Free EEZ Pilot Programs: EEZ Directory and Mobile App

posted Dec 10, 2014, 12:41 PM by Edward Murray   [ updated Dec 10, 2014, 12:43 PM ]

During our July 2014 EEZ meeting we discussed two pilot programs available for our EEZ members. We have been working with a developer over the last few months to design a plan for the each of the pilot programs and recently we met with a small group of EEZ members to review the progress. Before we move forward with each of the pilot programs we would like to see if any other EEZ members are interested in participating.

EEZ Directory

The purpose of the EEZ directory is to develop a self-serve, user-friendly member based directory system for EEZ content providers. Each content provider will be able to create and edit a listing of their own individual distance learning programs, events, and professional development for user registration. Other features of the EEZ directory will include:
  • Compatibility with with mobile devices (tablets, phones, etc).
  • A design framework which allows for additional features and content to be added without becoming cluttered and unwieldy.
  • Analytics for content providers on which programs and listings are viewed most often.
The EEZ directory will be a free resource for EEZ members.

EEZ Mobile App

Several EEZ members have reached out to us with interest in developing a mobile for their institution. To support these member we have spoken with a developer about designing a mobile app template that can be used by several institutions. The mobile app will allow content providers to easily update members and visitors about current events, programs, and exhibits. Other features of the mobile app template will include:
  • Audio and video resources on exhibits and programs.
  • Push notifications to share new resources and information.
  • Visitor maps of exhibits and institution.
  • Resources and information on how to become member of your institution.
  • The ability for members/patrons to send feedback about their experience or visit.
While the EEZ mobile app pilot will be free for EEZ members, there will be a cost to host the mobile app when the pilot is complete.

Participating in the Pilots

If you are interested in participating in the EEZ directory or mobile app pilot programs please complete this online form by Friday, December 19, 2014. Space is limited for each pilot.

If you have any questions please contact Ed Murray (emurra03@nyit.edu).

BlackBoard Collaborate PowerPoint Issue on Mac OS X

posted Nov 22, 2014, 5:38 AM by Edward Murray

There is an issue with uploading PowerPoint presentations to BlackBoard Collaborate on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. When attempting to upload a PowerPoint file the user will encounter an error stating "Failed calling PowerPoint to process presentation".


BlackBoard is aware of the issue and is working to fix the problem. Until the problem is resolved you can upload your PowerPoint file to BlackBoard Collaborate by saving the slides as images. Follow the directions below to save your PowerPoint presentation as images.
  1. Open PowerPoint
  2. Open the presentation needed
  3. Click File
  4. Click Save as Pictures
  5. Save the pictures to your Desktop for easy finding
  6. Select Format: JPEG
  7. Click Save
  8. The images are now saved to a new folder on your Desktop
To upload the slide images to BlackBoard Collaborate follow the directions below:
  1. Open your BlackBoard Collaborate webinar session
  2. Click Load Content
  3. Go to your Desktop and open the folder created with the images from your PowerPoint Presentation
  4. Select All of the Images, by pressing Command + A
  5. Click Open
  6. Select: Import Images as Individual Pages
  7. Click Load
  8. You should now see the slides in the Page Explorer
If you have any questions or concerns please contact our technical support line: 800-462-9041.

EEZ Presentation at the Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference

posted Aug 19, 2014, 12:50 PM by Edward Murray


Last Tuesday, Stan Silverman and Ed Murray presented at the Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core Conference at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY.  During the presentation they discussed how the Educational Enterprise Zone (EEZ) helps to support museums, libraries, science centers, and other cultural institutions build capacity to deliver programs using web-based distance learning tools.

They also discussed the project work that has been completed over the past two years through the IMLS funded Developing a Model for Museum Based School Partnerships grant program.  During the presentation, they highlighted some of the lessons that were created by grant teams.  All of the lessons from year one can be viewed on the resources page of the EEZ website.


Stan Silverman also discussed the upcoming STEAMed initiative and showcased the new STEAMed vehicle outside the New York State Museum.  Conference attendees were able to view the new vehicle as well as use the hardware and resources that are available.  More information about the STEAMed initiative will be available in the fall.

Below is the slide deck from the Uncommon Approaches to the Common Core presentation:


July 2014 Educational Enterprise Zone Webinar Information and Recording

posted Jul 10, 2014, 10:03 AM by Edward Murray


We want to thank all of the EEZ members who were able to join us for our webinar on Wednesday. Your feedback on our future programs, training, and opportunities is much appreciated!

If you were unable to attend the webinar you can view the recording here. We talked specifically about three opportunities for EEZ members.

Member Listing / Content Catalog
EEZ members have expressed interest in adding a member listing / content catalog to the existing EEZ website. This would allow EEZ members to list the many distance learning programs that they offer and provide K-12 institutions with a way to register for these programs.

Mobile App Development
We have also received interest in facilitating the development of mobile apps for institutions. Interested institutions would be provided a template app to showcase programs and events, as well as a way to communicate with members/patrons who visit your institution.

NSF Grant Participation
We will be submitting proposals for two separate NSF grants in the Fall. These proposals will be submitted through the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Innovations in Development Grant program. The AISL program seeks to advance new approaches to evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments for public and professional audiences.

If you are interested in participating in any of these programs please let us know by completing this online form.  Based on the feedback and interest we will schedule more focused webinars to talk about each of these opportunities.

If you have any questions please contact Ed Murray (emurra03@nyit.edu).

July 2014 Educational Enterprise Zone Webinar

posted Jul 7, 2014, 1:58 PM by Edward Murray

Based on your feedback we have decided to host a webinar for the July Educational Enterprise Zone meeting rather than a face-to-face meeting. The webinar will still take place on July 9th and will run from 10am to 11:30am. Please click here to RSVP for the webinar and a revised agenda is available here.

During the webinar we will still focus on on a recent proposal to develop a self-serve, user-friendly member based directory system of participating organizations that allow each to create, upload and edit their own individual distance-learning programs and events ready for user registration. We will also discuss upcoming EEZ projects and grant opportunities.

July 2014 Educational Enterprise Zone Meeting Agenda

posted Jun 17, 2014, 10:38 AM by Edward Murray

This is a reminder that on July 9th from 10am to 2pm we will have an Educational Enterprise (EEZ) Meeting at the New York Institute of Technology Manhattan campus. You can RSVP for the EEZ meeting using this online form. Please note that the webinar option is available for EEZ members who are not located in the New York City area.

The meeting will focus on a recent proposal to develop a self-serve, user-friendly member based directory system of participating organizations that allow each to create, upload and edit their own individual distance-learning programs and events ready for user registration. We will also discuss upcoming EEZ projects and grant opportunities. For a more detailed agenda click here.

July 2014 Educational Enterprise Zone Meeting at New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan Campus

posted Jun 12, 2014, 11:11 AM by Edward Murray

Our next Educational Enterprise Zone (EEZ) meeting will take place on July 9th from 10am to 2pm at the New York Institute of Technology Manhattan campus. You can RSVP for the EEZ meeting using this online form. Please note that the webinar option is available for EEZ members who are not located in the New York City area.

The meeting will focus on a recent proposal to develop a self-serve, user-friendly member based directory system of participating organizations that allow each to create, upload and edit their own individual distance-learning programs and events ready for user registration. We will also discuss upcoming EEZ projects and grant opportunities.

A more detailed agenda will be sent shortly.

Presenting at the Museums in Action Conference

posted Feb 14, 2014, 5:53 AM by Edward Murray


As part of the Developing a Model for Technology Based Museum School Partnerships grant, which is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we will be presenting at conferences to disseminate information about the successes of the project.  At the end of March we will be presenting at the Museums Association of New York's annual conference Museums in Action

Our session, which is titled "Building Museum School Partnerships through Distance Learning and the Common Core", has been selected as a session highlight for the conference.  Erika Sanger from the Albany Institute of History and Art and Darren Faccilonga from the New York Institute of Technology will lead the presentation which focuses on examples of how teachers and museum educators have worked together to develop interdisciplinary lessons, share solutions to perceived technology challenges and content adaptations to meet common core standards.

Museums in Action Conference | Museums Association of New York

BlackBoard Collaborate Updates

posted Feb 11, 2014, 9:41 AM by Edward Murray



Recently, we updated our BlackBoard Collaborate webinar platform to a new version. We would like to highlight some of the new features you will encounter in the new version of BlackBoard Collaborate.

BlackBoard Collaborate Session Links
First, we would like to note that the way you request BlackBoard Collaborate sessions has not changed. After you have requested your webinar session you will receive an email with moderator and participant links. Read the email you received carefully and remember to share the correct link with your participants. Click here to view a sample of this email.

Participate via Teleconference
You may have noticed in the sample email that there is now an option to participate using audio via teleconference. Be sure to share this information with your webinar participants.

Updated Demo Room
We have created a new demo room so you can test your computer and practice your presentations before your webinar session. The demo room is only to be used for testing purposes. To access the new demo room navigate in your web browser to bbc.nyittbls.org. This website also includes some support information to help you troubleshoot any problems and lists our technical support contact information.

Mac OS X 10.8 or higher
To help avoid some of the technical issues that Mac users have had in the past BlackBoard has released an app called the BlackBoard Collaborate Launcher. This app is required for any Mac that is running Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. You can find information on how to install the BlackBoard Collaborate Launcher on the bbc.nyittbls.org support website.

Mobile Apps
The new version of BlackBoard Collaborate also includes mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can now participate in a webinar session using this mobile apps, but you will still need to moderate a webinar session on your computer. You can find information on the compatibility for these mobile apps on the bbc.nyittbls.org support website.

Updated Pre-Webinar Template
We have updated the pre-webinar template for BlackBoard Collaborate. This includes sections to share the participant session link and teleconference information. We have also included links to the new BlackBoard Collaborate mobile apps. For future reference, the pre-webinar email is located on the bbc.nyittbls.org. support website.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to Ed Murray (emurra03@nyit.edu).

Julie Wilson from the Baseball Hall of Fame Featured in NY Times

posted Aug 15, 2013, 7:27 AM by Edward Murray

Learn about how Julie Wilson from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY is using distance learning technology to connect with students in the Bronx, NY.

Using Baseball History to Teach Children Big Lessons | via New York Times

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