Google’s new privacy policy and Google Apps for Education

On March 1, 2012 Google introduced a new privacy policy that applies to their consumer products (gmail, picasa, youtube etc).   There was a huge amount of coverage of this in the media.

Discussion with the HMC Computing Committee made it clear that we should remind you that the HMC contract with Google is for the Google Apps for Education (GAE) service, which is a separate suite of products, covered by a separate contract.  The new privacy policy does not apply to the core GAE service.

Among the key differences between GAE and the consumer service is that GAE includes a FERPA clause.  This clause stipulates that Google is subject to FERPA in the same way as the college is, and must process educational records (such as emails to students) accordingly.

In our discussions within CIS, we were struck by the fact that what Google is doing seems so much part and parcel of the tracking we are all subject to, both on and off line.  Retailers have been doing it for decades, as we learned from a NY Times article about how companies learn your secrets. I find it fascinating which practices and policy changes get noticed, and which don’t.

So, again, the GAE contract is separate from the Google’s consumer product privacy policy. If you have concerns or want to learn more, you should read the Google Apps for Education contract.

You may also find these Chronicle, Educause and Campus Technologies posts of interest.

“new iPad” available for loan

For a while now, rumors had been floating around about the third generation iPad.  Some sites claimed to have received a leaked screen with resolutions of 2048 by 1536.  There were also other sites with photos claiming to be of the new processor in the iPad.  The biggest mystery, though, was what it would be called.

On March 7, 2012, Apple announced their third generation iPad, and we found out that it would simply be called “iPad”, or the “new iPad” as Apple said in their announcement.
The biggest question that everyone has is, what is different in the new iPad from the iPad 2, or original iPad?
Wikipedia has a great chart (at this location), but essentially, the new iPad has these features:

- a very high resolution screen.  Even higher than your HDTV.  So high that your eyes can’t tell the pixels apart, and reading webpages on it look like reading a magazine.
- a slightly faster processor
- much faster graphics (quad core graphics)
- a much better outside camera at 5 mp, but the inside camera is still the same as before
- slightly thicker and slightly heavier
- same price

CIS has two of the new iPads available for short term loans (no more than 2 weeks at a time).  They are the 16GB WiFi versions.  A short term loan is probably best suited for those on the fence whether to get one or to see if it suits your needs.  If you would like to borrow one for a short term loan, please let the Help Desk know!

Kinect for Windows available for loan

When you hear about the Xbox Kinect, you probably think about interactive video games on the Xbox 360, such as Kinect Sports, Kinectimals, or Dance Central.  But did you know that the Kinect, as an advanced motion sensing device, can be used for non-gaming applications such as robotics, academic research, medical use, rehabilitation centers, and sound testing?  Microsoft calls this the “Kinect Effect”, and they document it here on their website: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Kinect/Kinect-Effect

Microsoft has also produced a video advertising the “Kinect Effect”:

In February 2012, Microsoft launched the “Kinect for Windows” hardware as a Kinect that can be used on a regular Windows PC right out of the box.  The Software Development Kit (SDK) is included as well.  Internally, the “Kinect for Windows” is probably identical to the Xbox 360 Kinect.  This kit, however, includes a proper AC adapter to power the Kinect, and includes the official Windows SDK.

CIS has purchased a “Kinect for Windows” available for immediate loan to faculty, staff, and students.  If you would like to borrow it, please let the CIS Help Desk know!

Call for Proposals for 2012 Teaching With Technology Innovation Grants

Short version:

CIS in conjunction with the Dean of Faculty’s Office will be running the third term of a pilot program, Teaching with Technology Innovation Grants, this summer. The grant program’s goal is to support faculty in the incorporation of technology in their teaching. Faculty whose projects are selected for a grant will receive support from CIS in the form of staff time and/or a stipend depending on the needs of the project. Reply to Elizabeth Hodas for more info or read through the following call for proposals.

Formal and long version:

Summer 2012 Teaching with Technology Innovation Grant Call for Proposals
0. Important Dates

March 30, 2012 — Proposal Submission Deadline
April 13, 2012  — Awardees Announcement
May 18, 2012 — Begin meeting with CIS staff
August 15, 2012 — Final meeting with CIS

1. Overview

During Summer 2012, CIS will be conducting a faculty technology grant pilot, the “Teaching with Technology Innovation Grant.” We invite proposals from faculty for projects that aim to improve student learning outcomes by exploiting new and innovative technology in education. The grant program provides support for utilizing emerging technology as well as access to CIS staff time and training.

During the 2012 pilot period, two to three projects will be supported. Priority consideration will be given to applications that:

  • have high impact on student learning;
  • engage in innovation of teaching and research through the use of technology;
  • have applicability of its use by other faculty members;
  • are feasible to be completed and implemented during the proposed time line;
  • are not already available elsewhere on campus;
  • could not be purchased with other funds such as grant money or departmental funds.

The pilot program is being run in conjunction with the Dean of Faculty’s Office.

2. Eligibility

All faculty at Harvey Mudd College are eligible to apply.

3. Awards

Each selected project will be awarded a stipend and/or software and hardware as needed; the amount of the stipend will be determined by the requirements of the proposal. Faculty will work closely with CIS staff to complete the project.

4. Expectations

Upon completion of the projects or at the end of the project term, faculty may be asked to do a presentation about their project at A Bite of Learning or other venue, or write a brief report on the project goals, achievements and their experiences to be shared with HMC faculty, students and staff. CIS may also ask faculty to survey the students in their courses about how the project affected their learning experience.

5. Application Procedure

All proposals must be submitted to CIS by March 30, 2012. Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the selection committee in early April.  Grant awardees will be announced by email and on the CIS website by April 13, 2012. The selection committee includes members from CIS and the Dean of Faculty’s Office.

Faculty should submit a brief description of their project including as much of the following information as possible: project’s goal and significance; required staff resources, equipment and material; timeline for project completion; your availability during the summer for work with CIS staff on the project; estimated budget (estimate costs of hardware, software and person-hours). Faculty should feel free to consult with CIS if they have any questions.

Proposals should be emailed to Elizabeth_Hodas@hmc.edu or Jeho_Park@hmc.edu

6. Selected Projects

Summer 2011

Lecture Capture System in the Learning Studio Classroom by Prof. Mike Erlinger (CS): Prof. Mike Erlinger approached the ETMS group with a proposal to build a lecture capture system in the Learning Studio Classroom. Prof. Erlinger was interested in an automated lecture capture system that would make it easier to videotape student presentations for students to review. Our audiovisual staff had manually videotaped classes for Prof. Erlinger in Spring 2011, but this required a great deal of staff time to accomplish. Prof. Erlinger worked with Michael Meyka and James Sadler to write a proposal that used off-the-shelf components to create a more automated system.
Website Development for Social Rules Project by Prof. Paul Steinberg (HSA): Prof. Paul Steinberg proposed a project to launch a social media website featuring educational materials developed by his students in the Social Rules Project. The project is a Harvey Mudd initiative designed to raise public awareness about the importance of public policies and other authoritative social rules in the transition to a more sustainable world. During Summer 2011, Prof. Steinberg, Communications Department, and CIS worked collaboratively to plan the website and, with funding from the grant program, a talented student web technologist has been working on building the website.

Summer 2010

ODE Architect Software Package Incompatibility Solutions by Prof. Bob Borrelli (Math): In his proposal, Prof. Borrelli addressed compatibility issues with ODE Architect (ODEA) package and Windows 7 operating systems. The ODEA is a 12-year old legacy software package still being used by some Differential Equations courses at the Claremont Colleges. Through this project, CIS reviewed the issue thoroughly and proposed a viable alternative, virtualization with cloud computing, using a free cloud computing service called CloudShare.com. The solution is being used by math faculty and students in Math 45 this semester. For more info, visit http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=609.
Web-based Multimedia Quiz Tools by Prof. Bill Alves (HSA): Prof. Bill Alves was looking for a robust web-based quiz tool for his music courses. The requirements for the quiz tool were that it should 1) provide feedback for every answer chosen, 2) allow multiple attempts, 3) allow embedding mp3 files, video clips, and YouTube clips, and 4) be platform independent. CIS searched for available quiz tools out on the Internet, and made suggestions. Through testing and discussions, Hotpotatoes.net service was chosen. It is being used by two Music courses, Film Music (MUS179) and Music of the Peoples of the World (Mus063), this semester.
Hand-Press Printing How-to Video Making by Prof. Jeff Groves (HSA): Prof. Jeff Groves wanted to create a series of hand-press printing videos to help his students understand complex procedures of creating hand-press printing and (more importantly) cleaning the press after use. During 2010 summer, CIS A/V team supported his creating storyboard, filming footages, and editing/encoding/compressing the clips. The video clips are currently being used for his course, Workshop in Hand Press Printing (ART 060), this semester.

7. Contact Info

Elizabeth Hodas: Elizabeth_Hodas@hmc.edu, x74583
Jeho Park: Jeho_Park@hmc.edu, x 79023

Amazon AWS Education Grant Program

Sam Kome (R&D Librarian) and John McDonald (CUC CIO) kindly let me know about the Amazon Education Grant Program, under which educators, researchers Amazon Web Services and students can be granted free usage credits on Amazon Web Services “to tap into the on-demand infrastructure of the Amazon Web Services cloud to teach advanced courses, tackle research endeavors, and explore new projects – tasks that previously would have required expensive up-front and ongoing investments in infrastructure”.

So if you’re feeling the need for a server, take a look into this.  I’d be very interested in learning about your experience.

FAQ is at https://aws.amazon.com/education/faqs/