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About Bart Everson

Creative Generalist in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development at Xavier University of Louisiana

Now that the spring 2023 semester is officially rolling, we wanted to remind all faculty that Xavier has invested in a site license for the Camtasia software package.

Not only do you have access to the current version of Camtasia, the site license means you also get access to TechSmith's tech support as well as extensive training materials, which are quite frankly excellent.

  • Educational Resources: tutorials specifically focused on using Camtasia for online teaching
  • TechSmith Academy: not product specific, but full of tips and best practices for video creation
  • Certification Courses: premium learning experiences that develop skills with screencasting and visual communication (You will need to create a TechSmith Account and then follow the link.)

For those just tuning in, Camtasia is a tool for making videos by recording from your screen and camera. A common use for teachers is to record short lectures.

So what are you waiting for? Yes, you can download and install Camtasia now. Here's the link.

Please note: You will need a Camtasia License key to unlock the software beyond the free trial period. To get the key, please contact me, Bart Everson. You can send me an email: bpeverso at you-know-where.

This spring, we invite you to "Make Climate a Class" for just one day, as part of the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice on or around March 29th, 2023.

Can you do it? Yes, you can! Here's what we mean:

Devote a short portion of your regular class time to a discussion of how your field contributes to the understanding of climate change, or climate solutions, or climate justice. Bring it into the classroom. If even a few Xavier faculty do this, we will engage hundreds of students in a positive focus on the climate crisis.

Here’s what we suggest:

Tell students you are taking a short diversion into climate. Tell them it's as a part of the Worldwide Teach-in. For 15 minutes, introduce an example of how your discipline is thinking about climate change. Then have a 15-minute presentation from an alumnus or colleague who is actually working on climate change. Thirty minutes, DONE.

Climate change touches every field — from artists to entrepreneurs, from philosophers to scientists. Our courses can inspire students to see how they can be leaders in the critical work ahead to stabilize the climate.

Examples:

  • If you teach literature, talk about the emergent genre of climate fiction ("cli-fi") or a specific work of climate fiction. Then engage your students in discussion. 
  • If you are in STEM, assign students a problem related to climate change or climate solutions.
  • If you teach a class related to food systems, discuss the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the food supply.
  • If you are in the social and behavioral sciences, discuss the human dimensions of climate change and climate justice. (For a neuroscience-informed perspective, you might take a look at Ann-Christine Duhaime's new book, Minding the Climate, subject of a recent interview in the New York Times.)

The possibilities are endless.

Students will appreciate the chance to learn how your field relates to an issue that is of major consequence for literally everyone on the planet. They'll appreciate seeing a pathway to solving climate that goes beyond lifestyle choices and political action, as important as those may be.

CAT+FD is here to help. Reach out if you'd like to brainstorm ideas, or if you have a specific question, or just to let us know that you're thinking about it.

Footnote: This post is adapted from the "Letter to faculty who spoke in 2022 teach-in"

Yes yes yes we know this semester is crazy! But we just wanted to ask you to save the date now for something very interesting next semester.

Here's what's up:

As part of the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice, we invite you to "Make Climate a Class" on just one day in the spring semester.

This means you would devote a short portion of your regular class time to a discussion of how your field contributes to the understanding of climate change, climate solutions, or climate justice.

It doesn't matter if your class has nothing to do with the climate crisis. In fact, that's so much the better. The idea to reach as many students as possible, all around the world.

Tell students you are taking a short diversion into climate as part of the Worldwide Teach-in. Then for 15 minutes, introduce an example of how your discipline is thinking about climate change. Then have a 15-minute presentation from an alumnus or other professional who is actually working on climate change in your field. Thirty minutes, DONE.

We'll be posting more information in December. For now, we're just planting the seed. We urge you to save the date now. Mark it on your calendar on or around March 29th, 2023. If past experience is any indicator, next semester could be even crazier, so any dates not saved may well be lost in the shuffle.

PS: We'll be using this hashtag:
#MakeClimateAClass

[Camtasia Logo]

This just in: Xavier's faculty site license for Camtasia has been extended for a few years, and Camtasia 2022 has now been released!

For those just tuning in, Camtasia is a tool for making videos by recording from your screen and camera. A common use for teachers is to record short lectures.

In addition to the software, we have access to TechSmith's tech support as well as extensive training materials, which are quite frankly excellent.

So what are you waiting for? Yes, you can download and install Camtasia now. Here's the link.

Please note: You will need a Camtasia License key to unlock the software beyond the free trial period. To get the key, please contact me, Bart Everson. You can send me an email: bpeverso at you-know-where.

Hey folks! Hope you're enjoying summer break and this record-breaking heat. Hopefully it will be a little cooler when this event rolls around in the fall. We're posting this in support of our faculty in the Division of Business, aiming to spread the word and get on calendars. Download the flyer in PDF.

The Catholic Business Leader: A New Orleans Symposium
Save the Date - September 29 through October 1, 2022
With Keynote Speaker, Cardinal Peter Turkson
Sponsored by Xavier University of Louisiana and Loyola University of New Orleans

We're all concerned about the climate. That concern can be wearing, to say the least. Many young people now suffer from climate anxiety, and some climate organizers are “burning out.”

After the year we've had, this might sound all too familiar.

We need to encourage young people, activists, and teachers of all ages to nourish themselves. As a community, we need to offer support to each other, to give each other permission to slow down and engage in self-care.

Often we try to do too much in too short a time, rather than pacing ourselves for the lifetime mission to which we are called.

And so, on the second Thursday of May, we invite you to do nothing — for the climate!

What’s that mean? Well, the accentuation is actually on the nothing. In other words, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything for the climate (i.e. give up for a day). Rather, for one day, we should intentionally do nothing for the climate. The climate needs us to do more nothing—as it is our pursuit of growth and more, more, more (whether profit, stuff, or children) that is at the heart of our sustainability crisis.

How you do nothing is up to you, but we suggest taking a day away from the fight, away from emails, from work, from school; from the news, from TV shows, movies, and definitely social media. We suggest keeping your devices off completely if you can, and — if you can take a personal day, a mental health day, a vacation day — take one.

Make it a day for relaxing, chilling, nourishing your soul, and reconnecting to the ineffable spirit of being.

To learn more and sign the “Do Nothing” pledge, see Gaianism.org

No fooling: If it's April, it must be time for the Bike Easy Challenge!

I'm joining the Bike Easy Challenge to get more Xavier faculty and staff riding bikes in New Orleans. Riding a bike can make you happier, healthier, and — yes — even wealthier. That's what I call professional development!

Did you know that New Orleans ranks #7 (among cities with over a quarter-million residents) for the percentage of people who bike to work?

And yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, safe transport is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.

Plus there are awesome prizes for riding and encouraging others throughout the month of April. Find out more and register at lovetoride.net/bikeeasy

It only takes a minute to register. It doesn't matter if you ride every day, or if you haven't been on a bike in years. Everyone is invited — and be sure to join the Xavier team!

Holler at me if you need any technical assistance or have any questions.

Imagining Grace is a performance-oriented installation of wellness and contemplation inspired by the work of St. Katharine Drexel and the words of Toni Morrison in recognition of Women’s History Month, presented by Xavier's Women’s Studies Program, Performance Studies Laboratory (PSL), and Department of Art & Performance Studies.

Photo courtesy Robin Vander. All rights reserved.

We've heard a lot about "breakthroughs" over the last year, in contexts that are often alarming. That's why it's so refreshing to get news of a different and thoroughly beneficial kind of breakthrough on our campus.

I'm talking about Imagining Grace, of course. You've heard of it by now, I'm sure.

To call it an art installation might miss the point. It is artful, to be sure, but moreover it's an invitation to participate, to immerse oneself, to chill, to simply be. I call it a breakthrough.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, stop by the Administration Building Art Gallery at your next opportunity and experience it for yourself. Moreover, I urge you to allow yourself a little time for that experience.

Dr. Robin Vander says the space is there for everyone "to make it what they need." So you can sit in silence, you can meet a colleague, you can meet a student, and so forth. There's no right or wrong way, but here are a few pro tips.

  • Candle remotes are tucked under the rear of the basket in the center room; change the candle colors to fit any mood.
  • Read the weekly prompt in that room and see if you want or need to respond to it; if you do, place the card in the other basket in the meditation space.
  • Each Tuesday, there's an African Dance class in the space at 5pm, led by Kai Knight, Founder and Creative Director of Seasons Center. Space is limited, so please register by emailing Dr. Vander.

Please make sure you spread the word. Many students have been discovering the space on their own, but Dr. Vander says the biggest thing she's confronting is "trying to let staff know that the space is there for them as well."

CAT+FD has been advocating for contemplative practices on our campus for over a decade now, and we are proud to support this initiative in our own small way. We're moving our long-running weekly Quarter of Quiet meditation to the space for the duration. Join us there at 12:30pm on Mondays for a silent meditation, about 15 minutes — a great way to start your week.

Photo courtesy Robin Vander. All rights reserved.

See also: Imagining Grace press release [PDF]

Ready to learn some grammar? How's about something on optional modifiers?

OK, so maybe you're not studying grammar right now, but the point is the technique. This movie was produced by Dr. Jason Todd (English) in our Camtasia studio using our brand-new Lightboard.

How does it work? According to Dr. Todd (and I quote):

Writing big letters and wearing dark clothes is key to getting this look.

He also asserts that our Røde microphone is "awesome."

Please don't be mystified by all this technical jargon. The Lightboard is just a way of doing old-fashioned chalkboard-lectures. Except without the chalk. If you want to make a video like this, don't be shy. Get in touch. We'll help you. We're learning along with you.

  • Learn more at lightboard.info, and be sure to check out the section on "best practices."

Many thanks to Dean Kathleen Kennedy for making this available to Xavier faculty through the College of Pharmacy's Center of Excellence grant.

woman holding two coins
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

The XULA Entrepreneurship Institute is interested in gauging the Xavier communities' attitude and general knowledge regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Please take a moment to fill out their survey and they will be sending you some crypto of your own!

Three easy steps to get started:

  1. Take the survey 
  2. Download Coinbase Wallet app (make sure it's the Wallet app)
  3. Email your USDC or ERC20 address to swolfson@xula.edu
    (A little video shows how.)

Further reading?