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Visit our How Do I... page for faculty and teaching staff for answers to common questions

 

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Student

How Do I . . .

. . . apply Technology to the Classroom and Lessons

One of the biggest puzzles confronting teaching faculty today is how to apply technology to the classroom and class assignments. The Interactive Media Center in the University Library is a primary resource center for answering your "how-to" questions. The IMC can help answer your technology questions.

We also offer a wide range of downloadable handouts, free classes, and much more. Our Questions and Answers below will start to point you in the right directly. You are always welcome to call, email, or stop in. Details are at our Contact Page.

Questions and Answers

I want my students to make PowerPoint presentations in class. Will there be problems?

Generally speaking, PowerPoint is one of the easiest programs to use in a classroom setting. Most students probably already have the program on their computers, and all have access to it through the IMC lab and Information Commons. There are a few things that you should know about:

  • To view a PowerPoint presentation you will need a space with either a projector or monitor connected to a computer.
  • Presentations can be put on a CD, USB flash drive, or laptop compute
  • Presentations prepared on a Macintosh computer are not always fully compatible with Windows computers and vice versa

You should consult with us if you suspect there might be difficulties or if you have questions of any kind.

Is there a way for my class make a Web page?

Yes! Building Web pages can be an excellent classroom tool and is often incorporated as part of a group exercise. But, there are some important points of which you must be aware:

  • Web pages as class projects tend to be "long lead time." For inexperienced students, building Web pages requires learning new software and concepts. It is vastly more difficulty that "simply typing" a paper (as many participants have discovered).
  • Web pages that are live on the Web need to be hosted in some way, that is, connected to the Internet. Many faculty members choose one of these options-
    • Web pages can be hosted on the faculty member's personal Web space
    • Web pages can also be hosted on a student's personal Web space
  • All faculty and students have space allocated to them which can be used for Web pages. Contact the Information Technology Services department details.

We have details about Web pages building for class right here.

Please feel free contact us to discuss your project ideas.

I want my students to make posters. How can they do that?

This is a very good question. There are three primary software tools available here for making posters. They are:

  • Microsoft Publisher - Part of the Microsoft Office Suite that is relatively easy to use and available on many computer of campus
  • Adobe Photoshop - A favorite of graphics artists and an excellent choice. Photoshop is available in the IMC lab and the Information Commons. The Interactive Media Center offers classes in it.
  • Adobe Illustrator - A "high end" design program that is best suited to print (although it can be used for other purposes) and a favorite of graphics designers. We introductory classes in Illustrator classes.
Can my students learn to make videos for class?

Sure! That is a very popular sort of project. There are several options that you should know about-

  • The Interactive Media Center has software in our lab for movie making. Included is-
    • iMovie for Mac users
    • Windows Live Move Maker for Windows users
    • Final Cut high-end video software on some of the Macs
    • Sony Vegas on some of the Windows computers
  • Students may wish to edit video on their own computers-
    • Mac users may already have iMovie installed
    • Windows Vista and above may already have Windows Live Movie Maker installed
      • If it is not installed, WLMM is a free download
  • Students, staff, and faculty can borrow camcorders and related accessories from the IMC.
    • For information about our equipment available for loan visit our Equipment Loan page.
    • For information about the software in our Lab visit our Software page.
    • For information about the hardware in our Lab visit our Hardware page.
Can I learn how to make a video for class?

Absolutely! Many instructors make video for class. Videos can be stand alone projects or they can be incorporated into PowerPoint presentations. They can be posted on Web sites, blogs, and more if that is what you need to do.

Some instructors make videos of speeches or performances, others make vides to illustrate a demonstration or example of a concept. We can assist you with working out your ideas.

Please feel free contact us to discuss your project. Also, students, staff, and faculty can borrow camcorders and related accessories from the IMC.

  • For information about our equipment available for loan visit our Equipment Loan page.
  • For information about the software in our Lab visit our Software page.
  • For information about the hardware in our Lab visit our Hardware page.
What is an easy way to make flyers?

One of the easiest ways is to use Microsoft Office Publisher which is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Publisher offers a wide range of templates that allow you to "plug in" your information making it a great time-saving option. Templates are built into the program and others are available for free download from Microsoft.

Publisher is available on many University computers. If it is not on you computer you should contact your own department computer specialists about getting it installed. UAlbany staff and faculty may purchase Office from a special online store that has been set up just for UAlbany students, staff, and faculty. You must visit the store through a special gateway which is right here to get the UAlbany catalog and special pricing. The gateway is also many of our IMC Web pages and the ITS Web pages.

You may wish to consider making flyers with Photoshop or Illustrator, but these programs are quite complicated. Contact us to discuss the best way to proceed with your project.
How do I learn how to make a Web page?

Lots of UAlbany faculty are making their own Web pages for academic purposes, research projects, classroom exercises, or personal use. The Interactive Media Center assists with many instructors every year. You may wish to visit us to discuss your options in person. There are several resources on campus that you should investigate-

I would like my students to make videos or audio recordings for class, but what if they do not have the equipment?

There are several options. First, you should be assured that students are doing this sort of thing all the time. Here are some things hou should know:

  • The Interactive Media Center loans out all sorts of equipment, including camcorders, cameras, voice recorders, microphones, and much more. Full details are on our Equipment Loan page here.
    • Students, staff, and faculty may borrow the equipment as long as their Library account in in good standing
      • In short, generally speaking, if you or your students can borrow a book, you or they can borrow our equipment
  • Many students use smartphones, either iPhones, Androids, Windows phones, or the Blackberry. They will have the capability to record with these devices, often with
Software is expensive! Are there any discounts available for UAlbany folks?
Yes! UAlbany staff and faculty may purchase Office from a special online store that has been set up just for UAlbany students, staff, and faculty. You must visit the store through a special gateway which is right here to get the UAlbany catalog and special pricing. The gateway is also many of our IMC Web pages and the ITS Web pages.
Do you ever visit classes to make special presentations?

Yes, we are often available to make special presentations to your class. In the past we have visited classes to discuss Web page building, poster making, video and audio equipment, search engine optimization, and much more. Here are some things you need to know:

  • Special presentations are contingent on our areas of expertise (in other words, we need to know what we are talking about)
  • Scheduling (our available times must match yours)
  • Hardware and software availability (if we are going to demonstrate or have your students participate in the class the necessary software has to be available in the appropriate classroom
  • Lead times (some topics take more time to prepare for than others)

One last thing, because of our hectic schedules, the classes that we teach, and the other obligations that confront us we calendar tends to be jam-packed. Please consult with us to discuss your ideas.

I have a couple of questions that aren't answered here. How do I contact you?

That's easy! One of our goals in the Interactive Media Center is to answer your questions in a timely and effective manner. You are always welcome to stop in, call on the telephone, or send us email. Please visit our Contact page for all the information, including hours and much more

You may also want to get in touch with UAlbany's ITS department. You can find them at http://www.albany.edu/its/.

Don't forget to consult with the Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Leadership. Their Web site is at www.albany.edu/teachingandlearning.