Technology and Tacos is BACK this Fall!

Technology & Tacos - A Lunchtime Workshop Series focusing on the IQ Center

Who doesn’t love tacos? And what could be better than tacos prepared by Dining Services for lunch with ITS Academic Technologies while learning about how you can partner with the IQ Center?

Please join us in Science Addition 202A (IQ Center) on: 

  • Tuesday, September 20 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM for  “Spatial Reconstruction – LiDAR and Photogrammetry” with George Bent, The Sidney Gause Childress Professor of Art History; Owen Collins, Professor of Theater; and Chris Connors, William E. Pritchard III ’80 Professor of Geology
  • Tuesday, October 25 from  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM for “Imaging – Panoramas, Drones and Video!” with David Harbor, Professor of Geology, and Isra El-Beshir, Associate Director of Museums
  • Thursday, November 10 from  12:00 PM – 1:30 PM for “Virtually Amazing” with Sandy de Lissovoy, Assistant Professor of Art, and Gregg Whitworth, Associate Professor of Biology

Registration is now open for all THREE Technology and Tacos/Thai/Turkey session at go.wlu.edu/tech. Sign up now! Space is limited.

Welcome, NameCoach!

 

red "HELLO my name is" name badge with IMPORTANT filled inNames matter. Pronunciation matters. 

W&L has adopted a new tool that allows faculty and students to record the pronunciation of their names to aid others in saying it correctly and listen to the recorded names of others.: NameCoach. 

How it works: Students voice-record their names and instructors can access this information within their Canvas courses. Faculty and staff can also voice-record their name and add a link to their email signatures.

Want to get started? Read these how-to guides: 

Have questions about NameCoach? Need help? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library. We’re here to help.

Registration for Fall Academy Opens TODAY!

Registration for Fall Academy is now open!

orange background with tan and orange leaves and yellow flowers, with a little squirrel holding an acorn
Woo hoo! This year, Fall Academy will take place from Monday, August 22 through Friday, September 2.

ITS Academic Technologies and the Harte Center for Teaching and Learning, in coordination with the Provost’s Office, Office of the Dean, and other offices, have curated a variety of panel discussions, pedagogy workshops, technology tutorials, information sessions, guest speakers, specifically designed to support your success as a teacher, scholar, and mentor at W&L.

Please visit go.wlu.edu/fallacademy to see the full schedule and to register for sessions that interest you. There’s something for EVERYONE — all W&L staff and faculty are invited and encouraged to attend.

P.S. If you’re interested in any catered sessions, registration will close 7 days prior to the session in order to give Dining Services an accurate headcount. Please sign up as soon possible once you know you’re able to attend. Thank you.

P.P.S.S. If you’re a presenter at a session that is being catered, PLEASE register if you’d care to dine. Thank you again.

“Strategies to Ensure Your Students Feel Heard” from The Faculty Lounge, brought to you by Harvard Business Publishing Education

cartoon female in red blouse with eyes closed, listening intently

Adapted from 6 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills by Rebecca D. Minehart, assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School; Benjamin B. Symon, faculty for the Debriefing Academy; and Laura K. Rock, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School

When our stressors increase, our executive functioning and cognitive flexibility are taxed, making it harder to give our students the full attention they deserve. We talk when we should listen. Prescribe solutions when we should ask for details. Lose the thread on conversations when we should be helping to find the focus.

The good news is, with practice, we can all be more effective listeners. Here’s how.

Determine your default listening style

Learning to listen well begins with understanding what type of listener you are. In our work, we’ve observed four distinct listening styles:

  • Analytical listeners analyze a problem from a neutral starting point. Example: You listen to two ExecEd students debate the relevance of a recent article to their industry, taking care to explore both students’ viewpoints before responding.
  • Relational listeners build connection and seek to understand the emotions underlying a message. Example: You notice a student’s voice quivers when they talk about an upcoming paper that’s due, so you consider whether they’re stressed and why.
  • Critical listeners judge both the content of the conversation and the reliability of the speaker themselves. Example: A student challenges you about a grade, so you listen to their reasoning to determine whether this is just about their GPA or whether it’s worth changing your viewpoint.
  • Task-focused listeners shape a conversation toward the efficient transfer of important information. Example: A student asking for a deadline extension attempts to offer a lengthy justification for the request, but you interrupt early to find out how long of an extension they’re seeking.

With these definitions and examples as a guide, ask yourself, Which style do I default to most?

Recognize when your default listening style is disruptive

Sometimes our usual listening style can sabotage our goals. Maybe you tend to use a task-focused or critical listening style so you can make rapid decisions. That’s great when there is time pressure, but it can backfire when a student needs more support.

Consider this scenario:

Student: “I don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the class. Everyone judges me.”
Educator: “Of course no one is judging you! We all feel like that sometimes, but the best solution is to dive in and give it a try.”

Here, the student is displaying emotion, yet the educator is responding with a task-focused response, missing a valuable opportunity to acknowledge and explore what the student is expressing. The educator’s response is likely to make this student feel unheard and discouraged from sharing.

Recognizing this disconnect is a critical step in improving your listening skills.

Adapt your listening style to achieve mutual conversational goals

There are myriad reasons why we listen the way we do: to be efficient, to avoid conflict, to gain attention, to support, or simply to entertain. When those reasons are repeatedly (and perhaps unconsciously) prioritized, we shortchange other listening goals such as mutual understanding and greater connection.

If we can instead learn to shift dynamically between listening styles—by matching the speaker’s needs with the most appropriate listening technique—we may have more productive conversations.

Let’s go back to our example from above and instead use a relational listening style.

Student: “I don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the class. Everyone judges me.”
Educator: “That’s a tough feeling to have. [Pause] Do you feel like talking about it?”

When a student expresses stress or fear, responding with validation and curiosity may allow you to capture valuable information and more effectively address the student’s needs.

Here’s another example scenario:

Student: “I’m scared about the midterm test.”
Educator: “I’m not planning on throwing any curveballs into the exam. But it’s normal to be nervous before a big test. [Pause.] What’s scaring you the most?”

What you learn from their response may change the way you approach that student’s learning in the future.

The impact of better listening

Experimenting with how we listen solidifies our active partnership in conversations. It expands the space for others to reveal what really matters to them and can allow us to get to the heart of the matter more deliberately. Through intentionally applying new ways to listen, we can build relationships, better understand others, and collaborate and problem-solve more effectively.

Have you updated Zoom lately?

modal dialog box in Zoom indicating an update is available

No? You haven’t? Please do! You do NOT want to miss out on some new features!

(Don’t know how to update Zoom? Here’s how to download the newest Zoom changes.)

Zoom has completely redesigned their virtual whiteboard experience to boost asynchronous collaboration.

Zoom meeting attendees can collaborate by adding, dragging, and dropping images, sticky notes, messages, and more and use shapes and connectors for diagramming purposes. You can easily share online whiteboards with other Zoom users using the share sheet AND access your whiteboards anytime, during or outside a meeting – they are saved automatically!

Zoom’s new whiteboard functionality is available on your Zoom client for desktop and web browser.

Zoom Whiteboard

To get started with Zoom Whiteboard, you’ll need Zoom version 5.10.3 or later. Here’s how you can create, access, and share your digital whiteboards:

  1. Sign into your Zoom account using the Zoom client on your device or web browser.
  2. Select the Whiteboards tab, and choose New Whiteboard to start a whiteboard. 
  3. To view your whiteboards, select the ‘My Whiteboards’ tab. You can also select ‘Shared with Me’ to view whiteboards that have been shared with you. 
  4. To share a digital whiteboard you’ve created, open the whiteboard you wish to share, select the Share button, and type the contact or email you wish to share the board with. 

*Pro tip: Be sure to visit Zoom’s support page to learn more about Zoom Whiteboard and its features! 

Questions? Need help? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP) or help@wlu.edu.

Who’s going to be where at the Spring Term Festival?

floor plan of the 2022 Spring Term Festival

For those who requested easels:

Your easels will be labeled. Please do not take easels from other classes. If you need additional easels, please visit the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level.

 

If possible, please arrive 5-10 minutes early to pick up your poster and foam board on Lower Level 1, in the Harte Center.

 

For those who requested projectors:

If possible, please arrive 15-30 minutes early to set up. The resident computer will be turned on and ready to go! 

Someone who will be present for the duration of the Spring Term Festival should be the one to log on to the resident computer with their W&L credentials. Note that the screen will lock after 15 minutes of inactivity.

To play a loop of videos, we recommend using VLC Media Player and creating a playlist of videos.

  1. From the VLC Media Player’s main window, use the menu bar and navigate to View > Playlist or use the shortcut key Ctrl+L.
  2. Drag and drop your media files (.mp3, .mov, .avi, etc.) into the window to build your playlist.
    • We suggest uploading all media files to a Box folder, then downloading the folder to the resident computer.  To unzip the entire folder, right-click to select Extract All, and then follow the instructions. Depending on the size of the folder, it can take 5-10 minutes to download and unzip!
  3. When done, click the loop button ONCE (see below) to loop the playlist, then click the Play button.

red circle encasing the loop button in VLC Media Player

The Spring Term Festival Returns!

The cold of winter has finally melted away and the advent of spring invites a new beginning!

As for a fresh start, we are thrilled to announce that the always-popular Spring Term Festival will take place on the last day of Spring Term classes, Friday, May 20th, from 12 noon to 2 pm in the Harte Center (1st floor of Leyburn Library).

[Actually, the Spring Term Festival begins on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 7:30 P.M. at the final showing of “The Moors” in Johnson Theatre, featuring Finn Connor ’23, Emily Moran ’23, Holden Overbeck ’24, Alaina Pastore ’25, Emma Smith ’24, and Zhihuan (Sherry) Yan ’25, directed by Jemma Alix Levy, with musical assistance provided by Patrick Summers and Jesse Harper. Buy tickets online now!]

colorful geometric shapes in background with Spring Term Festival, May 20, 2022, Harte Center, noon - 2 pm

Interested in displaying the work of your Spring Term class?

Excellent! Sign up NOW at https://go.wlu.edu/springtermfestival to tell us what technology you will need.

The more information you can provide, the better. We will do our very best to honor all requests, but there are a limited number of easels and poster boards, as well as projectors and projector screens! Please keep in mind that we will honor requests in the order in which they are submitted.

Questions? Please contact Helen MacDermott at hmacdermott@wlu.edu or 540.458.4561. Thanks very much!

Are there culturally diverse image galleries?

Ever search for stock images and come up with, well, rather …. homogenized results like this?

visual results from a search for "woman" in a stock photography website that consists of young caucasian females

Not all women are young, white, thin, able-bodied, and beautiful. Nor are all couples of the opposite-sex, white, thin, able-bodied, attractive, enjoying a posh, upper-/middle-class lifestyle. I think it’s safe to say these search results aren’t reflective of diverse lifestyles, experiences, or communities.

If you’re looking for more diverse stock images, check out this list of image galleries to promote accurate and equitable representation, compiled by Kevin Kelly, EdD, in support of the Peralta Community College District Equity Initiative:

 

 

Why Audio Transcription Matters

pink, purple, and blue soundwave forms

Audio transcription is the process of converting audio (or video) content into written text

Between brainstorming and planning, writing and recording, editing and mixing, you’ve put in a significant amount of time and effort to create a podcast. Why would anyone want to pile on the additional work of generating a word-by-word account of that incredible episode?!?

Consider this: you’ve already put in a significant amount of time and effort — not to mention blood, sweat, and tears — to create a totally amazing podcast, right? Now, all you need are listeners! Don’t you want your podcast to be as accessible and discoverable as possible?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 37.5 million American adults aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. 30 million Americans aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations. 

Not only does audio transcription make it possible for a user who is hard of hearing to engage with your content, it can also clear up confusion caused by regional dialects or unavoidable background noise wherever a listener may be.

Having a text transcript available on your website also invites search engines like Google to crawl, and index your content, making your podcast findable to your dream audience! Who wouldn’t want more search traffic and visitors?

An audio transcript creates a better experience overall for all users. New and existing listeners can give a transcript a quick look  before committing to listening to the full podcast. It’ll also be easier for your audience to search text to find some fascinating/interesting/thought-provoking tidbit rather than try to located the snippet in the audio itself.

If we’ve sold you on the value of audio transcription, listen up, because there’s a quick and painless way to create a transcript!

Did you know the online version of Word can transcribe audio that you record directly within Word? Better yet, if you already have a .wav, .mp4, or .mp3 file, you can simply upload it to Word and have it transcribed for you? Microsoft’s AI will even identify different speakers and organize the conversation into sections that you can easily edit and ultimately insert into a Word document. Pretty nifty, right?

Check out the official Microsoft Help Guide: Transcribe your recordings.  We’ve tested it and can verify that it works great!

Happy Transcribing!

NOTE: You are limited to five hours per month for uploaded audio; there is no transcription limit for audio recorded within Word on the web. English is the only language that is currently supported. You MUST use either the latest version of Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Have questions? Need help? Email the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu, call 540-458-4357 (HELP), or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library.

Spring Forward with Perusall

Have you heard about Perusall, the social reading platform that allows students to collectively read, annotate, and discuss the readings, but not sure how to implement it in your class? Have no fear!

Perusall is offering free webinars to help get you started or up-leveling the Perusall skills you already have.

Perusall 101

Perusall 101 will cover how to get up and running with Perusall’s product features such as grouping, building out your Library, and setting up assignments. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions. This webinar is designed for those brand new to Perusall or are looking for a refresher on Perusall fundamentals.

Perusall 102

Perusall 102 is the up-level course from the Perusall 101. We will take an in-depth review of some of Perusall’s technical features, including multimodal assignments, Peer Review assignment creation, auto-grading, grouping, and LMS set up. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

2022 Spring Webinar Series: Register at perusall.com/webinar.

Need help with or have questions about Perusall? We’ve got you covered! Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the Main Level of Leyburn Library!