Syracuse U’s Access SU Mobile Site

Enjoyng the 1st year of success from helping create iAdvocate, Advanced Authoring begins working on its second venture with Syracuse University. AccessSU will be a mobile website designed to provide accessible resources and information available on and around the Syracuse campus for individuals with disabilities. Among the resources, a map showing accessible areas of campus such as parking, restrooms, elevators and building access ramps. Plans are also being laid to provide direct routes, and allow the Syracuse community to share comments and tips to help others.

Special Project… Miami University’s Bicentennial via Google Earth

Miami University in Google Earth

Every once in a while, a non-academic project rolls around that I get involved with. This is one of them.

The university architects asked me to build an interactive campus history in Flash. As I was getting ready to start the project, Google Earth announced the release of the time line control- which allows users to see time-based information- if it is available. I decided it would be a good time to start experimenting with the technology.

Since the back end of the Google Earth file runs on a database and streams as requested, the university can make different versions of the files to support different departments. Admissions can create a custom version to send to students who are interested in certain majors or aspects of college life. Campus Life can create custom versions to walk new students through their first day on campus. Architecture and Planning can create special versions for their visualization presentations. The list could go on.

As of this writing I have already made plans to use the back end in two learning activities (coming soon).

So after almost eight months, it’s finally live, but still a work in progress.

As the file loads in Google Earth, the user is treated to 162 three dimensional buildings that represent Miami University’s campus. One of the more interesting features of this virtual world is the ability to go backwards in time. Miami’s campus began formation in 1824. So, users can roll the time slider back to any year in Miami’s history and see how the campus appeared in that moment in time. We worked with the university architects as well as the archivists to preserve the details as much as we could.

Check it out…

Download and install the latest version Google Earth software (available at – version 4+ required) and enjoy a “flight” around the campus using this technology. For further information on installing Google Earth, see below.

Download and open the Miami University file with Google™ Earth.
You can control the various layers of information about the campus in the “Places” menu on the left side of the software.

Download Google EarthOnce Google Earth Miami has loaded, use the timeline control to change which point in time of Miami’s Oxford Campus you’d like to view and enable “street view” in layers pane to see street level photography.

On the Road with ‘Lolita’


Created as an out-of-class companion to in-class discussion, On The Road with ‘Lolita’ takes students on a virtual field trip through some of the places visited in the famous Nabokov novel.

The activity is based in Google Earth to examine the lead character’s geographic journey. Accompanying each destination are photos and videos of the locations, as well as the site’s entry in the novel, analysis of the author’s reasoning, and opportunities for students to explore their own thoughts about why each location was chosen by the author and discussed in the book.

World History Time Lines


The World History Time Line series allows students to interactively explore important dates relevant to this history course. Pop-ups show maps of political boundaries as well as photos of art and other cultural artifacts found from the era.

The time lines made use of a reusable architecture which minimized production of these eight customized learning objects.

The project inspired the creation of a tool designed to allow faculty and students to create and save their own interactive digital time lines which include a variety of media (coming summer 2007).

Currently these activities are only available to students at Miami Unversity.

Biodiversity of Kenya with Google Earth

Biodiversity of Kenya using Google Earth

I created this learning object to be a primer for a sprint class helping students prepare for upcoming trips to Kenya. The interactive file loads in Google Earth and merges GPS data taken in the field with photos, streaming video, and a travel blog that tracks the progress of the class’ trip throughout Kenya.

Download my Kenya Tour (the free Google Earth is required)

New Faculty CD


The Miami New Faculty CD

New Faculty CD Architecture



This project was undertaken to introduce new faculty to the technology resources available at Miami University. Using Flash and XML, it was possible to combine all the commonalities faculty have with specific personal data on a single CD. This combination created completely personalized information including network account settings, departmental library and technical support representatives, user-centered campus maps, academic resources, and discipline specific online learning materials. Duplicating this effort for each faculty member required simply changing userID and academic department variables for each CD. Because of the CD’s success, similar projects in other areas were spawned using the same architecture.

The New Faculty CD included the following content sections:

Your Info:

This section introduces the new faculty to the central computing
resources available to them and provides hyperlinks and easy to
follow instructions for configuring things such as email and web
page accounts. In addition, this area provides the answer to the
most popular question, “What is my user name and password?”

Instructor Resources:

The Instructor Resources section brings to light not only all Miami
University units designed to assist faculty in improving teaching and
learning, but also the MERLOT website, which provides
department-specific online learning materials.


When things go wrong, or a faculty member needs help with
technology, where do they go? This section breaks down all of the
support areas at Miami. It also provides the faculty with their own
academic department’s support representative contact information.

Campus Map:

The campus map contains an interactive version of the standard
fold-out to help orient faculty to the Oxford campus. This special
version initializes by labeling and centering the faculty member’s
academic department with a “YOU ARE HERE” type marker. Then,
provides a link list of common places all new faculty must visit within
the first few weeks of the semester. A click on the list visually
reveals the buildings location in relation to their office.

Huge Tips:

Huge Tips is a helpful list of all of the little known resources
available to faculty, such as reduced-rate home broadband service
and interest free loans for personal home computers. In addition, a
complete list of grants and resources are available.

Local Eats:

A list of all of the local eateries is included for newcomers. Broken
down by type of restaurant, this list provides numbers, hyperlinks to
menus, and directions to the establishment and indicates whether or
not they deliver.