The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
Information Technology
Center for Instruction and Technology

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CIT Quarterly Newsletter - January 2013


Join us in the CIT for new classes added to our schedule:  
  • Introduction to Creating Presentations with Prezi
  • Voice Recognition with Dragon Dictate/Naturally Speaking
  • Introduction to the Flipped Classroom
  • Screen Capture with Screenflow for Mac
  • Photoshop Layer Mask, Blend Modes and Filters
  • InDesign CS6 New Features
Register online:

JANUARY 29, 2013 10am-3pm

Tech Fair 2013_150Mark your Calendars for Learning, Raffles and Fun...

The CIT will be hosting the 2nd annual Learning Technologies Fair in the McLaren Complex on Tuesday, January 29th, 10am-3pm. Meet with the university's technology partners (Apple, Microsoft, Blackboard, iClicker, and more), see demonstrations, and learn about technology trends for teaching and learning. More information coming in January. 


Canvas logoFaculty: This spring, consider piloting the Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas.

Canvas offers some unique Web 2.0 features like the ability for instructors or students to add an audio or video file almost anywhere in a course. However, Canvas' best attribute is its ability to convey information intuitively.
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use format
  • Clean, simple design
  • Makes grading and viewing grades easy (there is a “What if?” feature for students and a “SpeedGrader” feature for instructors.)
  • Integration with Google Docs, Twitter, Skype and other  applications
Click here for a short video on some of the Canvas features. If you would like to try out Canvas for your spring course(s) or just take a look at Canvas, please contact


Looking to record your lecture to place on Blackboard for further review by your students? Want to create content to accompany your lectures or even to flip your classroom?  There are a variety of software solutions available to accomplish this but we will focus in this segment on lecture and screen capture.  There is a wide range in this venue alone from free resources to commercial.  If you have a Mac with OS X 10.6 and beyond, Quicktime Player, installed on every Mac, can do simple screen recordings with audio from a microphone.  There aren’t any built in screen capture programs on Windows but there is a free web based service calledScreencast-o-matic ( which does a nice job capturing your screen, audio from a microphone and then exporting to a video file or to services like YouTube.  This service does limit the free version to 15 minutes.

USF also has a site license for Echo360 Personal Capture, available for both PC and Mac, which provides a simple way to record your screen, voice, and yourself via a webcam.  Personal Capture also provides simple editing tools to trim video and publishes a link, which can be emailed to students or inserted into Blackboard.  

Finally, there are two commercial software programs that provide an expansive set of production tools to build around the screen recording. Camtasia Studio for PC and Camtasia 2.0 for the Macfrom Techsmith allow you to work with the recorded screen capture just like any movie editing software like iMovie.  Titles, transitions, effects, multiple tracks are all available as well as various formats to output like Quicktime and Youtube.  A final product available on the Mac is Screenflow, which has even more of an iMovie like interface and similar editing tools like Camtasia. 

From the simple to the complex, there are many choices to help you create the content to bring the course materials to another level.  Contact us at the CIT to learn more about the different products.
Director's Note

In 2012, the CIT began a review of Learning Management Systems (LMS) for USF. The review will continue next semester with both faculty and students evaluating Canvas and Blackboard CourseSites (the next release of Blackboard). The goal of the review is to select an LMS that supports a user-friendly and forward thinking environment for teaching and learning. 

The CIT is also evaluating enterprise-level web conferencing systems for future adoption. A web conferencing platform will provide tools that support synchronous collaboration for real-time presentation sharing, video conferencing, polling, and more. Join us if you'd like to participate in either review.  

Happy Holidays! 

      - John Bansavich 

Creative Book Builder - an iPad App for Self-Publishing


CBB logoCreative Book Builder (CBB) is an app that allows users to create and publish books very easily with unlimited chapters. It allows you to create titles, images, video, links, music, audio recordings, multiple choice questions, equations, lists and custom HTML; and you can create new or import content from another book. There are different book styles, font types and sizes that you can choose from for your text. 

Creative Book Builder is very intuitive, and is great for both young and adult learners. Think of creating a picture book, an online project with chapters and sections, or a full-length novel with a glossary! When you are done, you can review and publish your ebook in ePub or PDF format, which can be read by many e-book readers, including iBooks.  Additionally, there are great options for sharing your completed project via Dropbox, Google Drive, or FTP server.  

This app is great, and is very affordable at $3.99. Download it today from Apple's App Store.


Training Break
Whether you are faculty or staff, we surely have the right class for you! Visit our Training Calendar and register online. Our training calendar is updated quarterly. Group and individual training opportunities are available.