Tag Archive: Instructional Technology

Technology and Learning Conference

Technology and Learning Conference

Last week we had an opportunity to attend the 2013 Technology and Learning Faculty Conference at the West Los Angeles campus. The Technology and Learning folks from Information Technology facilitated the conference, but it is structured as a conference by faculty for faculty. The second such conference at Pepperdine University covered topics from what Cognitive Psychology says about Teaching using Technology to Faculty Professional development.

Over the next couple of weeks we’d like to share some experiences from the individual sessions, link to some relevant content and perhaps offer some takeaways for faculty who didn’t have the opportunity to attend. Links have been added both in the blog sidebar as well as the Faculty portion of the menu, directly linking to the conference website for the convenience of those interested.

Michelle Miller, Ph.D.Keynote

The Keynote was delivered by Michelle D. Miller, Ph.D who joined us from Northern Arizona University (NAU) to present Design for the Mind: What Cognitive Psychology Tells Us About Teaching with Technology. In her engaging presentation she worked to unravel some conventional wisdom about memory and the cognitive processes that produce learning. Some of these include: assumptions about the number of items in a list someone can remember, how modern research has changed how we look at old models of working memory, short-term vs long-term memory, and what makes an experience memorable.

One particularly interesting moment came when she asked the audience to draw a picture of a US Penny from memory. The resulting collection surprisingly inaccurate images demonstrated a critical element relevance plays in learning even for experiences with an incredible number of mental impressions.

More to Come

We look forward to sharing more from the conference in the coming weeks and look forward to future conferences. In 2011 at the last conference we were privileged to have one of our own professors (our own Greg McNeal) give a compelling presentation on Turning Technologies ResponseCards (Classroom Clickers). We encourage all the faculty to consider attending and presenting at future conferences; let us know how we can support you if you are interested.

InfoComm 2012 — a Audio Visual Candy Shop

I just returned from InfoComm 2012 in Las Vegas.  Having attended technology trade shows pretty steadily for nearly twenty years, I can say this was not anywhere near the biggest I’ve seen or even the most amazing but it was easily as interesting and valuable.

As I have posted on this blog before, we recently received a generous grant from Pepperdine’s central administration to update our classroom technology.  With that grant in mind, it seemed like a no-brainer to attend the AV industry’s top convention and exposition.

I spent a great deal of time in the Crestron booth (many in the industry noted with concern that one of the oldest and largest AV component manufacturer’s, Extron, chose to not host a booth this year) learning about their latest offerings, especially their new lecture capture system that is impossibly easy to use. Crestron specializes on control systems and other electronics related to AV; competing directly with Extron and AMX.  These three companies are the top three in AV control systems.

One of the brightest spots in my brief time at InfoComm 2012 was my meeting with Mr. Mark Valenti of the Sextant Group, a leading AV Consulting firm.  I first met Mr. Valenti a few months back at the ABA Bricks, Bytes, and Continuous Renovation conference in San Diego where he presented on the future of learning spaces.  After a brief conversation about what we’re planning to do in our classrooms here at Pepperdine, Mr. Valenti took me on a cook’s tour of the show and introduced me to some very helpful people and some very interesting technologies.

Interesting technologies?

Tidebreak’s TeamSpot

TeamSpot enables seamless collaboration on a large shared display between multiple devices.

Sharp 90″ LED
Sharp 90" LED Display

No need for expensive projector and screen installs with the newest 90″ LED display from Sharp!

Crestron Capture LiveHD

Crestron Lecture Capture

Affordable lecture capture from Crestron. It’s easy to use and has no recurring fees!

Pepperdine Password Quiz

True or False: It is against Pepperdine policy to reuse your Pepperdine password for any other web service.






It’s true, it is against Pepperdine policy to reuse your MyID password for other accounts or sites.

When you reuse your Pepperdine MyID password on Internet sites or accounts, you are making yourself vulnerable to attacks on your Pepperdine account, finances, grades, and more. In 2011 alone, millions of passwords were stolen from Internet sites like Sony Entertainment and Gawker. In 2012, more than 6 million LinkedIn passwords were compromised.

If you use the same password over many sites, the security of your password is only as good as the security of each individual website you use that password. And if one site is compromised, your entire web presence is compromised. Your author actually uses a different 20 digit passphrase for every single website he uses and its actually quite easy to manage using a Password Manager.

Password Managers

A password manager is a software program that securely stores many passwords and IDs with the goal of making multiple passwords easier to access and use. A password manager can be very helpful to people who have lots of passwords. Read more about password managers here.


If that seems like too much work, its probably because it is, but that all depends on how you value your security. Strong passwords take a hacker with lots of computing power a very long time to guess. And if all your passwords are different, having your password compromised on LinkedIn just means that you only have to change that password and not have to worry about your Pepperdine account, Bank account, or whatever password that you may also be using that password on.

If the thieves find a connection to Pepperdine, they will use your account to send spam or attack your identity. This has already happened at Pepperdine!

Integrating Technology into Legal Education

I’m not new to educational technology, but I am new to legal education. I’m also new to Pepperdine School of Law. As such, I recently administered an anonymous technology survey to law faculty in order to gauge their level of interest in educational technology and how it can be used to enhance teaching and learning. I will use this post as an opportunity to share with you two key findings:

Faculty Take Interest in their Students’ Learning Experience: At Pepperdine, faculty care about their students’ learning experience. 100% of respondents indicated that enhancing student engagement during class was their primary objective. Other popular objectives included:

  • Incorporating Active Learning techniques and in-class exercises
  • Enhancing learning with multimedia
  • Enhancing student engagement outside of class
  • Improving student assignments

Faculty are Interested in Technology: Faculty are interested in incorporating a variety of technology tools into their classroom. Here are just a few specific approaches of interest mentioned:

  • Document Sharing/Collaboration
  • Multimedia
  • Delivery of Online Content
  • Simulations
  • Feedback Surveys/Instruments
  • Clickers
  • Online Tutorials (to supplement course work)
  • Lecture Capture

Information Services Department LogoOne way the Information Services Department at the School of Law will assist faculty in the integration of technology is by providing regularly scheduled, hands-on learning sessions. These learning sessions will present practical and relevant ways in which faculty can integrate technology effectively into their classroom. The first learning session will be held on Monday June 11th at 12:30PM. Professor McNeal will lead the session with his experiences using clickers, and will present meaningful ways in which others can join him in using this tool to improve student outcomes.

Video in the Classroom


Online video provides excellent content for the classroom; however, online sources are unreliable for live playback. For live video playback we recommend downloading the file locally prior to class time, for the best in class experience. For the popular website YouTube, we recommend the service http://saveyoutube.com

When viewing the movie on YouTube simply add the word save to the URL in your address bar: http://www.saveyoutube.com/watch?v=4b0NbslsGoo to download the video, saving to your desktop and then double-click to view the movie. Call our hot-line for assistance x7425


Additionally, classrooms are equipped DVD/VCR combination units to take advantage of the Law Library’s great collection of videos. Jessica Drewitz is always expanding the collection, feel free to request any title via email at jessica.drewitz@pepperdine.edu

You can search our collection directly from the library catalog available on the web at http://law.pepperdine.edu/library

Search by title is recommended.

Video Conferencing

Did you know we can bring guest speakers from around the world directly into any classroom via video conference?

Information Services provides a wide selection of connection methods from Skype support to enterprise class video conferencing via our Polycom VSX8000. Just contact David Dickens via email at david.dickens@pepperdine.edu and we’ll handle all the technical details.

SMART Podium Interative Pen Display

Image of SMART Podium DisplayLast week I told you about the 70″ Sharp Touchscreen Display that we are pilot testing here at Pepperdine School of Law. While previewing the display, one faculty member suggested an alternative, but comparable tool, the SMART Podium Display.  This display is currently in use at the School of Public Policy in their new SMART Classroom.

What are the differences between these two interactive displays? The main differences are location and size. The 70″ Sharp display will typically be located in the front of the room,  facing the students, whereas the SMART Podium display will be in the front of the room, facing the instructor.  Another difference is ease of use. The Podium display has a variety of preset buttons at the top of the screen, making it easy to switch among pen colors, the pointer, and save/edit features. With the Sharp display, you have to continuously open and close their overlay software toolbar in order to switch among the same features. Additionally, the writing and erasing features in the Podium display were easier to use. I had absolutely no problems with these tools, and it didn’t matter how fast I wrote, the lines were drawn accordingly. This was quite different from the Sharp display. If you wrote too quickly with the pen or your finger, it had a hard time keeping up. Lines were somewhat disjointed and the eraser feature oftentimes kicked in unnecessarily.

What are the benefits/limitations of the SMART Podium Display? One benefit is the ease of use and the ability to switch among the pen, cursor, edit, and save features, as previously mentioned. It was also easy to switch among commonly used applications.  The Sharp display was not as intuitive and required more clicking and searching in order to do this. However, the Sharp display would be a much more interactive tool for students in the sense that it’s in front of the classroom, facing everyone. If a Legal Research & Writing professor displayed an error-filled citation on the screen, it might be better for the student to come up and stand in front of the whole class, in front of the Sharp display and manipulate or edit the citation. Perhaps it is simply a matter of preference – display or podium?

Final Thoughts? When you have a large classroom the 70″ or even 80″ Sharp display just won’t work! The screen won’t be  big enough for the entire class to see, especially if web sites are previewed and smaller text is displayed. That’s when the podium option might be ideal! You would be using a projector and larger screen, and still have all the same (if not more) interactive features than the Sharp display.  Thus, I recommend the Sharp display for smaller classrooms  or seminar rooms (10-30 seating capacity) and the SMART Podium display for larger classrooms (30+ seating capacity).