Be Aware of Large PDF Files

Do you have large PDF files that need to be uploaded?  Please consider reducing the file size before doing so.  Large files can clog up already full mailboxes, open slowly or sometimes not at all and can take up allotted space in your LMS (learning management system) course.

How do you easily reduce the file size and avoid possible problems?  One way is to go to: for a free, easy to use tool that compresses these files.  How does it work?  You upload your file to their server; it is compresses and then sent back to you almost immediately.  There is no limit on size or the number of times you can use the service.

Once at the site, simply drag and drop your PDF file to the specified location or locate your file by clicking on Choose file.  Note:  You can ignore the big green Download button at the top of the screen.  Once the file has been compressed click the small Download PDF link and then save the file.  It’s now ready for uploading.  Be aware that not all files will compress.  If a file is already optimized, you may not be able to reduce the file size any more than it is.

SMALLPDF2                                                               Click on image to access the compression tool.



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Copyright and Fair Use in Academia

Thank you to Academic Technology Librarian, Irene McGarrity for leading a session on copyright and fair use on March 25, 2014.

Mason Library resources:

Part 1:

Part 2:


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2014 Academic Technology Institute

image. Nigel Malcolm and Julio DelSesto - ATI 2013

Nigel Malcolm and Julio DelSesto – ATI ’13

Ten KSC faculty have the opportunity to attend the USNH Academic Technology Institute this summer, May 27-30 (Tuesday, Noon – Friday, Noon). It will be hosted by the University of New Hampshire in Durham.  If you are interested in attending, please apply here: Applications are being accepted now through March 7th.

The theme for this year’s event is “Tools you can use: Teaching and learning with technology” and the speaker will be Cable Green of Creative Commons:

Participants will leave with a renewed inspiration to address their courses with the insights gleaned from Institute sessions, including topics such as technology as the teacher’s tool (not the teacher’s taskmaster), assignment design, (rich media) assessment strategies, and related technological issues pertinent to teaching and learning in higher education.

ATI participant Debbie Black (Education) had this to say about her experience:

“I am the most unlikely person to be writing this statement since I resist technology on so many levels. However, the Academic Technology Institute that I attended last summer broadened my thinking about ways that I can use technology as a tool to capture student learning. I now use Coaches Eye, Educreations, Google Docs and Pages on a regular basis in my work. I am teaching my Methods II students how to use this technology as well as elementary-aged students and their teachers. Currently I have three co-investigation science projects going on between a school in Cheshire County and three schools in the North Country. We are all using these technologies.”

Keene State ATI alumni:

2013 (host PSU)
Debbie Black, Chris Burke, Karen Cangialosi, Julio DelSesto, Fitni Destani, Mike Goudzwaard, Amanda Guthorn, Judy Lister, Nigel Malcolm, Peggy Walsh.

2012 (host KSC)
Elizabeth Dolinger, Lisa Hix, Darrell Hucks, Craig Lindsay, Ted Mann, Niall Moran, Tanya Sturtz, Craig Sylvern, Debra White-Stanley, Susan Whittemore.

2011 (host GSC)
Leigh Corrette, Jen Ditkoff, Bill Fleeger, Dick Jardine, Kathy Johnson, John Lund, Allyson Mount, Celine Perron, Nancy Ritchie, Barbara Ware.

If you have questions contact Jenny Darrow or Jeff Timmer who are members of the USNH Academic Technology Steering Committee.

ATI is funded by the USNH Long Range Technology Plan.

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Teaching Naked – a presentation by Dr. Jose Bowen

This post was originally written by Reta Chaffee (Granite State College) who with her colleagues, attended this presentation.

On October 17, 2013,  Dr. José Bowen presented his workshop,  Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning, at Keene State College.  Dr. Bowen is Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.  He is also a musician, scholar and author.

He started the workshop with an overview of what Clayton Christensen describes as disruptive innovation, when a  seemingly “unattractive or inconsequential to industry” innovation eventually redefines the industry.  Think about film cameras, online banking or even the post office.   In the case of education, the disruption is the fact that “knowledge” is no longer confined to libraries and universities.  Knowledge and information can now be found online any time you want it.    And more particularly, knowledge via courses can be free in the case of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as modeled at some of the most prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT and Stanford.   (See WIRED article about the next generation of MOOCs.)

So the challenge then is to find the value proposition for coming to class?   What is it that students cannot get on the Web that they can get in the classroom?  They can get lectures from highly qualified experts around the world.  They can find the content for most anything.  The premise of Dr. Bowen’s workshop is that it is the faculty interaction and the ability to change the student’s mind is what makes the difference.  While he advocates for getting the technology out of the classrooms (i.e. Teaching Naked), he does not advocate for dismissing technology as a tool.  In fact, he provides many examples of how you can use technology to deliver the content and communications outside of the classroom which allow for deeper, richer conversations and interactions when you are together with the students in the classroom.  One of his examples is having students watch a video prior to class and write a reaction, for example “What did you really like/dislike about ___.”  When the students get to class, he has them exchange index cards and write a rebuttal.   GSC instructor, Gail Poitrast, tried this in her own course and noted, “I asked students to watch a math video, take notes, and come to class with math questions on 3 separate index cards to share with others.  The students were engaged, and it exceeded my expectations.”    She also pointed out that it works out if it is well-planned which speaks to another point made by Dr. Bowen.   Course design is now more important given that content is so readily available online.   Instructors need to think more about how to engage the students with strategic learning activities.

In the end, he suggests that the answer to MOOCs are MBCs…or Massively Better Classrooms.   To learn more about Jose Bowen and Teaching Naked, you can watch the 17 minute TedX video or visit his website   Teaching Naked.

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Explain Everything Anywhere

Video Playing in Explain Everything

Video Playing in Explain Everything

A professor was presenting a paper in a distant international city. Her accompanying PowerPoint had some videos embedded.  She didn’t want to carry her laptop with her.  Would her IPad do the job?

There are many cloud-based ways to store and show a presentation, AuthorStream, SlideShare,  Google Drive for example, that would be accessible on your IPad.  You should definitely have one of those for a backup. But for true independence it would be best to have the complete presentation, videos and all, downloaded to your Ipad.  No internet needed.  Not even any electricity needed if you power up the IPad before the presentation.

eeEnter ExplainEverything, the little app that does big things. It’s a white board on which you can Import or draw pictures.  And it will import a PowerPoint presentation flawlessly. To top it off, you can insert a video file from your camera roll, DropBox or Google Drive and that too is saved to your IPad inside ExplainEverything.  Now you have everything in one place on your IPad. The presentation options are easy to use, including the ability to easily write on a slide.

You can rest easy knowing your presentation is in your hand.

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