Join CTL and TAC for Oct. 13 Hybrid Webinar

Top of OSU's Weatherford Hall, blue sky and golden leavesGet Started and Get Assistance to Make Your Course Hybrid  OSU faculty in 10 colleges have redesigned more than 100 classroom courses as hybrid (blended) courses that integrate significant online learning activity with reduced class meeting time. In this “30-minute brief” webinar you’ll quickly learn effective methods to design a hybrid course and find out about support available through the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Register now for this Technology Across the Curriculum  (TAC) webinar at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13.

What students don’t know about OSU technology

I recently had a chance to read through the Top 10 questions received by the College of Forestry’s student computing help desk during the last academic year. The range of topics in the list indicates that students’ familiarity with OSU computing resources is spotty. Moreover, students’ ability to adapt the technologies they use (from laptop to tablet to smart phone) for academic use is not as much of a “given” as we sometimes think.

Finding the answers was an interesting task, actually, as it showed me how spotty my own knowledge of our resources is. The effort it took (round and round on web sites, calls to CN and the Walk-up Help Desk, etc.) got me thinking about how high the stakes are for students trying to get their issues resolved. After all, I was just preparing a blog post: there was no deadline, grade, or prerequisite to worry about. A recently completed study of students’ use of OSU computer labs revealed that faculty are the best/most frequently acknowledged resource students have about computer labs, on everything from their locations, to the applications and software available, to the “culture” and environments characteristic of those labs. What that says to me is that as a faculty member, knowing where to send students to address their technology needs is one step I can take to support them in their overall learning and experience at OSU.

Now that I’ve tracked down answers to all of those questions, it seemed like a good and timely idea to pass this information along to you. Below you’ll find the 10 questions/issues most frequently posed by students at the COF student computing help desk followed by the sites that answer and/or resolve them. Should you know of additional helpful resources or other common questions, feel free to pass those along, too.

1. How do I connect to OSU wireless networks on my laptop/smart phone?

On one’s laptop:

On one’s smart phone/mobile device:

2. How do I install Microsoft Office on my personal laptop?

For help installing software, OSU Computer Walk-up Help Desk:

For access to all OSU site-licensed software (with exceptions for Adobe Suite):

3.  What software can I get a student discount on?

Computer Helpdesk Software site:

4. What labs are open right now and where are they?

Student Computing Facilities:

5. How do I get to network drives/the Umbrella Server from home?

Fall 2013 and later, use OSU Remote Desktop Applications:

Connecting to Former Umbrella Server:

Please note: apparently my source on the first link (Fall 2013 and later)  jumped the gun a bit. The new OSU Remote Desktop is still under development. Documentation is still being developed, and the server is still being tweaked to iron out remaining bugs. Official, campus wide roll-out of OSURDS will be announced when development has concluded.

6. I just printed a document: Where can I pick it up? What is the cost? How am I billed for this?

ONID Printing General Information:

ONID Printing Rates:

7. Where can I scan something? Where are the scanners/copiers?


8. Can I check out a laptop/camera/microphone/headphone/charger?

Student Media Services:

9. Can I print from my personal laptop?

Wireless Printing:

10. How do I get Forestry (or any) email on my smart phone?

Configuring Email:

Additional information, including college and department specific accounts:


Student Tech

The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac 2013 was published this week, complete with insights from the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research’s annual survey of college students and IT.  This year’s survey collected data between February and April from 112,000 students at 251 institutions.  Five interesting findings:


  • What device do the most students own?  Smartphone?  Tablet?  No, 89% of students own laptops, 75% own smartphones, and only 30% own iPads and other tablets.  Notably, though, the percentage of students who own tablets has doubled in each of the last two years, whereas student smartphone ownership is growing more slowly, and laptop ownership is static.
  • And what device do students say is most important to their academic success?  Once again, the humble laptop is rated #1, with 91% of students reporting that it is very or extremely important to their academic success.  The desktop computer (yes, the desktop!) is second at 62%, while smartphones and tablets trail at 48% and 44% respectively.
  • How about e-books?  Almost three-fourths (74%) of the students say they’ve used e-books (including e-textbooks) in their courses in the past year.  But of the students who used e-books, almost half (47%) report they only used e-books in only one course.
  • What tools do students wish their instructors used more?  Lecture capture, learning management systems, integrated use of laptops during class, and online collaboration each garnered the vote of at least 3 out of 5 students.
  • And the flip side?  Half of the students wished their instructors used e-portfolios less.  Of the 10 tools mentioned in this question, the e-portfolio was the only one for which “use less” outpolled “use more,” and it was by a 2-to-1 margin!

What tech trends do you see in your classes?  What are students telling you about teaching and learning tools?



The Case for Gamification – TAC.FM

In this recorded episode of TAC.FM, Stevon Roberts and Mark Dinsmore talk about ways in which educators are applying game mechanics and game theory in educational contexts. The discussion begins with Valve software’s physics-based puzzle game “Portal.” The newest release from Valve, “Portal 2,” has a special distribution for educators, with map editors and access to community test chambers. If you want to try it out, be sure to visit, a clearing house that includes and allows submission of real lesson plans that can be used or shared among educators.

Minecraft is a sandbox construction game that goes way beyond what its basic geometries would suggest. Minecraft lends itself to incredibly sophisticated learning outcomes, particularly in the realm of computer science.  From basic understanding of transistors to extremely complex models of graphing calculators, the game is well-suited for these tasks.

The discussion concludes with overviews of modeling behavior in Second Life, and augmented reality applications that leverage the GPS function in mobile devices to achieve real-world outcomes in fun, fitness, exploration, and public safety.

Watch this episode now (74 minutes, Adobe Connect webinar. Feel free to use the playhead to skip past the first 5-10 minutes or so, which are mostly announcements)