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Once you have a sense of what your goals are for using instructional technologies, you will need to know how to access the resources that are available to you on campus. ITS is responsible for setting up Blackboard accounts, giving technical support, updating and maintaining software and equipment, and training individuals to use these specific technologies.
ITLAL is available to assist faculty and teaching assistants in the how to use these instructional technologies effectively in the classroom and in locating other resources on campus.Click for less
“Must Have” Technology Skills for You
Three technology skills are considered “must have” for you and your students:
If you do not feel confident in your technical abilities, there are many training resources available to you. The Library’s Interactive Media Center offers a walk-in service, tutorials, and classes to faculty who want to learn applications such as Web editors, audio and video editors, DVD burning tools, and much more. Information Technology Services also provides training sessions for applications such as Excel, Access, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. ITLAL currently provides one-on-one help to graduate students who want to learn media conversion and editing. (Return to top)
Technology in Classrooms
At the University at Albany, the lecture center classrooms are equipped with instructor panels that provide the instructor with a computer with web access and projection equipment. The University also has electronic (or “smart”) classrooms throughout the campus that are assigned to particular departments. Some rooms provide network access for the instructor if you bring your own equipment. Others provide an instructor machine, projection device, and computers for the students. You should check with your department to see what level of access you have to these resources.
In addition, projection equipment, Internet access, and standardized software such as Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver and Photoshop are available at the podium. (Return to top)
Public User Rooms
ITS maintains public user rooms where your students (and you) can work. There are computer user rooms in the main library and the science library on the uptown campus, the Dewey Library on the Downtown Campus, and the School of Public Health on the East Campus. (Return to top)
The UNIX system provides a very powerful computing environment and is the system on which many of the official University web pages reside. To request web space on the University web server for instructional web pages and class projects, you need a UNIX account. You can also use your UNIX account for e-mail and to author web pages.
All registered students (you as well as the students in your class) can obtain a UNIX account to use for personal e-mail, statistical applications, and web development. Students apply for accounts on the web and agree to follow the university’s usage guidelines. (Return to top)
Computer mailing programs need to include the recipient’s computer name (userid or username) and computer address. The entire electronic mail address is represented as: email@example.com. All University at Albany e-mail addresses end in “albany.edu”. Your UNIX e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students at the University at Albany have computer userIDs included as part of their student records. Usually, your student userID consists of your initials followed by some digits from your University ID number (e.g., ab1234 or xy989800). If you are the instructor of record for a course, you can obtain a list of the userIDs of the students in your course via MyUAlbany. If you are a teaching assistant, you can obtain this list from your supervising professor or departmental secretary. We recommend that you verify that your students are active e-mail users before sending them e-mail. Academic Computing is also responsible for “loading” your Blackboard courses with the students registered in those courses. (Return to top)
Electronic Mailing Lists
Electronic mailing lists are a form of electronic conferencing in which the communications are exchanged via e-mail. They provide a forum where people can exchange information and have discussions relevant to the topic of the discussion list. Several pieces of software are used to manage such mailing lists. At the University at Albany we use Listserv software. You can arrange to have an electronic discussion via e-mail as an extension to your class discussions by setting up a Listserv list for your class. If you would like assistance in setting up an e-mail discussion list for your class, see one of the faculty members in your department first (to make sure such a list does not already exist). (Return to top)
Blackboard Learning System
Blackboard Learning System (BLS), offered through ITS at UAlbany, is a course management system that facilitates the creation of password-protected, web-based educational environments. BLS requires minimal technical expertise on the part of the course developer and the student. Among other things you can use Blackboard to post your syllabus, publish materials that supplement your course, create online discussions, and conduct real-time chats.
ITS can help you in setting up Blackboard and e-mail (listserv) distribution lists for your classes as well as preparing appropriate technical handouts and support materials for students. BLS Training and Workshops are offered regularly throughout the year. Use of Blackboard requires only a web browser (Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and an active Internet connection. No additional software is necessary. (Return to top)
MyUAlbany is a service that enables students to register for courses, check grades, correct or update personal information, and use a number of other account management tools. If you are the instructor of record for the course you are teaching, you will use MyUAlbany to view class rosters, submit grades, and manage advisee information. (Return to top)
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