November 2012

November  2012

ECU Faculty and Staff: We have lots of learning technology information to share with you, from a new Taste of Technology presentation to Blackboard Tips to pilot updates and more.  We’ve even added a new section at the end called Technology for Thought, where we will share interesting articles and resources.

In this edition:

  • Sign up for tomorrow’s Taste of Technology: A Sampler of Tools for your Online Course (11/15/2012 from 1pm-2pm)
  • Blackboard: Tips & Hints for the Test Settings in Blackboard
  • Read&Write GOLD Software now available to ECU Students
  • Blackboard Collaborate Pilot
  • Technology-Enhanced Classroom Feedback
  • ECU Online Student Training Tool: We need your Input
  • Think-In 2013
  • In the News
  • Technology for Thought

Taste of Technology: A Sampler of Tools for your Online Course

November 15, 2012 (Austin 308)
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Join us to learn about three learning technologies that you can use in your online classes to increase student interaction and student success. This session will feature Centra web conferencing, Tegrity lecture capture and LockDown Browser for Blackboard Assessments. You will see an introduction to each technology and leave the session with a number of best practices. Register on the ECU Training Calendar today to reserve your seat.


Blackboard: Tips and Hints for the Test Settings in Blackboard

As we approach the end of the semester and final exams, we would like to share some helpful tips. Firefox (latest version) is still the browser of choice for Blackboard. GENERAL BROWSER INFO: If you (or your students) are not viewing a document properly, or images do not display, switch browsers to see if that makes a difference. The latest version of Firefox works well at this time. Google Chrome is also working well. Internet Explorer has many popup boxes, permissions issues, display issues and grading from Internet Explorer is slow. See the Blackboard site for browser compatibility for the PC and Mac.

NOTE: If you require that your quizzes are taken with LockDown Browser, please see the Blackboard Blog for more information and documentation.

Some Basic Troubleshooting We Recommend:

“Help! I got kicked out of my test…”  Read Tips to Avoid Potential “Lockout” Problems for Students to learn possible causes and resolutions. We also have a helpful document that you can share with your students: Tips for Students Taking Tests and Quizzes within Blackboard.


Read&Write GOLD software now available to ECU students

Read&Write GOLD is assistive technology software that reads electronic text from e-books, Web sites, and documents created in word-processing programs. Read&Write Gold helps writers with predictive spelling, word choice, dictionary and thesaurus features. The program includes voice dictation that also reads aloud what students write and helps them identify errors. This software is available as a free download from the ECU Download Center (Classroom Tools). For help using Read&Write GOLD, visit the Texthelp training guide page.


Blackboard Collaborate Pilot

Web conferencing for instructional use continues to grow on our campus, with over 2200 Centra sessions hosted during the Fall 2011 semester.  More and more faculty are utilizing this collaborative web conferencing platform to expand access to course content and provide a virtual classroom environment.  Platforms like Centra enable faculty to provide the same course content to distance education and face-to-face students.  In addition, all students have access to view and review playback recordings as often as needed to reinforce course concepts.  

Blackboard now offers Collaborate, which provides a live collaboration platform that offers deep integration with the Blackboard Learning Management system. Collaborate enables faculty and students to log into a single interface to access both their Blackboard course material as well as their online web conferencing meetings. In addition, Collaborate empowers faculty to setup their own meetings from within Blackboard. Collaborate also includes a simple tool for adding links to meetings to content areas throughout the course.

This fall we piloted Collaborate in a limited number of courses in the College of Business. We will continue this pilot into the spring 2013 semester and we already have interested participants from five colleges across campus.  We have room for a few more, so if you are interested in participating in the spring pilot, please contact John Southworth at We also invite you to visit the Collaborate Pilot blog to learn more.


Technology-Enhanced Classroom Feedback
In September 2012, we distributed a three question survey to collect your feedback about technology-enhanced classrooms, Blackboard, and wireless access for students.  Now it’s time to share the feedback we received, beginning with a summary of the responses for technology-enhanced classrooms. Expect to hear more about Blackboard and wireless access for students in a separate email.

 When asked “which classroom device do you use the most”, the most common answers included computer, projector and document camera.  According to survey results, these technologies are used to present PowerPoint presentations, websites, demonstrate software, show video content, and more.  The document camera provides the ability to display hard copy documents, images, or even small parts, as well as magnify the content for the audience. Additionally, displaying content with the document camera can eliminate the need to distribute paper copies.

 When asked ”are there additional technologies you would like to see integrated into ECU’s technology-enhanced classrooms and spaces”, we received a wide range of responses such as an increase in the number of requests for Mediasite rooms, access to Apple TV and wireless printing capabilities for students.  Here are some ways that we are already working to meet your Classroom Technology needs: 

  • Tegrity lecture capture software is now available in 17 classrooms located on both east campus and the Health Sciences Campus.
  • We addressed all technical issues associated with specific rooms mentioned in the survey.
  • The PiratePrint pilot is now available in the Austin building with plans to expand to additional campus locations.  This service enables students to print from their personal computers directly to the print kiosk in Austin.
  • Approximately 40 rooms are scheduled for new technology or a refresh in the next year based on College Requests, age and average usage. As classrooms are refreshed, new Classroom Technology Standards will include the following:
    • Desktop computer with DVD drive, for ease of use and reliability
    • VGA and DVI Laptop connections
    • Document camera
    • Ceiling-mounted projectors and screens
    • Touch-screen control panel to simplify operation
    • Annotation device for writing on presentation material with digital ink and the ability to save annotations.
    • Revolabs wireless microphone for speech reinforcement in rooms with student seating exceeding 45 chairs

For those that inquired about using Apple TV in the classroom, Apple does not currently offer an enterprise level solution for deploying Apple TV on our network.  We will keep you informed of any developments.

If you have any specific classroom technology requests, please contact us at


ECU Online Student Training Tool: We need Your Input

Information Technology and Computing Services is working with SGA (Student Government Association) to select an online training tool to meet the diverse learning needs of ECU students.

 We offer several student training/instructional resources, which are listed below.  This month, we are surveying our ECU students to help identify additional training needs.

We would also like to hear from you. Please take a minute or two to complete a short three question survey to help identify training topics that would benefit your students:  >> TAKE THE SURVEY NOW <<. Submit your responses by December 3, 2012.

  • Face-to-face ITCS training sessions cover a broad variety of topics like Blackboard, Centra, CommonSpot, iPad use, and much more.
  • provides answers to many questions about OneStop, changing your ECU passphrase, e-mail, and more.
  • Through ECU’s membership in Microsoft IT Academy (Microsoft Excel file), you can complete online training on Microsoft technologies and receive discounts on Microsoft certification exams.
  • Training on SAS statistical software is available at no cost in various formats to fit your schedule.
  • Training on many of ECU’s learning technologies (Blackboard, Centra, Yammer) is available online.


Think-In 2013
Mark your calendars for April 3, 2013!  This spring we will host the 8th Think-In in Joyner Library.  Think-In 2013 will offer presenters and attendees a new format – concurrent breakout sessions and the ever popular poster presentations. Watch for the upcoming call for proposals!  


ECU Social Media Regulation and Guidelines
 While all ECU employees are welcome to participate in social media, we encourage everyone who participates in and contributes to online commentary to understand and follow ECU’s social media guidelines (pdf) and the university’s social media regulation (html).


In the News:


ECU Training Calendar

The September calendar is full of learning technologies training from Blackboard to Tegrity to Yammer – we’ve got something for everyone!

View all learning technologies training sessions at


Technology for Thought

 Educational Video Sites

  • Visit the Public Webcasts page on the EDUCAUSE website to access public recordings from this year’s Annual Conference.  There are 15 public webcasts with topics ranging from student success to MOOC’s to analytics and more.
  • “How can we reach more learners, more effectively, and with greater impact?”  Read the EDUCAUSE publication titled Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies

© 2012 ITCS at East Carolina University. ECU Learning Technologies Digest is published by Information Technology and Computing Services.

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