting. A wonderful recent example of this type of article dives into nineteenth-century yellow journalism as historical example of the "fake news" phenomenon. You can take a closer look at this story by clicking on the photo below. 

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America is a digital database of maps, books, documents and ephemera that is housed in public libraries across the country. It goes beyond the traditional database because it is actually a platform that uses API (Application Programming Interface) and metadata to organize its collection, which allows for the creation of apps that can sort and deliver content in a variety of really interesting and useful ways. While the technology behind this is a bit tough to explain (the video below provides more information), the results are incredibly useful. Users can sort library materials by subject, location created, or even by color! Click here to view an awesome collection of artifacts and primary sources from various times and locations that help to explain the history and context of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. 

So, as you can see, these three open source resources can help to make art, history, and literature come alive for your students by situating it in context and helping to generate new ideas, understanding, and creative products. 

For more information about other open source resources and how they are currently being used at FSCJ, view our In Focus Live: Open Educational Resources seminar, filmed in December. 

Join AT and TOD for Campus Solutions Web-Based Training!

The Office of Training and Organizational Development teamed up with Academic Technology to produce a live web-based training for student services employees to introduce the new Campus Solutions admissions system! If you missed the training, or would like to view it again, you can do so here. The same video is also accessible at training.fscj.edu. Please direct any questions that you may have about the video's content to hrtraining@fscj.edu.

Lending a Hand to the LLC

Last week, the Digital Media Productions team took a literary trip to the Deerwood and Downtown Campus LLCs.  In honor of African-American History Month, we helped the LLCs shoot a series of interviews and readings with FSCJ administrators, faculty, and staff about their favorite African American authors.  You can find the finished videos on the FSCJ Library and Learning Commons Facebook page.  Check them out!

Join Us for January's In Focus LIVE!

 

Not sure where to turn or who to call when you're looking around for technology assistance?  What's the best way to find out the answers for yourself? What enterprise resources are available here at the College? We answered these questions (and more) in January's broadcast.

 

On Friday, January 27th at 10:00 AM, the Academic Technology Team live streamed the latest episode of our In Focus series, which took a deeper look at Information Technology Services' new website, help.fscj.edu

Our broadcast started with a general overview of how to use the site and provided a closer look at some of its improved features. The Educational Technology team explained how to fill out a help ticket, how to request new technology, and how to easily reset your password without having to contact the help desk. WE clarified when to use the "Request a Service" feature and when to use "Get Help", and shared some available resources for new faculty and staff. 

You can view a recording of January's In Focus below. Please feel free to send any questions that you may have after viewing it to et@fscj.edu, and stay tuned to this blog, the FSCJIT Twitter, and help.fscj.edu for information about future In Focus LIVE broadcasts!

Taking Notes with your Mobile Device

When I got my first iPad five years ago, I had grand dreams of how it would allow me to streamline my life by allowing me to have all of my work, play, and family resources in my tote bag whenever and wherever. My original iPad (and the iPad mini that replaced it), went a long way towards meeting this goal, but over the years I found that there was perpetually one specific functionality that was never quite perfect: notetaking.

I could, of course, take detailed notes and draw complex pictures on my iPad relatively easily. There have been a number of great styluses on the market over the years, some of which have the ability to write on the screen like a pen (we recommend the Adonit Jot Pro for writing) and draw like a pencil (we use 53's Pencil for drawing with touch sensitivity). The problem was always the app--I was never able to find one that allowed me to use the notes in another format.

The ideal note taking app should integrate with the other tools that you use for productivity, and allow you to share your notes with others who may not have access to the same apps or equipment that you have. In order to do that, the app needs to be able to translate your handwriting into text. Enter: NEBO! 

As shown in the video above, MyScript's Nebo app uses a technology that they have dubbed "interactive ink" that allows you to easily manipulate notes and text by using intuitive gestures on your tablet. You can mark up text to create headings, bulleted lists, diagrams, and mathematical notation. Double tapping on the content turns it into standard text and illustrations that can be exported as a .pdf, word document, or html! 

Nebo is the note taking app that I have always wanted, but it does have one drawback: at this time, it is only available for iOS and Windows devices. MyScript currently offers a beta version of its Stylus app, which offers more a more limited interface that also utilizes the interactive ink technology. 

For those lucky notetakers who have an Apple or Microsoft mobile device, click here to learn more and download the app for free! 

Professional Development Day: SharePoint Webinar

Did you miss Training and Organizational Development's SharePoint Webinar on Professional Development Day? You're in luck! Click the image below to view the recording, which was delivered by TOD's Training and Development Specialist, Dr. Barbara Moyer. 

For those who may be unfamiliar with the topic, SharePoint is a useful file-sharing tool that is a free part of the Office365 Suite to which all FSCJ employees have access. It can be used to create departmental or organizational websites, as well as for project collaboration and document authoring. In the webinar, Dr. Moyer begins with the basics of setting up a SharePoint site, and continues with a discussion of the major features of the application.

If you are a more advanced SharePoint user, the Training and Organizational Development Office hosts face-to-face classes to help you move to the next level. Find more information about this and other TOD offerings at https://training.fscj.edu/.

Try Adobe Spark to easily make Memes, Videos, and Websites!

Recently, we on the EdTech team have become moderately obsessed with Adobe Spark (OK, maybe it is just me, but my obsession is large enough to cover everyone). Spark is comprised of a free web-based tool that makes beautiful memes, webpages, and videos for the casual user. Unlike some of the other Adobe creativity tools, you don't have to have a graphic designer or video producer on staff to make something that is both informative and aesthetically pleasing. I used it to make the meme below that adds visual interest to an otherwise boring Twitter post: 

Adobe Spark contains a library of Creative Commons images that can be searched via a keyword (to find this image, I searched "old technology"), then added by just clicking on them. You can also upload your own images from Dropbox, Google, or your computer. It has ten different filters to add a specific look or style to your images. It also provides a variety of options for text color, font, and placement, and provides suggestions for a color scheme, based on the colors in your image. Who knew that design could be so easy? 

These same design tools can be used when creating webpages and videos, both of which have a higher degree of applicability to the educational user. Rather than having students create a powerpoint or prezi, encourage them to turn their content into an artifact with polish, that they will enjoy making and be proud to share. Check out the video below, provided by Adobe, for more information, then visit http://adobe.ly/1OsodWC to get started!

Students and Technology: A Recent Study

Educause recently released their 2016 Students and Technology Research Study, which details how higher education students in the United States use technology as a tool for learning, which types of technology they favor, and what teaching strategies enable them to engage with content. The study's purpose is to assist institutions and educators in identifying broader trends in student behavior that can be used to make improvements to college IT services, as well as to adjust teaching strategies to increase technology productivity. The comprehensive 48 page study is worth a read for those who would like a deeper understanding, but for those who would like a snapshot of the larger trends observed in the study, Educause has also produced an eye-catching infographic. Both can be viewed here, along with more information about the study's methodology.  

Future Digital Media students

Today the Digital Media Productions studio was full of excitement as magnet TV Production students from the Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology came to visit and talk about their futures, FSCJ's program offerings, and possible careers.  The students asked great questions and even got a chance to get in front of the cameras for a change.  We're looking forward to seeing many of them back in our studios as FSCJ students in the near future!

Digitizing history

This week, photographer Curtis Lyles had the opportunity to photograph a 115 year old magazine/book for English professor Laura Jeffries. Dr. Jeffries wants to use some of the pages for a conference presentation, but the age of the book made photographing it a delicate process. We tasked Curtis with helping digitize the pages and he went about figuring out a set up that would work to eliminate shadows from the frame of the page without blowing out the background white of the page, or damaging the book. He placed two soft boxed lights on each side of a work table in our studio to push out any shadows caused by the book. Using our camera jib, he was able to bring the Nikon D800 between and above the soft boxes to get a clear view of the book without casting any shadows into the frame. After adjusting the camera, we were on our way to digitizing and sharing an interesting piece of literature from our history.