Introducing Ensemble Video

Several new systems are available to campus users this semester. Ensemble Video is just one of them and, among other things, it offers a great service to anyone who has juggled DVDs in the classroom. With Ensemble, you can easily stream video clips for class viewing via Blackboard, WordPress, or other web site.

One of my favorite features is the dropbox. Setting up a dropbox generates a link you can share with students or department members for easy uploading to your media library. Dropbox users click the link for an easy-to-follow webpage that walks them through the upload process—users never actually have to log in to Ensemble.

Ensemble handles other types of media as well, including audio and image files. Contact me if you would like to know more about the service or if you would like a media library set up for you or your department.


Add iTunes U Podcasts to Blackboard

iTunes U (U for University) is a free service provided by Apple. Any computer that can run iTunes (available as a free download for both Mac and Windows) can access the wide variety of podcasts on iTunes U. Podcasts may be in PDF format, audio-only files, video or mixed media. You can easily incorporate links to podcasts into a Blackboard course with just a few clicks of the mouse.

What can you find on iTunes U?
Introduction to Modern Physics, Weekly Legal Writing Tips, Social and Emotional Learning, The Art of Annotation, What is Investment Banking, Poetry Everywhere, Classical Guitar Recitals, Art and Its Histories     . . . and much more

Who will you find on iTunes U?
Arizona State University, Boston University, Duke, MIT, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, American Theatre Wing, Brooklyn Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, PRI Public Radio International     . . . and many more

Find podcasts on iTunes U

  • Open iTunes and select iTunes Store from the column on the left (see screenshot below).
  • Select iTunes U from the list in the iTunes Store panel.
  • Browse featured podcasts, or search by Category or Provider. Check out the most sought after topics in the Top Downloads list on the right.
    iTunes Store panel

Add a podcast link to Blackboard

  • Click on the podcast that interests you to bring up the title area.
  • Right-click on the title and select Copy iTunes Store URL from the pop-up menu (see screenshot below).
  • Login to Blackboard and navigate to the area of your Blackboard class where you want the link to appear.
  • Press Control-V (Windows) or Command-V (Mac) to paste the URL.
    Get iTunes URL

When students click on the link, iTunes will open directly to the podcast page. Clicking on the Get button downloads individual podcasts to the computer. Students can then view (or listen, if audio only) to the podcast on the computer or transfer it to their iPod.

If the podcast is part of a series, students have the option to subscribe to the entire group. Any new podcasts are automatically downloaded when iTunes is opened. (Subscribing is not recommended on lab computers.)

Sample a podcast
Sample any podcast just by double-clicking its name in the podcast list. Listen to, or view, as much as you like without having to download or subscribe. Here are a few to get you started:

Poetry Everywhere
Mixed Media: Features animation and text

Video format

American Theatre Wing
Audio and Video podcasts available

Want to know more about accessing or using media from iTunes U? Contact Anita at ext. 2543 or email athier.

American Memory

If you haven’t visited The Library of Congress web site in a while, take time to explore this short list of links to some of the site’s American Memory digital collections. Each collection provides a variety of materials, including audio recordings, text and photographs, as well as, copyright information pertinent to the use of that collection.

Omaha Indian Music
Includes: Contest Song, Clown Song, Buffalo Dance Song, spoken word recordings, and  Pow-Wow Audio in Sequence

American Environmental Photographs 1891-1936
Includes: 4,500 photographs featuring “ecological settings” such as, dunes, forests, mosses, the Grand Canyon, the Sierra Nevada and more.

African American Odyssey
This special presentation and compilation of collections includes:
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938
The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting
Did you know that Paterson is thought to be “the cradle of the Industrial Revolution in America”? This collection includes an extensive list of audio recordings sporting titles such as:
“We used to have to drink milk to coat our stomach.”
“Whatever it is, it has to stay clean.”
“Silk is like the icing on the cake.”
“They came right to Ellis Island to meet me.”

American Leaders Speak: Recordings from World War I and the 1920 Election
Includes: Calvin Coolidge, Samuel Gompers, Warren Harding, Miles Poindexter, Franklin D. Roosevelt and many more.