Author Archive: Pablo Yáñez

About Pablo Yáñez

Pablo Yáñez is the Academic Technologist for the Sciences. He studied Geology at the University of Maryland (BS) and University of Arizona (MS), where he specialized in Geochemistry. He joined Information Technology at William and Mary in 2000, and has since worked with nearly all of the academic departments on campus in some capacity or another. Beyond his "normal" Academic Technologist duties, during these years he has been involved in several projects/initiatives including: the use of the College's Public Access Labs; the creation of the Center for Geospatial Analysis, the Swem Media Center, and many technology-enhanced classrooms; and in the review and planning of campus-wide software procurement.

Four Planning Tips for Hosting Remote Guest Speakers

Don't worry, it doesn't take this many people to help you connect with a remote guest speaker!

It seems that everyone I talk to at William & Mary has amazing personal connections. Each faculty member seems to have at least one, but usually many, superstar advisors or academic colleagues that they keep in touch with. Students have parents and family members working in all sorts of interesting and influential positions. We are […]

The King Is Dead? Long Live the King? The Rise and Possible Fall of the Personal Computer, and What It Means to Academia

Will the personal computer soon become obsolete? Image courtesy of a Creative Commons license via Flickr user Niv Singer.

For at least a couple of years now there’s been quite a buzz about the impending death of the personal computer (for the purposes of this article, the PC, and not to be confused with the more tightly defined Microsoft-based PC). Much of this discussion has been based on the dismal sales trends for PCs […]

Is Technology Indistinguishable from Magic? The Dangers of Clarke’s Third Law

hals-eye

In his 1962 book Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke proposed his third and final “law” of  prediction — he felt he had to propose no more laws because “as three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop […]

RIP Photo Management Application Aperture, Gone but not Soon Forgotten

One of my six large Aperture Libraries… with over 32,000 images!

One of my favorite articles here at the W&M Academic Technology Blog is Mike Blum’s 2012 post “What Do You Do When Your Favorite Tool Goes Away?” In that piece Mike dealt with, not altogether tongue-in-cheek, the stages of grieving when one of your favorite applications goes away. Specifically he was referring to the early demise […]

Reflections on W&M’s myNotebook Program Ten Years Later

Geology 110 students using their laptop computers and LectureTools during class. I’m arm-waving at the front of the class. So who is on Facebook and who is checking their email? Photo by Pablo Yanez.

William & Mary announced its myNotebook initiative nearly ten years ago. Our effort was by no means revolutionary (as Wake Forest University’s ThinkPad Project began a decade earlier in 1996), rather it was meant to capitalize on the boom of mobile computing that was already changing how students interacted with technology on a day to […]

Pictures Worth Worlds of Data — Geospatial Data Visualization Projects

earth-visualization

For a while now I’ve been very interested in data visualization — specifically how visualization can be used to gain understanding of really large data sets. Actually that’s not true. Like most people I’ve always been drawn to data visualization, if for no other reason that we humans are really quite bad at gaining any […]

Worlds, Great and Small: Using Ultra-High-Definition Interactive Images in the Classroom

diatom-nanopan

I recall when I was learning to drive, and how I foolishly thought I knew where I was going. How could I not know where I was going? After all, I had spent countless hours looking out the car window as my parents ferried me around suburban Maryland and Washington DC. Once I had my […]

The End of Bliss, or, Why You Should Think About Upgrading from Windows XP

Bliss is the default wallpaper for Windows XP.

If you are trying to find Bliss you may want to start your search at 3050 Fremont Drive, roughly halfway between the towns of Napa and Sonoma, California. Subconsciously I think most of us know exactly what Bliss looks like — a lovely, vivid, green meadow on a perfectly rolling hill, lying under a deep […]

5 Reasons to Use Blackboard’s Online Quizzes

With online quizzes, say goodbye to piles of quizzes to grade by hand.

After using online quizzes for a few weeks already this semester in my Geology 101 course, I have five reasons why I think you should try it out.

Five Selfish Reasons to Blog

Writing something down can help you clarify your ideas.

Often blogs are discussed in terms of their public expression … sharing information and experiences, creating a community, disseminating your ideas to a potentially large audience, etc. Obviously the flow from the blogger “outwards” is a very important aspect, but here I’d like to mention five reasons why you should consider blogging for what it can do for you rather than for your readers. The reasons below are applicable to any blogger, but perhaps even more so to academics, where blogs if properly used can become a wonderful compliment to more traditional methods of disseminating ideas.