Testing New Tools for Doing Good Work

Archive for the ‘Administration’ Category

Why Reducing Faculty Stress Should Be An Explicit Goal of Academic IT | Inside Higher Ed

In Administration, Teaching on 09/19/2012 at 10:07 am

image courtesy InsideHigherEd.com
Joshua Kim:

When given the right tools, and the right incentive structures, our faculty are our best champions for innovating around teaching and learning.  Faculty will seek out new ways to utilize technology to better reach their teaching and research goals. 

We should think twice about rolling out new applications and new platforms, but rather focus on the conditions that support experimentation and continuous improvement.   

Paying more attention to our faculty partners state of mind, to the degree to which the the campus technology in which we touch is stressing them out, just might be the right place to focus our efforts on promoting innovation.

The emotional aspect of technology is far too often ignored, by edtech people, by faculty – by too many people. When you’re used to a given set of tools to do your work, and then you’re told to change tools and given little or no training and support, that would cause anyone stress, whether the tool is a new type of welding gun, presentation application, or a tablet. It takes time and a period of trial and error to learn how to use a new tool, and when the stakes are high that only makes it harder.

via Why Reducing Faculty Stress Should Be An Explicit Goal of Academic IT | Inside Higher Ed.

Bootable OS X Lion Installer Explained

In Administration, Mac Desktop on 05/09/2012 at 11:17 am

Lion DiskMaker Icon

What is a “bootable Lion installer” and why would I want one? Macworld’s Dan Frakes explains:

Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X, Lion (OS X 10.7) doesn’t ship on a bootable disc—it’s available only as an installer app downloadable from the Mac App Store, and that installer doesn’t require a bootable installation disc. Indeed, this lack of physical media is perhaps the biggest complaint about Lion’s App Store-only distribution, as there are a good number of reasons you might want a bootable Lion installer, whether it be a DVD, a thumb drive, or an external hard drive.

For example, if you want to install Lion on multiple Macs, a bootable installer drive can be more convenient than downloading or copying the entire Lion installer to each computer. Also, if your Mac is experiencing problems, a bootable installer drive makes a handy emergency disk. (Lion features a new recovery mode (also called Lion Recovery), but not all installations of Lion get it—and if your Mac’s drive is itself having trouble, recovery mode may not even be available. Also, if you need to reinstall Lion, recovery mode requires you to download the entire 4GB Lion installer again.) Finally, a bootable installer drive makes it easier to install Lion over Leopard (assuming you have the license to do so).

That newer article delves into some nerd-specific steps, but today Macworld posted an article, Lion DiskMaker makes it easier to create a bootable Lion installer, that seems easier. If this is still challenging nErdSPeAk to you, then check with your department or college’s tech support people, and show them this link!

Apple: App to Configure and Deploy iOS Devices

In Administration on 03/08/2012 at 11:25 am

The icon for Apple's Configurator application

Mac Rumors links to a what looks to be a great new tool.

Apple has released a new tool called Apple Configurator which allows anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a school, business, or institution.