Tragic Shooting at NIU

As you most likely have heard by now, yesterday afternoon (2/14) there was a tragic shooting at NIU where I work. If you’ve been watching the news, you likely know as many details at this point as I do. At the time of the shooting, I was in my office which was about 2 blocks away from Cole Hall, the building where the shooting took place.

Photo of victim

Thanks to everyone who has called or emailed to check and make sure that I was ok. It was a chaotic scene on campus yesterday with media and emergency personnel flooding the scene. The news of what was happening on campus initially spread faster by word of mouth and cell phone text messages than any other means. It was a surreal experience to be watching events happening live on CNN while also watching it happen through an office window. Waking up the day after, it still is hard to believe that such a horrendous event could take place in DeKalb.

Here’s a video with a few photos from the past day at NIU:

YouTube Preview Image

For more details on the healing process on campus in the days ahead as well as any further news, you can check the NIU website at Please keep the campus administration, faculty, students, and most importantly the students and families of those directly affected by the shooting in your thoughts and prayers. The university community has a long road of healing ahead…

Online Photo Sharing in Plain English

If you take digital pictures, you need to watch this 3 minute video that explains the value of posting photos on a service like Flickr for sharing or safe keeping.

YouTube Preview Image

You can visit my personal online album at Flickr here.

Quick Tips for Effective Instruction

My department at NIU has been working on a new endeavor we are calling “Quick Tips for Effective Instruction” in which we are putting together short multimedia presentations (5-8 minutes) to introduce faculty to different resources and methods for teaching and learning.  The presentations are made available in a variety for formats, for viewing either online, as a podcast, or even via YouTube.  

Here’s an example of the low-res version of one of the presentations available on YouTube:

YouTube Preview Image

For links to other formats of the presentation, such as hi-res online and the text transcript, click here.

The Northern Today, NIU’s weekly online newsletter, recently did a feature article on the project. To read the full story, click here.

Becoming a Gmail Jedi Master

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to Adam Pash, this video demonstration from Ask the PC Guide delves into some of the finer points of mastering Gmail. The demo illustrates usage of labels, filters, a few keyboard shortcuts, and vacation autoresponders.

To further expand Gmail, grab Better Gmail 2 and supercharge your Gmail Lifehacker-style.

How to Become a Gmail Jedi Master [Ask the PC Guide]

Blogs in Plain English

Ever wondered what exactly a blog is or why someone would want to use one? The folks over at CommonCraft have put together a great video called “Blogs in Plain English” that explains in 3 minutes the premise for and power of blogging.

YouTube Preview Image

If you like this video, you might find some of the other “Plain English” videos helpful, like: