Happy Anniversary! A week late!

To this blog, as it has been publishing now for 9 years.  Through Blackboard, SABA/Centra, Mediasite, Turning Point and more upgrades as well as hurricanes, ice and flu and many changes over the years.

Today I will highlight some of the features available after our most recent upgrades.

Blackboard – Accessibility rating with Ally, multi column deletion in grade center and student receipt of assignment submissions, Collaborate availability.

Mediasite – Quizzing feature has been added, new interface with ability to favorite folders, Annotaton and we also have available a new software lecture capture system in classrooms without hardware.

Turning Point – better grade center integration

SABA to WebEx – a change to come by next year

Want to see any in action?  Just contact this office.


Something Different this Week!

I get this weekly posting on Sundays from “Escape Adulthood” by Jason Kotecki and decided to share as this week’s blog!

Happy Sunday!

I want to change the world. I want to make a dent in the universe. I want my legacy to last for generations after I die.

Talk about an oversized ego.

I believe that my motives are pure, but the trouble is, I often forget that the best way to change the world is in simple ways, starting today. After all, even if the sun is shining outside, we encounter people every day who are in the middle of a dark time.

My wife is great at taking advantage of the small ways she can bring light into the lives of people around her. Her thoughtuflness results in small actions, but they make a real impact. Baking Valentine’s Day brownies for a widow next door. Sending a funny gif to a friend having a rough day. Complimenting and engaging in a meaningful conversation with the grocery delivery guy.

These small rays of sunshine don’t generate standing ovations or front-page headlines, but they might be more meaningful. And they can be repeated day after day, for as long as we live. If you did one random act of kindness every day for the next 30 years, you could make a difference in the life of 10,950 real human beings. Of course that little bit of kindness is likely to spread beyond just that one person, and then the potential impact increases exponentially.

Changing the world for the better is a nice sentiment and a worthy pursuit. But it’s too big and unwieldy to be a practical goal.

It’s better, I’m learning, to look around for small ways to brighten the lives of the people around us. They are usually not difficult, or time consuming, or expensive.

But what a difference they can make in someone’s life.

To that person, on that day, the sun came out and the world changed.


and all things must change

At least in the tech world that is and here at ECU we will be seeing changes in Blackboard, My Mediasite, Turning Point and Saba.  To highlight a few of the changes

Blackboard – Blackboard Ally, Collaborate and Submission Receipts are some of the changes

My Mediasite – brand new interface and the ability to add quizzes to recordings both classroom and desktop lectures.

Adding quizzes to recordings –


My Mediasite Upgrade tutorials – https://training.mediasite.com/Mediasite/Showcase/mediasitetraining

Turning Point 8 – new software to download includes auto sync of course rosters and notification of when to re-upload grades.

Saba – Text chat included in recordings. Agenda Builder provides all features from previous Java-based version. Number of attendees who can speak at once has increased from 4 to 10.


Latha math

That would be good day in Scottish Gaelic and so I will be heading to Scotland and Ireland Wednesday 4/4 and return to the office on Monday 4/16.

My assistant Pete Eischens, eischensp16@students.edu.edu will be in the office most days (744-1106).  Additionally you can contact the following resources if you need assistance.

Help Desk (Michael Davis, davistr@ecu.edu and Billy Igoe, igoew@ecu.edu ) for this building 744-2903.

Blackboard – Matt Long longm@ecu.edu , Adam Brewer brewera@ecu.edu , Paul Lamere, lamerep@ecu.edu

SABA/Webex – John Southworth, southworthj@ecu.edu

Mediasite Troubleshooting –  Jarrett Shafer (252) 328-9141, shaferj@ecu.edu , Josh Brown, (252) 328-9617, brownjos@ecu.edu

My Mediasite – Jarrett Shafer (252) 328-9141, shaferj@ecu.edu , Allen Dennis, (252) 328-2841 allend@ecu.edu

Tegrity/Voice Thread – Perceival Murphy, (252) 737-5166, murphyp@ecu.edu

WordPress Blogs – Helpdesk

Academic Technologies – Ginny Sconiers, Wendy Creasey


This and That

Email Evolves – From Information Technology and Computing Services

Over the next few months, ECU is modernizing faculty and staff email. There are four steps to this remodel:

  • Enable the new cloud-based Online Archive folder
  • Switch to Office 365 Exchange Online Protection
  • Move Enterprise Vault items back to your mailbox
  • Migrate staff mailboxes to Office 365

Using your OneDrive – Alyssa De Santis Figiel our University Program Associate recently share the photos from the Scholarship Ceremony another way to share files with colleagues without having to set up special permissions, find out more about using Office 365 and what it can do here.


Why should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Well it will happen to your desktop sooner than later.  So here are some reasons to just do it!

From PC Mag  “The key takeaway, however, is this: In most of the things that really matter—speed, security, interface, compatibility, and software tools—Windows 10 is a vast improvement over its forbears.

Reasons to upgrade to Windows 10
  • Speed. Startup and more. …
  • The Start Menu. …
  • Cortana. …
  • Universal Apps. …
  • Touch. …
  • Action Center. …
  • A Better Browser. …
  • Security.

Contact help desk with a request to upgrade, if not now perhaps once the semester has ended so you have the summer to become acquainted!



Working together?

At a recent meeting with the Instructional Technology Consultant’s (ITC’s) of the university we were introduced to Microsoft Teams.  Before I tell you what Teams can do think about this scenario you are involved in multiple projects with multiple people within and outside of ECU wouldn’t it be nice to have all correspondence, files etc in one spot which also allows you to quick chat/comment on something rather than sending emails? Well . . .

Microsoft Teams is a messaging app for teams where all conversations, meetings, files, and notes can be accessed by everyone, all in one place. It’s a place for collaboration and work to happen in the open.

Here’s why you should use it:

  • It makes communicating one-on-one and with groups a snap.
  • Collaboration happens in real time.
  • Everything your team cares about (all your files, docs, contact info, and more) is in one place.

One college has been using it and here is a quote from their ITC “Now that the planner can be integrated into Teams, it is a great way to use both tools at once. I have also integrated a notebook into the team, which also helps keep everything in one place. I haven’t gotten everyone into the chat feature, but the organization part seems to be a nice way to at least get people started in the right direction, at least for us.”


Check out the New Clicker! or keep it simple!

All ECU Students Licensed

Just like in the fall, all ECU students have access to a Turning Account license. This license enables ECU students to use the TurningPoint Mobile app to respond to TurningPoint polls at no additional cost to the student. Additionally, students are able to purchase unlicensed clickers (available at the ECU students store) at a reduced rate because they no longer have to purchase a clicker that’s bundled with a license.

New QT2 Clicker

In the fall, Turning Technologies released a new clicker that includes a full keypad. This next-generation clicker will enable students to respond to text-based polls more quickly. Please feel free to follow this link for more information on the new QT2 clicker (or as I’ve been calling it, the blackberry clicker):


It’s important to note, however, that the old NXT clickers that have been used on campus for more than 6 years are still fully compatible with TurningPoint and will continue to work for students who already have them.

New User Registration

Even though all students have access to a Turning Account License, that license must be claimed and registered in Blackboard before that student’s results will appear to the instructor. Also, any student using a physical clicker must register the Device ID on the back of their clicker to their Turning Account in Blackboard in order for the software to know which clicker they’re using. Please share with your students the tutorial link below on how to claim the Turning Account license and, if applicable, register their physical clicker.


Note: Students who completed this registration process in the fall, do not need to do it again for the spring.

Clicker Resource Page


In case you missed the Technology Newsletter

WebEx and Skype: Is There a Difference?

Yes! Two great tools for different scenarios

With both WebEx Cloud and Skype for Business available to ECU users, how do you pick the right online meeting solution? Both tools share collaboration tools, audio and video options, scheduling through Outlook and a “Meet Now” feature.

However, there are also differences that make the choice clear depending on your requirements. Here’s how you can decide which is the best tool for your meeting.


Skype is part of the Office 365 download and is available to students, faculty and staff. It is currently ECU’s standard for instant messaging and desktop sharing. It is used to determine another user’s “presence” through Outlook – not available (red), green (available), yellow (away from the computer).

Read more

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