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Monday, August 29, 2011

TandemPlus news

The TandemPlus website has been updated with more information about the popular virtual face-to-face exchange program, as well as a short video on TandemPlus.

TandemPlus Assistant Bethany Schowengerdt has left for a semester abroad in Senegal. She is blogging about her experience at http://bethanyinsenegal.blogspot.com/

Anna Kaminski is the new TandemPlus Assistant. Anna is returning next week from a study abroad program in Oman, for which she received a critical language scholarship to study Arabic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make sure your Fall 2011 course films are digitized

The easiest way to assign students to watch films in your classes is to have them digitized through the Digital Content Library (DCL). If you have not already verified that the films you will use this Fall have been digitized, now is a great time to check.

You can look search for films at the DCL website: http://dcl.umn.edu/. You can also search the Language Center database: https://filemaker.cla.umn.edu/LangCtr/findrecords.php. Any films in our collection that have already been digitized will have a direct link to the DCL.

We strongly recommend that any films available only in a foreign standard VHS tape be digitized (e.g. PAL, Secam), as there are few multistandard VCRs left on campus.

You can send requests for digitization to elsie@umn.edu. Please make sure to indicate when the film is needed for your class. The DCL requests as much lead time as possible to complete their work.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jones Hall Wins Beautiful Building Award!

FM custodial staff person, Bette Durst, has won this year's Beautiful Building Award for Jones Hall. This is a very competitive competition -- think of all those buildings on campus -- and Bette, for her work at Jones, was selected.

Thanks to Bette, Jones Hall is always clean, clutter free and functioning well. Bette has gone beyond fulfilling the basic requirements of her position, communicating regularly with Language Center staff about potential issues and building concerns. In the years that she has been assigned to our building, we have viewed Bette as a true partner, and we know that she cares as much about our space and users as we do.

Bette and horseSo we congratulate Bette for winning this well-deserved award. We have been nominating her every year since 2006. We are glad that this is finally the year that her hard work, dedication and service to Jones Hall and the University of Minnesota has been acknowledged.

We are also saddened to report that Bette will be moving on to a new assignment in the Health Sciences buildings and leaving Jones Hall at the end of this week. We will miss her very much and wish her the best of luck on the other side of campus.
We also wish her many more enjoyable hours of vacation, where she can get the chance to spend some time riding her horse.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jones 10 Classroom Renovation Complete!

LC Classroom Support Coordinator
The Language Center Technical Team is very happy to announce that the Jones 10 Classroom will be back in service starting Thursday, August 4th! This classroom has been unavailable this summer while undergoing a number of major updates.

The first thing those familiar with the old Jones 10 will notice is that the old booths are gone! They have been replaced with tables arranged in a new open layout. This new layout places four tables in the center of the room with additional tables on the perimeter; accommodates 30 student computers (an upgrade from 24) and still appears spacious.

Jones 10 Classroom
The computers in the room have been replaced with new 20" iMac computers. Networking has been upgraded to provide service to the new computers as well as a new wireless access point which will improve wireless connection for mobile devices.

A new instructor desk has been installed. It has room for a document camera, controls for the data projector, easy connection for a laptop, zone-free DVD player, multi-standard VCR and shelf space where you can find the handy guide to the equipment located in the classroom.

As before, the MacDiLL audio lab software is available which provides an intuitive interface for instructors to pair students in conversation. Audio recordings can be easily saved by the instructor and listened to at any computer via a web interface.

And yes, the intercom is still active, as always, access to technical assistance is only a button push away!