2015 Week 17 in review


  • Budget announcements on campus. Hooray for cuts. Our province has squandered billions of dollars in oil revenues, and we’re still cutting education.
  • Updated ucalgaryblogs to WordPress 4.2. One-click updates are nice. I wish we could keep all of our campus elearning kit updated so efficiently…
  • Thanks to a donation from our Students Union, we set up a campus license to Magna Publications for all instructors and grad students (and we could probably set up access for undergrads as well, if they want it). Boatloads of PD videos and resources, and a bunch of key newsletter/publications (and archives).
  • I’m planning on hiring 2 students in the next week to work on projects for the summer - primarily to help with collecting data about learning technologies and spaces - to help build a clearer picture of what we currently do on campus.
  • We used 4 Swivl robot camera mounts to record mini-lessons as part of our Instructional Skills Workshop. It worked great - much less intrusive than the bulky video carts we had been using, and the auto-tracking rotating camera mount makes it so much more useful (and the audio from the wireless remote is much better, too). We basically slap a Swivl on a tripod, drop an iPod Touch into the cradle to act as HD video recorder, and then upload the files to a password-protected album on our Vimeo account for access by the participants.1

Swivl farm

  • Kevin put the finishing touches on an app to be used as part of our 2015 Post-Secondary Conference on Learning and Teaching. It looks fantastic. Coming soon, to an app store near you.
  • Looks like we’re on track to upgrade our D2L environment to the shiny new 10.4 “continuous delivery” line in late August.



Construction on the Taylor Institute building is really coming along nicely - they’re working on the interior walls etc. and the exterior cladding is going up now. Can’t wait to get inside to check it out.

Taylor Institute South Wall

  1. I’m really looking forward to eventually having a proper media hosting platform on campus, so this kind of stuff doesn’t bottleneck on “give the thing to D’Arcy and he’ll upload it to the Vimeo account” because that just won’t scale. ↩︎

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