Academic Technology

Academic Technology

This page houses information and tutorials for the academic technology we support at the college level. Please contact us or schedule a consultation if you have questions or would like to learn more. You’ll find student resources for some academic technology on the Minnesota State system site.

Featured Tech: New Classroom AV Systems (Crestron Systems)

The Crestron Touchpanel is used for video conferencing and presentations, such as the delivery of Hy-flex classes. This system syncs with the technology in your classroom including: the television, projector, instructor and ceiling microphone, speakers, and two cameras in the classroom.

Highlights of a Crestron Touchpanel system include:

  1. Simple navigation with the touch screen display:
    • Tap VIDEO SOURCE to select where the projector and screen get their video. Choose between displaying the Instructor PC, a Wireless Device, or Document camera (Document camera is only available at IHCC)
    • Tap DISPLAY MUTE to pause screen sharing
    • Tap AUDIO SETTINGS to adjust the System (volume for videos), Listening Mic (lecture microphone), Ceiling mic (picks up the classroom sound)
  2. Screen sharing functionality: adjust what people in a video call can see:
    • Tap CAMERAS/ CONTENT to select a Preset and adjust the view of the Instructor camera (rotate, zoom in and zoom out)
    • Tap CLASS to select the view of the classroom

OWL Camera

What is an OWL camera and how do I use it in my classroom?

An OWL camera gives a 360-degree view of a space, and tracks the person who is speaking. These features make OWL cameras ideal for instructional spaces.

This photograph shows a DCTC faculty member using an OWL camera in a hyflex teaching environment. The camera allows him to bring students into his classroom remotely via Zoom. Those students are also able to see him and other students who are participating in the class on campus.

For a video introduction to this camera’s basic functionality and plug-and-play operation, see We will be using the Meeting OWL Pro in our classrooms, which has a few additional features. See for details.

For more on teaching in hyflex or paired classrooms, see our eLearning page.

Want to get some experience with an OWL camera? Just contact CTL Staff or stop by the Center for Teaching and Learning!

eBooks and Direct Digital Materials

The following are best practices for use of eBooks and Direct Digital materials, whether you are teaching online or in traditional settings:

  1. Alert students to any additional costs they will incur for these materials.
  2. Provide students with clear instructions on how to get started with eBooks and Direct Digital materials.
  3. Advise students on where to go for help, keeping the following in mind:
    • All of the access to our Direct Digital content and most of our eBooks are coordinated or sold through RedShelf (though a few in-store eBooks are supplied through VitalSource). Students having difficulty accessing their materials should first call RedShelf. They are very responsive, and unfortunately the publisher help lines are often not.
      Phone: 1-888-622-9838
      Email: help@redshelf.comVitalSource
      Live Chat Available 24/7
      Phone: 855-200-4146 (text or call available for support)
    • Students who request help with Direct Digital materials and eBooks through JIRA are invariably referred back to their instructor for assistance.

The Linking to Publisher-eBook Content provides instructions for adding or linking eBooks and Direct Digital materials to online courses. Please contact Chad Anderson with any questions you have about this process.


Flip (formerly FlipGrid) allows faculty and students engage in online discussion using short, informal video clips. We have noticed one drawback in student access of this tool, in that login is contingent on email settings at the Minnesota State system level. If you are interested in using Flip in your classes, see these instructions for students on how they can ensure the email address on their record at the Minnesota State system level is correct: Confirm Microsoft O365 Email Address. This will allow you to share your Flip topics with students and invite them to participate in discussions.

For information on Flip, including a start-up guide for instructors, free webinars, and help center:

Kaltura MediaSpace & Capture

Mediaspace LogoMediaSpace is a cloud based web service developed by Kaltura which allows faculty, staff, and students to upload and distribute various audio and video media formats. Once a video is created in or uploaded to MediaSpace, users can copy a link or embed code to share their media in online courses and in other online forums.

Users can also:

Access MediaSpace here using your StarID and password.

Watch a video from one of our recent MediaSpace training sessions:

Access MediaSpace training resources from Kaltura’s Knowledge Center:

Do you have content that you’ve created using Kaltura CaptureSpace Light? Follow these instructions to save and transition that content to the new Kaltura Capture platform. Kaltura Express Capture is  for providing video feedback to students in online courses. See this step-by-step guide to using this tool.

Podcast Studio (Located at Inver Hills)

Podcast Logo

The Inver Hills Learning Center is the second floor of the Library building. The Learning Center contains the Podcast Studio – which is available for both

DCTC and Inver Hills faculty use. The Podcast Studio contains a computer and recording set-up for up to four people to record simultaneously. Faculty interested in using the Podcast Studio should make a reservation using this Bookings link.

Podcast Studio Use Instructions 

Quiz Question Converter

You can convert MS Word files to an Excel CSV (Comma Separated Value) file type that can be quickly imported into the D2L Brightspace course. See Convert a Quiz from Word to Online for step-by-step instructions, or access to tool at

ReadSpeaker TextAid

ReadSpeaker TextAidReadSpeaker TextAid is a document and web reader application that is fully integrated into D2L Brightspace. With one click, users can enable to tool to read course documents and PDFs, as well as web-based content appearing both within and outside of courses.

Access ReadSpeaker TextAid within any D2L course by clicking on the tool’s icon. See for a video tutorial on how ReadSpeaker TextAid works within D2L Brightspace. You can also view or print the written instructions here.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor (Available only at Inver Hills)

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are used for proctoring exams online. Respondus offers many online training resources for faculty and students. These resources include webinars, training videos, and resources such as downloadable start-up guides. Access these resources at:

Information about data privacy:

Please contact CTL Staff with any questions about these products, or for individual assistance. Please create a JIRA ticket to coordinate installation of Respondus LockDown browser on your college-issued computer.

Respondus Quiz Generator (Available only at Inver Hills)

Respondus Quiz Generator is a software application used to create questions offline and publish them in the D2L Brightspace Quiz tool. A license key must be updated in order to use Respondus Quiz Generator.

All faculty have access to the installation file for Respondus and information and terms about installing the software:

  • Via the DCTC Faculty and Staff Portal. To access the installation file, enter your login credentials (StarID and password) for the Portal and navigate to Departments, Information Technology. The installation file is available in the zipped file titled Respondus 4 Download.
  • Via the IHCC Invernet. To access the installation file, enter your login credentials (StarID and password) for Invernet and navigate to the Faculty tab. The installation file is available in the zipped file titled Respondus Software.

The license key and other information you’ll need during installation are available in the document Respondus Quiz Generator Software License Key Info.pdf.

If you are installing this software on a college device, please contact IT staff for administrative assistance.

For information on Respondus Quiz Generator


Starfish provides students a central location to connect to the people and services that can help them finish what they start.  Consider it another communication and student success tool that connects students, faculty, and staff members.  Key features include:

  • alert system of kudos and flags which allows faculty to communicate with students and advisors
  • ability for faculty to set up office hours and students to reserve a time
  • ability to send individualized messages to students and/or advisors
  • ability for students to make appointments with a variety of student services offices
  • referral system to ensure students are connected to supports they need plus ability for students to ask for help
  • to do items for students to remind them to register, complete financial aid, etc.
  • success plans which are checklists tailored for certain populations like first semester students, PSEO students, etc.
  • easy access for students to a success network of advisors and counselors, faculty, accessibility, tutoring, and more

Resources for Starfish can be accessed from faculty/staff portal pages at IHCC and DCTC:

IHCC Invernet

DCTC Faculty & Staff Portal

To submit a request for Starfish assistance via JIRA at IHCC, go to Invernet/Help & Work Requests/Project: Starfish/Issue Type: Select from pulldown. At DCTC, go to Faculty & Staff Portal/JIRA Project Request/Project: Starfish/Issue Type: Select from pulldown. DCTC and IHCC faculty and staff can also email for assistance.


Microsoft Teams is a dynamic tool that combines file sharing, web conferencing, chat, and more. Faculty are beginning to use this tool as part of their online teaching strategy, especially in those disciplines that use a cohort model. You can even use Teams to collaborate with people outside of Minnesota State. See Adding Community Members to a Microsoft Team and Community Member Joining a Microsoft Team for instructions.

Matt Boudinot, Automotive faculty at Dakota County Technical College, worked for the the Center for Teaching and Learning during the summer of 2020 to produce a series of videos on how he uses Teams to teach in his area. See his full playlist of videos on MediaSpace: For more video tutorial content from Matt Boudinot, visit his personal Microsoft Stream channel:

View Microsoft Teams tutorials on their website:


VoiceThread is a cloud-based tool that allows threaded video and voice discussion around many kinds of media, such as photos, videos, and documents. Over 50 media types can be shared via VoiceThread. It’s great for student presentations, for making lectures more participatory, and is especially helpful wherever visual representations are important.

To get started with VoiceThread, first visit the page in their help center on creating: Then see their page specifically for instructors working in D2L Brightspace:

You can also access a recording of one of our recent VoiceThread training sessions:

Contact CTL Staff for more help in incorporating VoiceThread into your classes.

Zoom Web ConferencingZoom Logo

Zoom is a web conferencing tool that can be used by faculty, staff and students. To access and use this tool, go to and login with your StarID. See these instructions for guidance in using the Zoom desktop application.

Zoom includes many features, including, but not limited to: meeting rooms for up to 300 people; microphone or telephone audio; session recording with cloud storage; screen sharing; breakout rooms and more.  Learn how to Create a Zoom Class Meeting Link for your online courses.

For more information on Zoom security settings, see this helpful guide:

For student guidance in logging into Zoom sessions, see: Or refer them to the Zoom resources on our college website, under Technology Resources.

For information on using your own intellectual property in Zoom meetings, view the Zoom intellectual property statement provided by Minnesota State.

Zoom Help Center

To get started, see Zoom’s self-service guides at the Zoom Help Center or watch Zoom Video Tutorials.

If necessary, request assistance directly from Zoom any day and at any time, day or night – including public holidays. Technicians are available for email or live support.

If you still have questions, please contact CTL Staff to arrange a help session or customized tutorial.