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February, 2012:

Photoshop App Now Available

Big news for tablet users: Adobe has just released a Photoshop app, now available from the App Store and Android Market. The App, called Photoshop Touch, is a simplified version of the advanced computer software. It also is available at a fraction of the cost: only $9.99.

This is Adobe’s first Photoshop app, and from the video below, it looks like they pulled it off. Although you may not want to use it for advanced photo projects, the simple tools and clean interface seem great for portable photo editing and for those with little experience with Photoshop.

Perhaps in the near future, Photoshop Touch will be a popular cheap alternative to the classic Photoshop software. Provided that they have the hardware, this app also has the potential to save schools money. Take a look:

Smart Classroom Strategies: Getting Faculty Involved

UWB ClassroomA recent article published by Campus Technology describes how higher ed institutions nationwide are upgrading to provide faculty with the latest technologies to use for teaching and learning. These technologies include hardware such as clickers, tablets, and video recording equipment along with software and web tools such as Google Apps. However, while many of these initiatives to bring the latest technology in to the classroom are ambitious and designed to enhance learning, what can occur instead is that the technology ends up sitting in a storage closet as faculty who are often willing to try new hardware and software are frustrated with not knowing how to use these tools effectively.

The article outlines five strategies to help faculty use technology tools effectively so that they don’t end up gathering dust:

  1. Create Peer Training Groups – “Instead of equipping classrooms with technology and expecting faculty members to use it, Shackelford said, the university trained a small group of “ambassadors” who help other professors get onboard with the new equipment, software, and applications. Facebook, for example, was introduced not only as a social networking platform for students but also as a communication tool for professors to use with one another and with their students. “
  2. Carve out time for Professional Development – New technology initiatives can be fast and furious as IT departments collaborate with campus academic divisions, network groups, and other entities to meet deployment deadlines. Faculty members can get swept up in the excitement and wind up with classrooms full of technology that they don’t know how to use.
  3. Align IT with academic instructional departments – “We can’t do what we want to do on the development side if we don’t have the IT support,” said Spataro, who often bounces ideas off the IT team.
  4. Create a link between technological innovation and pedagogical effectiveness. If professors know that the time they’re putting into professional development will ultimately help them teach better, then the odds that they will participate and be engaged will be that much higher.
  5. Finally, involve faculty members in the planning process. Getting professors to integrate smart classroom technologies into their lessons, lectures, assignments, and projects can be as simple as opening up the lines of communication early between those instructors and their IT and instructional technology departments.

Read more at Campus Technology: Tactics for the Smart Classroom: Getting Smarter About Faculty Involvement

MITx Opens Registration for its First Course

Earlier this week, MIT announced open registration for 6.002x – Circuits and Electronics, the pilot course in an online learning initiative called MITx. The initiative will allow students from all over the world to take selected MIT courses online…for free!

Student work in the courses will include viewing video tutorials, working from an etextbook, doing homework, labs, lectures and final exams. MIT hopes to make the online experience as close as possible to an actual MIT student’s experience.

This seems to be an awesome step forward in the world of open learning! We wish MITx the very best. Watch the video below to learn more about 6.002x:

Read Breaking Virtual Ground from Inside Higher Ed.

Visit the MITx website

Do we always work better in groups?

In an article recently published by the New York Times, author Susan Cain questions an idea she calls “the New Groupthink”, which can be described as the idea that people work better in groups. “Modern” offices, classrooms and other work spaces are now designed in a way that promotes group work–tables instead of desks, open offices rather than cubicles, etc. Office employees’ schedules are filled to the brim with collaborative meetings. From kindergarten to college, students are expected to work in small groups to complete assignments and projects.

(more…)

Digital Media Lab: A Media Oasis

Students in Digital Media LabHave you had a chance to check out UW2-121? It is the University of Washington Bothell’s Digital Media Lab!

Inside you will find twenty-four high-end audio, photo and video production machines. The Digital Media Lab, or DML for short, is an open computer lab, a tutoring space and a digital media classroom.

We offer in-class workshops for a number of different software titles such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro 7 and Audacity. Students can come in during our open lab hours to receive one-on-one help with pre and post production filmmaking techniques, Google Sites and an ever growing list of media production related software titles. Finally, the DML is a cool place to hang out and have fun!

Check out the DML website for more information at http://www.uwb.edu/learningtech/dml121.

Wait there’s more! UWB’s Digital Media Lab is expanding! We have received four new computers, located in the Open Computer Lab UW2-140, for audio, photo and video production.  Also, a new 6400dpi color scanner will be installed in the DML towards the end of the winter quarter.