Again this spring we worked with students at ACU’s campus in Leipzig, Germany, as well as with on-site faculty Derek and Rachel Brown to take digital storytelling overseas. Students spent two days in workshops developing scripts, recording audio, and editing stories on iPads or laptops.
This group of students as well as the Oxford group were also incredibly generous in showing us around their host cities as we collected footage for a Study Abroad film we’ll release this summer.
Here are just a couple of their stories.
For the last few years access to Adobe software like Photoshop and Illustrator has been limited to a handful of computers on campus. This summer that will change as the university signs a campus license for all software packages in Adobe Creative Cloud. Students and faculty wanting to learn advanced video editing on Premiere or photo editing in Lightroom will now have much wider access.
The Creative Cloud for Enterprise license includes the following software packages
• Photoshop CC – image editing
• Illustrator CC – illustration/drawing
• InDesign CC – page design/layout
• Acrobat Pro – PDF creation
• Premiere Pro CC – video editing
• After Effects CC – motion graphics
• Lightroom CC – photo editing
• Dreamweaver CC – web design
To celebrate the arrival of Adobe CC to campus, the Learning Studio is highlighting two ways you can get started with the Adobe design and media collection.
Lynda.com – If you have some time this summer and want a quick introduction to an Adobe title taught by professionals, Lynda.com is a great place to start. Visit (and bookmark) www.lynda.com/portal/acu and search for courses on the CC or Creative Cloud title you’re interested in.
Most major titles have an extensive introduction course, often called “Essential Training” that provides detail on most any feature, or you might look for courses focused on an area of interest: “Photoshop for Photographers” or “Photoshop for Designers.”
Another option is to look for short, practical tutorials that do something you want to do like colorizing a photograph or enhancing a sunset photo, though these quick tips often assume you know your away around the main tools.
LS workshops – This summer and fall the Learning Studio will also offer hands-on workshops introducing key Adobe titles. If you’re familiar with the basics of photo or video editing and are ready to work with advanced tools, we’ll lead a variety of half-day workshops that get you creating quickly.
So that we can focus our initial workshops around faculty interest, fill out the following Google Form to let us know what software you’d like to work with first.
SIGN-UP – Adobe CC workshop interest form
DISCLAIMER: Adobe’s creative tools are industry standards in the fields of web and print design, video editing and production, and like any new tool they will take time and practice to arrive at any level of proficiency.
That said, Lynda.com and Learning Studio can help. We’re very much looking forward to seeing what the ACU community can create with these new tools.
Those of us in the library monitoring ebooks closely wanted to share some details as many of you begin making textbook decisions for the fall. By now the majority of students on the ACU campus have access to an iPad, presenting ACU faculty with a unique opportunity to offer cost-savings on textbook purchases in 2014-15. Here are some of the providers you might consider.
iBooks – The standard ebook reader for iOS is Apple’s iBooks app (free). Most trade titles you teach are available on the iBookstore as well as a number of interactive textbooks from some of their publishing partners that include media. In addition to highlighting/annotation, the iBooks app allows students to turn their notes into notecards for later review.
You can also open and store PDF and ePub files in iBooks, whether you digitize an article or share a digital copy of your syllabus. The iBooks Author application for Mac also allows teachers to produce custom content with interactive maps and media.
• Search Textbooks in iBooks
• iBooks Textbooks
Kindle – Amazon has Kindle reader apps for the iPad and iPhone as well as most mobile and desktop platforms. They offer Kindle versions for many trade titles you already teach on amazon.com that now include Xray which they describe as a “smart glossary” pointing to related content. Students buy the Kindle book and it syncs directly to the Kindle app for iPad (free), and they’re saving money.
Recently Amazon has also worked with textbook companies to offer rental options for Kindle where students are allowed to rent some textbook titles. The main point is that students don’t need to own a Kindle device to read Kindle books on their iPad.
• Search Kindle Textbooks
• Amazon Student (50% off Prime)
CourseSmart – Started as a collaboration among textbook companies, CourseSmart claims to offer 90% of standards in Higher Ed. Students rent a copy of their textbook for the semester instead of owning the book. CourseSmart for iPad (free) is also one of several readers they offer for mobile and desktop platforms.
• Search CourseSmart
• Request an Examination Copy
Inkling – This is another interactive textbook platform, so many of Inkling’s titles will incorporate media and interactivity as well as self assessments. They offer Inkling for iPad (free) as well as for Android. Students can buy only the chapters from a textbook the teacher assigns which can also lower prices.
• Search Inkling
• Request an Examination Copy
GooglePlay Books – Another company offering e-textbooks from major publishers is Google through its GooglePlay store. Some titles are also available to rent and they offer GooglePlay Books for iPad (free) as well as for Android and other readers with the standard features.
For faculty interested in historical manuscripts, the Google Books project also scanned millions of volumes from the world’s great research libraries, and since most are out of copyright students can read original first editions for free.
• Search GooglePlay Textbooks
• Google Books catalog
OpenLibrary – Finally, OpenLibrary is another great resource for putting students in touch with free content, especially primary documents and first editions available in PDF and ePub. Once students go to a book record on OpenLibrary, they can download and open the file in the iBooks app.
• Search OpenLibrary
Kno – One other player in the interactive textbook market is Kno. They were recently acquired by Intel and have some unique features, including student dashboards and assessments. They offer Kno for iPad (free) as well as for other mobile platforms. Their catalog is growing so may be worth a look.
• Search Kno
EBSCO eBooks – Integrated into ACU’s OneSearch, students and faculty can access more than 100,000 downloadable ebooks from academic publishers including Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer. After creating accounts on EBSCO and Adobe Digital Editions, ebooks can be downloaded using the Bluefire e-reader.
• Create an EBSCO Account
• Create an Adobe Digital Editions ID
• Install Bluefire app
Overdrive – Access thousands of e-books from the Abilene Public Library. Download the Overdrive app (free) from the iTunes store to read ebooks offline.
• Search Overdrive at APL
• Install Overdrive app
Hoopla – Finally, the Abilene Public Library also offers access to a growing library of films and television. Download the Hoopla app (free) to setup your account.
• Hoopla Overview
• Install Hoopla App
This will be the first year all freshman Bible students will use Introducing the New Testament from Baker Academic. ACU faculty led by Curt Niccum, Trevor Thompson, and Rodney Ashlock have worked closely with Baker to develop content for the new edition filmed in the Learning Studio.
All Cornerstone freshmen will again be using a revised edition of the custom Cornerstone iBook written by ACU faculty and led by Cliff Barbarick and produced in the Learning Studio.
For More Information
Does your department teach a course taken by hundreds of students? We’re happy to work with your faculty to weigh the value of ebook options currently available or custom textbook projects you might contribute to in the future.
A few weeks ago we enjoyed sitting down with Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, associate professor of Psychology and director of faculty enrichment in the Adams Center to talk about her work with undergraduate research.
Her study investigates gendered marketing of Lego blocks and possible implications for attitudes toward STEM in young girls. Dr. Shewmaker reflects on working with Caitlyn Spain, a marketing major, on a human subjects study in the Adams Center’s new Learning Research Lab.
Pursuit is a quality enhancement program at ACU focused on developing energy around undergraduate research and creative expression. Dr. Shewmaker’s was just one of a dozen projects over the last two years that provided mentoring and research experience in departments across campus.
For more information or to apply to work on a future project, visit the Pursuit site.
Over the last two years, students in Dr. Mark Hamilton’s honors sections of BIBL 211: Message of the Old Testament have produced short films in teams. Groups of four develop short 4-5 minute video projects that reflect on themes such as lament, sacrifice, atonement, among others.
Once groups have selected biblical texts they consider how they respond “to the historical background, literary shaping, theological purpose, and interpretive history (i.e., the understanding of the text on the part of later readers) of the given text.”
Here are a few examples of their work.
Here are a few other elements of the assignment:
1. The video should not use footage created by other people. (So, no Lego Bible stories or similar things.)
2. The video should include appropriate voice work by all the team members and should show some measure of creativity.
3. The team should produce a script for the video and submit it along with the video.
4. The video should be well-informed by deep reflection on the biblical texts and themes on which students have been working.