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Online Rooms / Blackboard Collaborate: Advancing Slides


Josh Lund of FITS has uncovered an issue with a class using the Blackboard Collaborate tool (Online Rooms) in D2L.

One of his instructors reported to him that although he was advancing through his slides while talking, the students were only seeing the first slide. The only thing he said was different from previous sessions was that a red border appeared around his slide and was there for the whole session.

Josh did some digging, and it looks like the Follow option was de-selected. When you load slides into the Main Room to show to the class, it opens a popup “Page Explorer” window. You can use this window or close it and use the forward or back arrow keys to navigate, normally. However, in that popup window there is a checkbox marked Follow. Normally this is checked by default, but must have been unchecked accidentally. The documentation he has seen says that the red border is an indication to students that they can freely browse slides (which of course neither they nor the instructor knew at the time). So the instructor was going through his slides as he talked, but of course since the Follow option was off, he was only looking at his own copy and it was not synced to the student view.

The power of a checkbox...


Tech Tuesday: MakerBot and 3D Printing

On July 29th (originally scheduled for the 29th April), we have a very exciting Tech Tuesday focused on 3D Printing, with a live demonstration:

MakerBot 3d printer

3D Printing is the process of creating a solid object from a digital model. With the right equipment and designs, you can print virtually anything. The technology has been around since the 1980s, but in recent years the price of a 3D printer has dropped dramatically. Consumer units can be purchased for as little as $3,000. These printers are affordable, personal fabrication tools, compact enough to sit on any desktop, and can allow anyone at any skill level to become producers, inventors and artists.

3D printers, in an academic setting, could allow students to participate in project-based learning that is experiential in nature with real-world applications. 3D printing engages students in the world around them, kindles a curiosity about how machines work, how objects fit together, and how the designers, architects, and inventors who build the products, spaces and technology in their lives have found solutions to a variety of design problems.

Mike Pritchard, Enterprise Account Executive at MakerBot, will demonstrate 3D printing, how Innovation Centers are transforming education, how 3D printing turbocharges rapid prototyping, and answer your questions.

MakerBot Industries is a Brooklyn, New York-based company founded in January 2009 producing 3D printers. They have distributed about 45, 000 3D printers worldwide.

To register, please visit the Technology Tuesdays page.

The session will take place in DPC 5800 (Executive Boardroom) on July 29, 2014 from 10-11AM.


Remote Proctor Now and IE 11

Back in February, I posted about an issue with Internet Explorer 11, D2L, and Remote Proctor Now (Secured exams taken with Remote Proctor Now on a Windows PC with Internet Explorer 11 installed on will not work - The option to “Go to Submit Quiz” is unclickable, and students will not be able to complete a secure exam). A patch to D2L has fixed the issue. Secured exams will work with Desire2Learn as normal.

Firefox is still the browser that DePaul recommends that students use with D2L.

30th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning


I will be at the 30th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning being held August 12-14 in Madison, Wisconsin. Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this event is a great place to hear leading experts and share best practices with colleagues from around the world in the field of online education and training. Plus, Madison is a beautiful place to visit in the summer. If you’re not familiar with this event, and want to find out more, I encourage you to visit their website at Hope to see you there.

Twitter hashtag for the event is UWdtl14


Swivl: Interesting Recording Tool


Josh Lund (FITS) came across an interesting product at the NMC conference recently. The Swivl is an iPhone/iPad/camera base that sits on a table or mounts to a tripod, and then enables you to use your mobile device to record video. The recording can combine slides from your computer with the camera feed. The camera follows the remote control, so you can walk around the room doing a presentation and stay in frame.

The company offers a free 30-day demo, so this is something Josh and I will be taking a closer look at.


Sloan-C is now Online Learning Consortium

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is now the Online Learning Consortium (OLC).

More information here.
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