Hiring Outstanding Student Technology Fellow

Student Technology Fellows:

The Mason Library Academic Technology hires students as Technology Fellows to assist peers with class assigned digital projects. The Student Technology Fellows (STF) are carefully selected to participate in the program where continuous learning and skill development are expected.  Once hired, fellows will complete a training regimen that includes Canvas and other common web-based tools such as basic audio/video editing (such as Movie Maker, iMovie, Audacity, SoundCloud), WordPress and other blogging and social media platforms. Student Technology Fellows are expected to work one-on-one with other students, lead classroom demonstrations/presentations, and assist with updating help documentation. Following every session, STF are expected to submit a written summary to the Director of Academic Technology who will then share the summary with the professor.

During employment, Student Technology Fellows develop a high level of technical fluency, communication and interpersonal skills, and presentation skills.

As a Student Technology Fellow you are expected to:

  • Lead sessions (one-on-one and face-to-face) with students that support faculty initiated digital projects;
  • Meet with students interested in learning more about particular technologies in which STF are trained;
  • Visit classes to conduct orientation sessions for particular technologies or projects;
  • Complete a session summary for every session (one-on-one, face-to-face, demonstrations/presentations to be submitted to the AT director and the faculty member (if appropriate);
  • Update/develop online training materials;

Student Technology Fellow do this by completing assigned training modules and by:

  • Developing knowledge of web technologies and tools used to support teaching and learning;
  • Improving presentation/demonstration skills;
  • Staying current with new features and developments in technologies for which you’re trained;

As a fellow, you will regularly work with students who are completing graded assignments and projects. Your job will be to provide them with basic, general instructions when necessary, and to guide them in the process of answering more complex questions. You should not complete their work for them or take control or responsibility for the final product.

Qualifications to become a Student Technology Fellow:

  • Full time, work study eligible student;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • The ability to communicate clearly and patiently about complex technical issues;
  • Insatiable curiosity about learning new technologies and skills;
  • A strong work ethic.

Apply here.

A New Look to Canvas!

Canvas is putting on a new look and feel starting in January 2016.  The changes are mainly to the navigation and log-in screen.  When you first log in to Canvas, you’ll be at the “Dashboard” screen which shows you your courses in the form of blocks.

See the example below – Click on the image to see it full-screen…New_Canvas_UI_with

There is now a permanent left navigation column that stays visible as you move through Canvas.  Items that used to be on the top of the Canvas screen like; Courses, Calendar, Inbox, Library link, etc., can now be found on the left navigation column.  That means that the menu for courses that used to drop down from the top of the screen will now come in from the left.

One other important change is that the button to view your Grades is now located at the bottom right of the Dashboard screen.



The Center for Engagement, Learning & Teaching will be running professional development events to show the new Canvas along with some new features that Canvas has incorporated including Canvas Commons, a great way to share Canvas materials and import materials into your Canvas courses.  Visit the Professional Development Events Calendar and sign up for these or other events.


Be Aware of Large PDF Files

Do you have large PDF files that need to be uploaded?  Please consider reducing the file size before doing so.  Large files can clog up already full mailboxes, open slowly or sometimes not at all and can take up allotted space in your LMS (learning management system) course.

How do you easily reduce the file size and avoid possible problems?  One way is to go to:  http://compress.smallpdf.com/ for a free, easy to use tool that compresses these files.  How does it work?  You upload your file to their server; it is compresses and then sent back to you almost immediately.  There is no limit on size or the number of times you can use the service.

Once at the site, simply drag and drop your PDF file to the specified location or locate your file by clicking on Choose file.  Note:  You can ignore the big green Download button at the top of the screen.  Once the file has been compressed click the small Download PDF link and then save the file.  It’s now ready for uploading.  Be aware that not all files will compress.  If a file is already optimized, you may not be able to reduce the file size any more than it is.

SMALLPDF2                                                               Click on image to access the compression tool.