Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michael Taylor

taylor.jpgDuring the 2008-2009 academic year, Dr. Michael Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies, has been one of the faculty leaders of SHUmobile, our campus-wide initiative for determining how mobile devices can be effectively used in teaching, learning, and social networking for the campus community.  Dr. Taylor has incorporated mobile devices (Nokia N95), digital storytelling, blogging/vlogging (video blogging) and live video streaming in two of his courses: Introduction to Environmental Studies and Introduction to Public Policy.

In the Fall of 2008, students in Dr Taylor’s Introduction to Environmental Studies course worked on two digital storytelling projects.  The first project, “New Jersey Environmental Narratives,” involved students creating digital stories about a place in New Jersey that has been especially important in terms of shaping their own attitudes toward the natural environment.  Dr. Taylor feels that

“the creation of these personal narratives of place allowed for a deeper discussion of the roles of culture and world view in the development of environmental consciousness and that these reflective stories that were created and shared among the students led to a better understanding of each other and themselves.”

Students were required to geo-code their images and all of the digital stories were linked to their spatial location using Google Maps.  Future Environmental Studies classes will build upon this map/database of special environmental locations in the state of New Jersey.  Examples of these digital storytelling projects can be found on Dr. Taylor’s blog, Using Mobile Technology in the Classroom.

The second digital storytelling project for this course was called “Green Consumer Ethnographies.”  Students were required to create short digital ethnographies that detailed their feelings about what it means for a specific product to be “green” and how that impacts their purchasing decisions. The digital ethnographies were created using images (still and/or video) captured using the Nokia N95and compiled using Adobe Premiere Elements. This project was done in conjunction with EarthSense, a green marketing firm in Maplewood, NJ.  Kimberly Franko, a student from this class, recently won the Student Technology Showcase award from the TLTR Committee in the Media category for her work on this project. Check out Kimberly’s winning video:
Green Poultry

During Dr. Taylor’s Environmental Studies course, he also takes students on weekend field trips to various New Jersey environmental locations.  Because these trips are on the weekends, not all students are able to attend.  This time, Dr. Taylor took his students on the Meadowlands ecotour and with a free mobile application called Qik, he was able to livestream the tour from the boat.  Students that were unable to attend the trip could view the steam live or were able to view the captured video clips at a later time.  Additionally, students on the trip used their N95s to take geo-tagged photos during the ecotour and those can be seen, mapped using OVI, here.

In the Spring of 2009, students in Dr. Taylor’s Introduction to Public Policy collaborated with a course blog where students blogged/vlogged about public policy positions. Students used the Nokia N95s to record their own video commentaries that were uploaded directly to the blog from the device. Students also wrote a term paper that analyzed a public policy issue of their choice. The Nokia N95s were used to conduct interviews with individuals who are affected by that public policy. Students then used Adobe Premiere Elements to cut the interviews into mini-documentaries. The mini-documentaries are being graded as you are reading this but you can see examples of student public policy position posts on the course blog, for example, this student post is about the New NJ Driving Law.

Dr. Taylor is an inspiring educator with a long list of new and exciting projects that he is developing for his upcoming courses.  If you have any questions or comments for Dr. Taylor, this is his contact information, including his QR Code!
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Calling All Students and Staff – Mobile Campus Challenge!!

AT&T is holding a competition called 2009 Big Mobile on Campus Challenge.  The competition is open to all full-time students and staff and requires the development of an innovative custom wireless application to be used on AT&T wireless devices.  Team entries are encouraged!

The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship, a trip to the EDUCAUSE Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado and a mobile device of your choice.  Two runner up prizes will be awarded which include $5000 scholarships and mobile devices. 

For full contest rules, click here.  Good Luck!

Applications Galore

Thanks to Gerry Moth over at nokiaaddict.com,

here is a link to a list of applications he has recently used on Symbian S60 3rd edition devices, such as the Nokia N95 or the E71, which we are currently using in our academic and administrative pilots.

Thanks, Gerry, for putting this together!

Personally, I use the apps listed after the jump, which are included in the extensive list on the linked page.

Continue reading “Applications Galore”

Cool New Nokia Application

Nokia’s Beta Labs recently released a new application called Nokia Magnifier.  Nokia writes:

“The Nokia Magnifier application utilizes the existing camera

functionality on your Nokia S60 phone. It can be used to improve

readability in life’s every-day situations. Reading the “fine print”

has never been easier. Just point and click and life’s small details

come into focus. Nokia Magnifier utilizes a built in stabilizer to

reduce the effects of a shaky hand when getting in close to text or

object and negative filter technology which allows users to switch from

light to dark backgrounds to improve readability. By using the existing

camera technology, users can also snap a picture of the enhanced image

for later reference.”

Right now the Magnifier can only be used with the phone models that have the camera auto zoom feature (N95, N95 8G, N82, E90).  Check out this video for more information:

SHUmobile Presentations and the Horizon Report

Thumbnail image for update.jpgSHUmobile has been extremely busy lately, and we are trying to manage our expansion in a strategic manner.  Over the course of the past few weeks, SHUmobile has been identified or recognized in a variety of formats. 

Dr. Stephen Landry, Seton Hall University’s CIO, Paul Fisher and myself presented The Evolution of the Mobile Campus at the Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) Symposia in Boca Raton on December 5, 2008.

Next, I will be on a panel on Pervasive Mobility at the Educause Enterprise Conference in May in Indianapolis.  On this panel, I will represent the only non-iPhone project, and I am excited to hear about the different approaches and challenges facing other higher education initiatives in mobile technologies.

In addition, SHUmobile was invited to host a pre-conference workshop on using mobile devices to generate Digital Stories at the upcoming Campus Technology Conference in July 2009.  Here we will be bringing N95s for participants to create their own digital soties over the course of the workshop event.  This is exciting as it gets to some specific examples of what is possible using high end devices.

Last, but definitely not least, SHUmobile was identified in this year’s Horizon Report, produced by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI).  We are proud to be the only comprehensive mobile initiative that incorporate both administrative and academic mobile projects, and to be an open investigation both internally and with the devices and partners we work with!  (Horizon Report pdf)

Thanks for the recognition!

Editing Video on the Nokia N95

This blog post from The Nokia Test Center Blog contains a video that shows how you can edit video directly on your Nokia N95.  This includes cutting video, merging clips, using tranistions, adding titles and a soundtrack, etc.  I don’t know if I would want to do a lot of editing on the device, but for quick fixes this could be a big help.  For example, editing out the beginning and ending portions of a self-recorded video blog clip, where you are leaning in to turn on or off the recording button (hint, hint).

Click on the image below to go directly to the post.




PC Suite Download Information

Nokia-PC-Suite_1.pngAs a participant in the SHUmobile project, you have likely wanted to sync information with your PC, or will want to do this in the short term.  While both the E71 and the N95 come with software on the cd enclosed in the box, this software has since been updated.

You can download the newest version of PC Suite here.  This will work with both devices, and you can get started.

Remember:  if you go to choose “Update Phone Software” and it tells you there is an update, hold off.  Contact us, and we will work with you on that, as this is a firmware upgrade to the device’s operating system, and it will wipe the device’s data during the upgrade.  We will help you run a back up and restore and even do the firmware upgrade for you.

Have fun!

fring adds Last.fm on top of Twitter, Facebook and…..

fring continues to get better and better, and yesterday they launched a new version that allows you to stream Last.fm music directly through the fring interface, allowing you to share with your Last.fm contacts while having a chat in AIM, Skype Gtalk etc.

Here is a video outlining it all:

You can download the new version here!

Have fun!

Nokia’s Indoor Positioning Research

Nokia Research Center has been developing a means of finding your way around unfamiliar places, building upon GPS outside to providing location information indoors.  When made commercially available, this will ultimately provide enhances location based services and specified mobile marketing.

This technology can be harnessed for self-guided tours for incoming students, or to provide enhanced directions and demonstrations for visitors, alums and so forth.

Watch this video introducing the concept:

Thanks to Keith Barros and IntoMobile