Elon Technology Blog

Personal health made manageable with MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal-IconIt’s closing in on the end of spring semester, and things are happening fast. Final group projects are kicking into gear, exams are on the (not too distant) horizon, summer job and internship plans are being finalized, and student groups have end-of-year events to organize.

Basically, everyone has a to-do list eight miles long and it feels there isn’t enough time to do any of the things on it. And, for people like me, going to the gym always seems to be last on the list. It’s always the lowest priority, the easiest thing to shove off when I’m stressed out—which is unfortunately the time I also find myself stress eating to the max. But this semester, I decided to try to find a balance between my academic life and some healthy recreational activity, so I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app.

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Dr. David Neville utilizes YouTube to educate beyond the classroom

10532173145_cc6e1b797c_zA number of faculty members on campus are turning to videos to supplement their courses, and Dr. David Neville of the German department is no exception. With a background in education and instructional technology, Dr. Neville always had a desire to utilize video in his courses, but with the help of YouTube, the impact of video recording has been more widespread than he ever imagined.
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Are Android users becoming vulnerable to malware?

At the beginning of May,201310DIY-Android-Malware-Analysis-Taking-apart-OBAD a new study released from the Institut Eurécom suggests that apps available to Android users on sites such as Google Play are increasingly exposing their users to malware. According to the report, “the apps connect to a mind-boggling 250,000 different URLs across almost 2,000 top level domains. And while most attempt to connect to just a handful of ad and tracking sites, some are much more prolific.” Continue reading »

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Duet Display: The app for multi-taskers

Calling all multi-taskers!  I have the app for you.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.14.43 AM

Duet Display is an app that allows the user to connect their iPad to their Mac computer and have it work as a second monitor. It’s an amazing concept, I know.  I too almost cried from excitement.

As an avid multi-tasker, I normally have a million windows and applications open all at the same time. Okay, a million might be a bit of an exaggeration, but none-the-less, I often have multiple windows open on my computer at any given moment. Right now, for example, my computer has 9 programs running on 3 different desktop backgrounds. It’s a bit much to keep track of, and I have often felt the need to have either a bigger computer monitor, or another dual screen to be able to view all of my work.

This is where Duet comes into play. Duet, created by a group of ex-Apple engineers, allows for a seamless interaction between both your computer screen and your iPad screen.

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Engineering principles take flight with help of 3D printer

11149834_10152700384211296_7681660119279398540_oElon’s 3D printer is a cool device that has spawned 3D renderings of acorns and Despicable Me minions, but it also can have more practical applications in courses on campus. For one, Dr. Sirena Hargrove-Leak of the dual degree engineering program has used the 3D printer with her Challenges in Engineering course as her first-year students designed, printed and eventually launched rockets.

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Creating captivating online lectures with screencasts

Webcam photoDuring Elon’s summer terms, students have the opportunity to take a variety of online courses. A key difference between these online courses and their in-class counterparts is the lack of face-to-face communication between professors and students. Screencasts, or recorded video lectures, propose a solution to this challenge while adding visual and audio dynamics to the online learning environment.

On April 23, the faculty of these upcoming online courses this summer met with Dan Reis, an instructional technologist with Elon’s Teaching & Learning Technologies Department, to explore screencasting best practices.

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Geography, smartphones, and more point students in new directions

 

world globe

In elementary school, we learned geography by studying print maps and globes. Here at Elon, Dr. Ryan Kirk of the geography department is teaching students how GPS and smartphones are revolutionizing the way we view the world. Thanks to a grant from the Academic Technology and Computing Committee (ATACC) and a collaboration with Elon computing sciences professor Joel Hollingsworth’s Mobile Computing Course, Dr. Kirk is using the app called MayMyWeek to change the way students view their own campus. Continue reading »

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Faculty and staff explore maker technologies at #MakeElon luncheon

Participants learn about circuits. Photo by Dan Reis.

Participants learn about circuits with electric ink. Photo by Dan Reis.

Even though the #MakeElon luncheon had already been in full swing for about 20 minutes, the sandwiches and cookies had not been touched. Faculty, staff, and students were far too busy enjoying experimenting with the different types of technology set up around the room. A few pieces of the technology on display included moldable plastic, Legos and circuits, a 3D printer, and electric ink. To view all of the technology present, see more photos from the event here.

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Exploring 3D printing during #MakeElon workshop

One of Elon's 3D printers at the #MakeElon workshop. Photo by Dan Reis.

One of Elon’s 3D printers at the #MakeElon workshop. Photo by Dan Reis.

You may have noticed the large black cart standing in the corner of Belk Library by the Writing Center. On top sits a 3D printer. At Elon’s latest #MakeElon workshop, multimedia developer J.P. Lavoie led the students, faculty and staff who attended through interactive activities to see what exactly a 3D printer is capable of. Continue reading »

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Best Practices with DIY Video: CAMERA!

Do you record your own videos for class? Do you want them to look better? This is part two of a series on recording great videos. The first section, LIGHTS!, focused on setting up your lights to make you look even better. We’re following it up this article, CAMERA!, where I’ll provide a brief overview on setting up your camera and background. The final article, ACTION!, will share ideas that will help with the actual process of recording.

While we certainly have access to excellent cameras and equipment in Media Services, the most common camera option for self-recorded videos is a webcam. Webcams can be external (an add-on that can be moved and repositioned), and internal (often built into a laptop, above the top of the screen). While neither option would be ideal for commercial recording, they work well enough for most of your videos needs.

There are two simple strategies you can use to help overcome some of the shortcomings of webcams.

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