Information Resources

Blog

September 23, 2014

Wishing you had access to the software to help you with editing photos, audio, or video? The latest and greatest Adobe Creative Cloud applications are now available on all "creative Stations" in the Academic Commons. Access them on the 3 PC and 3 Macs on the Academic Commons first floor near the door to IR Operations/ITS staff as well as all computers in the oMac lab on the ground floor.

You may remember that the oMac computer lab in the Academic Commons is now a “dual boot” lab allowing for running either the Mac operating system or Windows. Creative cloud is...

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August 26, 2014

2013-14 was a big year for the advancement of digital technologies at Occidental College with the completion of the Johnson Hall renovation and opening of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs.

This remarkable building combines the best of the old and the new, with the preservation of historical exterior and interior details, and the invention of a bold new teaching and learning space, which integrates online and physical communication. On April 26, 2014, Occidental celebrated the formal Dedication of the McKinnon Center, along with the Varelas Innovation Lab, Choi Auditorium, and Irwin Field Media Classroom.

At the nerve center of these spaces are the Global Forum media wall and its web-based scholarly authoring platform, Global Crossroads. In preparation for the opening, staff and student workers from Scholarship Technology worked closely with faculty, administrators and staff of the McKinnon Center, International Programs Office,...

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August 26, 2014

This summer the subject specialists in the Academic Commons have been hard at work on a number of projects, and are excited for you to see the new version of the Research Guides.

Research Guides are organized by academic department and offer students a better way to understand which library databases may be relevant to their field of study, along with a number of other helpful tips and resources for reference, citation, and finding data and media resources.

The new guides have a sleeker design and greater control over customization, plus advanced statistics that help us understand user needs. We think you’ll be most interested in the new Database Finder and Subject pages. The new Database Finder includes multiple filtering options for finding the perfect databases for your research. You can limit by vendor, resource type, and subject, and will see a new tier of resources that the specialists have...

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August 26, 2014

Over the summer we upgraded Moodle to a new version and gave it a facelift.  

The result is a platform with a cleaner look, a responsive design that improves usability across all devices, including tablets and smartphones, and new features such as the ability to annotate assignments submitted as PDFs directly within Moodle.

New look and feel

The change you’re likely to notice first is the new design and layout. The new look brings Moodle into closer alignment with Oxy’s website. In terms of layout, course pages now feature three columns, instead of two. Now you will find your Navigation and Administration blocks in the left column, course content in the middle, and all other default blocks in the right column.

Old Moodle layout

Before -- Navigation and Administration...

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August 26, 2014

ITS made significant progress this summer on our plan to improve classroom AV equipment.

Classroom upgrades were completed in the following locations:

  • New media classroom installation in Keck 208,
  • New media cart installation in the Galarza Room,
  • Full system upgrades in Weingart 209, Weingart 210; Berkus 242 to be completed by 8/27,
  • System components upgraded in order to add High-Definition Media Interface (HDMI) connections in Fowler 110, 111, 112, 209, 302, and 309,
  • Mobile computer lectern added to Fowler 113,
  • ALL media classrooms fully tested and controls reconfigured where necessary both for consistency among the classrooms and to prepare for implementing a system that will assist with maintaining  media equipment in classrooms;...
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August 26, 2014

We are moving one step further into the world of all-digital classrooms and will soon greatly improve our ability to fix problems quickly, before they impact teaching plans.

This summer ITS applied for and received a grant from Extron Electronics, the manufacturer of the control systems in our media rooms. The systems allow us to upgrade the controls in all of our classrooms so that they will  alert ITS staff  when such trackable problems as a lamp failure occur. This will help our staff get to the room with the right information and tools to resolve problems quicker. Through the server we will also have a back-end view of the system status, adding the potential for remote support and troubleshooting for Oxy’s 70+ media rooms.

  • This system will not replace staff immediately going out to classrooms if we receive a phone call about a problem.
  • We will not be...
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August 26, 2014

Thanks to advances in technology, connecting through video is easier and better than ever!

Last spring we purchased a video conference cart for use in Johnson Hall and successfully handled a number of video conferences for classes and other events. As a result we now have a second mobile unit for use in other rooms on campus, as well as web-based software that can be used by faculty and staff to set up video meetings with anyone in the world who has access to the Internet through a computer or mobile phone.

The video conference system or cart can be set up on request by Media Services for classes or events. Please give at least a week's notice to be sure that the equipment is available, and allow time for setting up a test with the guest lecturer in advance of the class.

The...

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August 26, 2014

Want to hear Martin Luther King’s talk to Oxy students in 1967? Oxy Prez Arthur Coons' Convocation address of 1961? Photographer Ansel Adams’s 1969 lecture on conservation? Listen to the 1953 Glee Club recording of Brahms Folk Songs? How about a video tour of the campus with students in 1935 or campus scenes from the 1930s to 1970s?

The Special Collections and College Archives holds films, video, and audio recordings that document campus life and events of the 20th century. Most of these are on recording formats for equipment that is out of date (VCR, film projectors, reel-to-reel audio players, etc.).  Eighteen months ago, Digitization Specialist Eli Chartkoff began reformatting these rare materials into digital files for preservation in our Digital College Archive. Here are some of the collections underway:

Historic Campus Films: 33 16mm and 8mm films dating from 1931 to 1977, in color and black and white, silent and sound, depicting campus and classroom scenes, student life, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, student...

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August 26, 2014

This Summer, ITS has spent considerable time and resources on projects aimed at improving the basic technology infrastructure at the College.

ITS, working with Los Nettos, the College’s ISP (Internet Service Provider),  completed construction of a second fiber optic cable that will connect our campus to a Los Nettos hub at the USC Health Services campus.  Once Los Nettos completes their upgrade project, this cable will provide a redundant connection to the Internet for Oxy; a redundant connection will help insure Oxy against loss of Internet connectivity.

Below: how our redundant Internet link arrives to campus, starting at the corner of Rangeview Avenue and Avenue 49.

 

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August 26, 2014

During the 2013-14 academic year, the Occidental College Commons (OCC) Working Group met regularly with Frederic Fisher Partners to develop the schematic design for the commons.

Working Group members from the faculty included: Amy Lyford, Julie Prebel, Dan Snowden-Ifft, and Saul Traiger. Administrative members included: Amos Himmelstein, Brett Schraeder, Joe O'Hara, Marsha Schnirring,  Rebecca Stoltz, Shelby Radcliffe, and Thomas Polansky.

The schematic design phase results in renderings that can be used by President Veitch and the Institutional Advancement Team in fundraising for the project.

Here is an image from the schematic design. For more information, contact Marsha Schnirring (mschnirring@oxy.edu).

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