Digital Learning website launches today!

By Dan Hoefler on 2 May 2016 – 9:47 am
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The Northwestern Digital Learning website launches today! Check it out HERE. The site showcases a variety of the University’s best practices in educational innovation to teachers and students on campus as well as to the outside world.

Digital Learning Homepage

The site launch was a group effort between the Office of the Provost and A&RT, with each unit represented. AMPS colleagues Nate Bartlett took all of the photos for the site, and associate director Harlan Wallach directed a video with Laura Kick and Aaron Dolan to showcase McCormick professor Michael Peshkin’s Lightboard technology. The site itself was built by Alex Miner and Nick Gertonson from the webteam, and is maintained by me, Dan Hoefler. Faculty Support Services (FSS) manager Vicky Getis and team members Matthew Aron and Jonathan Diehl have contributed stories for the site, along with contributions from A&RT senior director Bob Taylor and Daniel Pattley from the Office of the Provost.

The articles on the site are a mix of aggregated content from around the University (MMLC, SPS, Searle, etc.) and original content created and curated by the Digital Learning editorial staff.

We look forward to using the site over the coming months to showcase further innovative stories from around campus and provide a one-stop-shop for any and all Canvas or MOOC-related materials.

Conversations with the President, Evanston edition.

We're in final preparation mode here in McCormick Foundation Center.

By Harlan Wallach on 26 Apr 2016 – 7:55 am
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We’re in final set up mode for the webcast for the Evanston “Conversations with President Schapiro”. Our 2016 webcast is originating from the McCormick Family Foundation. The Webcast will start at 9:45, and it can accessed here.

The whole of the Northwestern Information Technology team is either behind the cameras or in the control room.




Earth Day Collaboration

By Laura_Kick on 25 Apr 2016 – 1:54 pm
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The A&RT Green Committee and the Library Green Committee collaborated to host an Earth Day celebration on Friday!  Both groups have received Green Office Certification from the Office of Sustainability and wanted to continue to raise awareness and support green efforts.  The 3-hour drop-in event consisted of activities, information, and discussions surrounding composting, food, upcycling, biking, and water.



The upcycling station had examples of creative items made of re-used paper, plastic bags, and more.  Here, participants could re-use old sheet music to make envelopes or gift bags.




An engaging mini-lecture on composting dove into the science of composting, provided applicable tips, and outlined many at-home options.






At the creativity with food station, staff sampled bread pudding and banana bread as examples of yummy ways to reduce food waste.






A lively conversation full of tips and stories surrounded the cycling table as many staff members cycle as a primary mode of transportation.






And at the water station, staff conducted a blind taste-test of four different bottled and un-bottled waters and then voted on which tasted the best.  Results were very evenly distributed across all four types.



We’re looking forward to future sustainability projects like the upcoming joint A&RT-Library Green Book Club!

Book Club / Potatoes

Conversations with the President 2016 – Chicago

By Laura_Kick on 21 Apr 2016 – 5:10 pm
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With today’s Conversations with the President event in Hughes Auditorium successfully concluded, we’re now looking forward to the Evanston Conversations event next Tuesday!  We’ll be live switching and streaming this event as well.  Join us!

Conversations with the President

Best Practices Forum 2016 – Recordings

By Laura_Kick on 20 Apr 2016 – 12:15 pm
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Tom Collinger



The AMPS team is delighted to be working with the Best Practices Forum today!


We recorded an excellent presentation by Tom Collinger this morning and are now recording Rachel Davis Mersey’s engaging Keynote address.




Rachel Davis Mersey

We are delighted that Stephen, Dee, and Rodolfo are attending the Best Practices Forum this year as presenters!  Rodolfo gave an excellent talk this morning and Dee and Stephen are looking forward to their presentation this afternoon with Heather (A&RT FSS) and Alanna (Kellogg).

Later today, we’re headed downtown to prepare for the first of this year’s Conversations with the President events!

Animation, Light, Atoms, & the Void

By Laura_Kick on 14 Apr 2016 – 3:44 pm
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Today, AMPS and FSS had the opportunity to collaborate with Professor Andy Rivers’ class, Light, Atoms, and the Void.  We had an excellent whirlwind 80 minute session that included a tutorial of the Lightboard Studio, a tour of the One Button Studio, and work with mobile animation apps.  Students will choose between these and other options to create video projects for Professor Rivers’ class!

Lightboard Studio

Making a Murderer at Pritzker School of Law

By Stephen Poon on 6 Apr 2016 – 7:20 pm
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The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the home of the Center on Wrongful Convictions – the name of which makes their mission clear. Tonight, they are hosting an event hosting their very own Steve Drizin and Laura Nirider, Brendan Dassey’s attorneys featured in Netflix’s hit series Making a Murderer. Discussing legal interrogation techniques, contamination, and false confessions, they presented footage to show how someone in this case could be pressured to confess to a crime they didn’t commit.

The Center on Wrongful Convictions has been working since 1999 to free innocent people from prison, call for reforms in our criminal justice, and reveal where this system has violated its own policies and has failed to uphold justice.

More information about the center and its recent work can be found here:

Flexible Inputs for Mediasite Recorder

By Nate Bartlett on 28 Mar 2016 – 3:15 pm
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AMPS student media specialist Cameron zooms out on one of two cameras connected to the Mobile Mediasite Recorder. AMPS student media specialist Irene sits in.

Traditionally, we use our Sonic Foundry Mediasite Portable Recorder for capturing a presentation via the DVI port, and a video camera feed via the HD-SDI port.  Our recorder has three inputs for video; HD-SDI video, HD DVI video, and SD composite video.

For one of our presentation-only events, we use a Kramer VP-790 to convert an HDMI presentation (content as video) signal to HD-SDI, which then goes into the recorder. In this case, the HD-SDI port is being used for the content as video.

Recently, we purchased a Blackmagic Design Mini Converter, SDI-HDMI. This allows us to connect different kinds of inputs to the mobile recorder.

In the above case, if we wanted to add a video camera to the event, the only HD port available would be the DVI. With the help of the Blackmagic Design Mini Converter, we can convert a camera signal from HD-SDI to HDMI, and then use a digital conversion cable to convert from HDMI to DVI, and input a video camera signal into the recorder using DVI.

With this setup, it is also possible to connect two cameras to the recorder.  I conducted a test with the help of Cameron and Irene, two of our students.  We connected two cameras to the recorder, one through the usual HD-SDI port, and one via our new Blackmagic Mini Converter SDI-HDMI, with a HDMI-DVI digital conversion cable connected to the recorder. With two cameras connected, two HD streams can be recorded simultaneously, should the client want both camera angles to be visible, for example a live demo of a new product and a presenter speaking.

With this configuration, a camera can be connected to either the HD-SDI or DVI port, freeing up the other port for whatever signal type is preferred by the event or venue.


Two Panasonic PX270 Camcorders are connected to the Mobile Mediasite Recorder, one via HD-SDI and the other through a BlackMagic Design SDI-HDMI Mini Converter to DVI, by means of a HDMI-DVI digital cable.

Project SEARCH Internship Summary

By Laura_Kick on 17 Mar 2016 – 10:19 am
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Guest Blog Writer:  Jordan Lachman

Nate and Jordan

Nate and Jordan

My name is Jordan Lachman. I grew up in the Chicago area and attended Glenbrook North High School. I am a Project SEARCH intern at Northwestern University. The program includes three ten week internships on campus. My first internship was at Alumni Relations and Development and my current internship is at Northwestern Advanced Media Production Studio. Both internships were amazing and I liked them. Working on projects and being on set with the NUAMPS team has been very exciting.

They have taught me how to edit and create videos.  I set-up and broke down equipment on the sets of the Content Strategy MOOC, the Frontiers of Experimental Radio Astronomy Lecture, and the Talmud MOOC. I worked on post production for projects like Talmud, helping with video clips and audio.

Jordan and Aaron. Slating for the Content Strategy MOOC

I recorded timelapses and when I was done recording I uploaded it to after effects to make it a sharp and outstanding video.

I worked on document scanning.  I scanned documents on a printer and sent them to the computer to save in a documents folder, creating a digital record.

I helped my coworker with selecting the best pictures to put on Instagram (to share NUAMPS’ work) and I also took pictures and customized them to make them look amazing.

I worked on this video called Northwestern birds. We used a Gopro camera to capture the ducks on the pond. We used a remote control boat with the Gopro attached to the boat to get the video footage.  The team was testing a new way to film b-roll to see if it would work.



Storyboard Activity

Some of my coworkers were developing an animation workshop for a class of chemistry students.  I helped them test the product.  I create a project called Dog Meets Ball. First I had to create a storyboard about a dog and his ball. I drew the pictures and the captions on the storyboard paper squares. When I was done I used an iPhone to video myself drawing out the story.  Then I had my coworker, Laura Kick, narrate the story.  This is the process that the students would go through, if it would help with their projects.  Testing the workshop helped my coworkers know how to improve it for the students.

I liked working with the NUAMPS team and they kept me busy. They taught how to work with the team and I did a team building exercise.

I like to socialize with the team. It taught me to be open minded about working with other people in a group.

Team Building exercise

Team Building exercise

My team for the group activity

My team for the group activity: Irene, Nate, Aaron, and myself.

I learned a lot of amazing skills and programs that I could download at home like Adobe. I plan on going to college to study computer skills and gaming skills.

Blue Jeans Videoconferencing Connects Faculty, Students, and Staff

By Dan Hoefler on 11 Mar 2016 – 4:20 pm
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Since launching in the fall, Blue Jeans, a new high-resolution cloud-based video conferencing service, has been connecting faculty, students, and staff across campus and around the world.

Weinberg professors Christiane Rey, Patricia Scarampi, and Aude Raymond have been using Blue Jeans to collaborate remotely on creating a flipped course for second year French. Within the course, students will be able to record conversations in Blue Jeans for their instructors to review later to grade their conversational fluency, and, since Blue Jeans’ integrates with Canvas, these recordings will automatically sync to the Blue Jeans tab of their course.

Student tutors can also use Blue Jeans to hold tutoring sessions remotely, maximizing students’ time by eliminating cross-campus treks. Guests outside of Northwestern can also join Blue Jeans meetings, making it easy to connect with faculty or students in other countries.

Interested in using Blue Jeans? A Blue Jeans account isn’t required to attend a meeting, but you’ll need an account to schedule, host, or moderate a meeting. To get an account, log in to Blue Jeans with a valid NetID and password to create your account.

Learn more about Blue Jeans on the Northwestern IT website or watch a short how-to video. Questions about getting started with Blue Jeans should be directed to the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or