Month: October 2014

Digital Learning Center (DLC) First Projects

Though we haven’t officially opened our still-being-built Digital Learning Center, the equipment we have in place has allowed Schewe to help out a couple of “earlybird” classes with their projects.  The first of these classes — Political Science 375 — completed a “get out to vote” commercial today, and the results were fantastic!  With four groups in the class, each group produced a video using shot footage, Audacity, Camtasia, and a variety of other tools.  Over the course of four, thirty-minute sessions, the group was trained on how to record audio, cut footage, and add effects to a video.  Once those initial sessions were complete, additional help was provided by Schewe’s Outreach Librarian, Luke Beatty (me!).  For the inaugural DLC project, it was a remarkably smooth ride.  There were, however, a few issues.

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Audio looks like it will be a persistent issue with the DLC.  Switching the audio between microphones, headphones, and multiple screens has proven a challenge already.  Though consistent documentation will help, the process is unintuitive.  We’ve got IT working on a simplifying solution, but in the meantime, the students are left to navigate the issue on their own.  The recording of audio has also proved problematic, as we’ve had a lot of background noise in the recordings thus far.  This poor recording quality is resultant from the fact that we haven’t yet carved out a quiet space for recordings, and may also have something to do with the microphones we’re currently using (not fantastic, not poor — just a mid-line product).

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We have also had some issues arising from our use of a double-screen setup.  We currently have two multimedia production machines, each of which is using a double screen setup.  While this setup has a certain visual appeal, the double screen configuration has led to a variety of mouse problems and general settings malaise.  We are considering doing away with the double screen setup and instead purchasing two production-quality Macs, which would then leave us with four great computers and one screen for each computer.  Thoughts?

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The Center of Attention

On Monday, October 13th, and Tuesday, October 14th, Illinois College had the great pleasure of hosting Dr. Khalaf al Habtoor and President Jimmy Carter on campus.  For those unfamiliar, Dr. Khalaf al Habtoor is an Emirati developer who champions philanthropic and peace-building efforts through his foundation, The Al Habtoor Group; Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States, and revolutionized what we now recognize as the ‘post-presidency’.  To have them both on campus was an honor, indeed.

Khalaf al Habtoor Archives





While Carter came to campus to deliver the Phi Alpha lecture (so named in honor of IC’s Phi Alpha Literary Society), it was Khalaf al Habtoor’s visit which was of principal interest to Schewe Library.  Through a generous donation by Habtoor, Illinois College was able to relocate and revamp its archives (which were renamed from the The Iver F. Yeager Special Collections and Illinois College Archives to the Khalaf al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College).  The new facility is fantastic, and features: a state-of-the-art archives facility; a visitor’s room featuring a variety of work spaces, widescreen televisions, and throw projectors; and an office for a future Archivist.

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Though the contents of the old archive have not entirely been moved into their new home, I’m told the effort will be complete within the next couple months, after which a more concerted itemization of the archive’s contents can begin.  For those interested, the media push accompanying the archive’s dedication and the Phil Alpha lecture was tremendous, and Illinois College’s Marketing department can no doubt give a more fulsome accounting of the events than I ever could, but suffice it to say, IC is a brighter place for having hosted these two luminaries and their associated events!

Carter Speech