KSC Instructional Technology


April Brown Bag Discussion

Breaking with tradition: Brown Bag discussion on Tuesday, April 3, from 12:30 to 1:30 in Rhodes Hall room 163 (ESEC Lab) with Economics Professors Patrick Dolenc and David Ornstil, and Political Science Professor Wes Martin.

Classroom discussion can be a lively debate of ideas and concepts, but sometimes it is more like that scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; “Anyone? Anyone? Voodoo economics…”. It is clear if students aren’t engaged; but sometimes less clear if they truly understand the information presented. Professors Patrick Dolenc, David Ornstil, and Wes Martin tried a technology approach this past semester and required students to use a “clicker” during some classes as part of a student response system (SRS).

Educause describes student response systems and clickers this way: “Clickers use infrared or radio frequency technology to transmit and record student responses to questions. A small, portable receiving station is placed in the front of the class to collect and record student responses.” Student responses can be immediately displayed on a screen at the front of the classroom in any number of formats; percentages or pie charts for example.

Dolenc said he hoped to engage more students by allowing them to answer prepared questions anonymously, and get feedback on student comprehension at the same time through the results recorded by the SRS.

It’s a modified approach to teaching as well as learning, and Dolenc, Ornstil, and Martin learned that there are some bumps along the road to success. Join them on Tuesday, April 3, from 12:30 to 1:30 in the ESEC Lab in Rhodes Hall to find out more about the student response system they tested. Bring your lunch and your curiosity.


1/07 Technology Tool Pick of the Month

Break down the classroom walls and join educators and explorers Will Steger, John Stetson, Elizabeth Andre, Abby Fenton and four Inuit hunters on a “1200-mile, four-month-long dogsled expedition across the Canadian Arctic’s Baffin Island. The expedition will be traveling with four Inuit dog teams over traditional hunting paths, up frozen rivers, through steep-sided fjords, over glaciers and ice caps, and across the sea ice to reach some of the most remote Inuit villages of the world.

Each day, the team will use innovative technologies to post video, images, sounds and text to the www.globalwarming101.com website, and communicate with online participants around the world. Students and teachers will integrate the educational curriculum components developed by the team into their coursework, and will participate in the expedition through research and forum discussion. During the week-long visits to each Inuit village, the team will listen to and document the Inuit’s experience with climate change. These collected images, sounds and stories will illustrate the dramatic climate-related changes happening in the Arctic: starving polar bears, retreating pack ice, melting glaciers, disrupted hunting and traveling, and the unraveling of a traditional way of life.”

Visit the global warming 101 web site and discover new ways to inspire your students, get real-world teaching resources, interact with Will Steger and learn first-hand about global warming, and match curriculum with state and national standards.


It's Spring!

Well, spring semester at least.

Welcome back for 2007. We've got more tech tips planned for you, more help sessions, more workshops, and we're ready for more of your questions. Anything you can throw at us, the Instructional Technology Liaisons are here to help you through your technology quandries.

We'd like to start this semester with some inspiration from Journalism Lecturer Marc Ryan, how he learned to stop worrying and love video editing.

Dirty feed to digital content

Mass media is a course that requires visual elements, according to Journalism lecturer Marc Ryan. Whether it’s an old radio, a coaxial cable, or video clips of news segments, students seem to understand more if there a visual element.

“Someone standing at a blackboard talking about a coaxial cable just doesn’t do it,” he said.

Keeping the visual elements interesting got easier for Ryan when he started creating his own digital content.

His first foray into creating digital content for class was video taping his interviews with ESPN news professionals. He needed to turn the unedited tapes – known as dirty feed – into something he could use with his class.

Ryan started his media career in television, but the most he did with feed was make copies. The technology he needed to turn his interviews into finished clips and transfer the content from a tape to a CD was available at Keene State College (KSC); he just needed guidance on how to use the technology.

A few work sessions with Instructional Technology Liaison Sandy Grimstad and he was well on his way. Ryan joked that it was a few weeks before he could use the equipment without adult supervision, but it didn’t take him long to understand the concepts behind the technology.

“After a day or two I was, ‘Oh, ok. Now I’ve got it.’”, he said.

When Ryan started using the editing equipment on campus it was located in the Faculty Resource Center in Rhodes Hall. Now, Grimstad’s office is in Morrison Hall, and a corner of her office is often piled high with video tapes that Ryan has used or is going to use.

Video isn’t the only medium that can be burned on to a CD or DVD. Photos or other static media can be scanned into the computers and burned onto a disc. There is also a digital video recorder available for KSC faculty who are up to the challenge of creating their own classroom content.

Though Ryan has plenty of fun creating the content for his class, he is mostly trying to give students something they may not get in another class.

“Anything to make it (the subject) more relevant,” he said.

Ryan also posts the content online for his students through the Web service Blackboard, so if students need another look at the content they can access it on their own time.

Sandy Grimstad’s office is in Morrison Hall, room 112. Have some ideas of your own that could use a bit of technology to make them a classroom reality? Contact Sandy at x-82384 or sgrimstad@keene.edu


Copyright & Fair Use, by Instructional Technology Liaison Linda Farina

I recently had the opportunity to attend a day-long workshop on copyright law. That probably doesn’t sound very exciting to you, but I was excited to think I would be coming back to KSC with some tangible information that I could share with all of you.
Unfortunately, what I came away with was confusion.

Copyright law is pretty straight forward; you create something, you own the copyright to it. If someone wants to use it, they need your permission. Sounds simple, right?

Wrong. There is something called fair use that complicates the simplicity of copyright law. As the name implies, fair use allows users to ‘fairly’ use someone else’s creation without asking permission. Unfortunately, it isn’t black and white and doesn’t necessarily make your life easier. You still need to do some research to find out which situations fall under fair use before knowing for sure that you won’t be violating copyright law.

I would say most people honestly believe they are following the guidelines of fair use when creating their own personal materials, especially when they are creating curriculum materials. However, even with their good intentions, this isn’t always the case.

Try answering the following true or false questions for a better understanding of your copyright and fair use proficiency. You’ll find the answers at the end of the quiz.

1. You scan every picture in a book to use as a handout in your class. The book is out of print, therefore there is no need to ask permission to use the pictures.

2. You don’t need permission for work that doesn’t have a copyright notice.

3. You recorded a PBS program off TV last night and plan to show it in its entirety in your class today. Before you show it, you need permission.

4. You write a poem on a napkin in a restaurant while waiting for friends to arrive. The waitress clears the table, including the napkin with the poem. She later publishes the poem as her own and makes a lot of money. There is nothing you can do about it.

5. A professional photographer took a picture of your grandfather years ago. You would love to give a copy of the picture to each of your siblings, but it’s the only one you have. So, you go to the nearest photo shop and ask to have it copied. The photo shop will probably turn you away because you don’t have permission from the photographer.

6. You create a PowerPoint presentation for one of your classes. You want to include a few images, so you go to a website that allows you to ‘right click and save’ the pictures to your desktop – now all you have to do is insert them into your PowerPoint presentation. Because nothing was blocking you from doing this, the pictures are legal for you to use.

7. The author of a book you love has just died. You can now use that book, or parts of the book, any way you’d like; without permission.

8. You can use a piece of work someone else created and incorporate it into your own work without acquiring permission.


1. False. A book may be out of print, but in most cases SOMEONE still owns the copyright. It is up to you to contact the rightful owner for permission.

2. False. Copyright notices have been optional since March 1, 1989. A copyright symbol isn’t necessary to guarantee the material is copyright protected. In other words, you must assume everything is copyright protected. And to protect yourself you should make sure to get permission from the copyright holder.

3. True. Just because you pay for cable or a satellite dish doesn’t mean you own the right to whatever is being aired. You need to contact the producer of a program before showing it in class. Most of the programs that you borrow from a library that originally aired on TV were purchased with rights to show that program in a classroom setting.

4. True and false. Legally, once you’ve created it you became the copyright holder, so it is rightfully yours. However, proving it will be quite difficult.

5. True. The photographer owns the rights to the photograph. If the photo shop makes copies they are violating copyright.

6. False. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should – or that it’s legal. It’s best to ask permission.

7. False. Copyright lasts 70 years beyond death. It may be a little more difficult getting permission, but it is still your responsibility to do so.

8. False. You can create a derivative work from another, but without the owner’s permission you may have violated copyright law.

How did you do? If you’re like most people you probably scratched your head a few times. Unfortunately, copyright law and fair use guidelines are not straightforward. It requires some time and effort on your part to make sure you protect yourself and others. Educational institutions are not immune from copyright infringement suits, so be an educated educator.

For more information about copyright law and fair use guidelines check out http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/Intellectualproperty/cprtindx.htm or the numerous other sites available on this subject.

And don’t forget, you’re invited to a brown bag lunch on Thursday, November 16th from 12:30-1:30 in Rhodes Hall, room 203. The topic: Copyright in the Digital Age.


11/06 Technology Tool Pick of the Month

Imagine that you are teaching a course on evolution and genetics concept mapping. Your students are having difficulty grasping gene variation and mutations; the key concept behind your lecture. You’re in dire need of some fresh material to better help your students grasp this obscure concept. Enter MERLOT.

MERLOT is a free database of educational material designed primarily for faculty in higher education. The power of this site stems from resources, peer reviews, comments, and assignments submitted by the MERLOT community.

You visit the MERLOT website (merlot.org) and search for “DNA” and hope that it will yield some results. “DNA from the Beginning” is the first resource listed (of 139) and has the “MERLOT Editor’s Choice” stamp. You notice that this resource is a simulation and includes peer reviews (5 stars on a 1-5 scale), comments (8 comments), assignments (4 peer-submitted assignments), personal collections (131 people ‘bookmarked’ this resource), and an author snapshot (the rationale for developing this learning resource and the strategies for using it).

You decide to integrate the simulation and one of the peer-submitted assignments into your course. You now have new, peer-reviewed material to supplement your lecture!

Visit MERLOT to see the breadth of subjects covered. Resources from Music, Art History, Statistics, Marketing, English, Chemistry, etc. have material submitted to the database.

Testimonial from the MERLOT web site:
“One of the best things I appreciate about MERLOT is that is a collaboration of “like minds.” The organization continues to grow and develop at a global level, but this growth and development is driven and designed from within. When those invested in the effort, everyday members and editorial board members, have this ownership then the organization will have a long, happy, adventurous life.”
Cris Guenter
Professor of Education
California State University, Chico