Summer changes for the Educational Technology site

Over the next few weeks, we will be making some edits to this site’s content structure and design. Changes will be rolled out gradually, so that by early July we should have a newly refreshed site. 

We hope that the new structure will make things even easier to find, but if the information you seek remains elusive, please feel free to contact your Instructional Technologist! 

Looking back at #Domains17

Trinity Ed Tech folks at #Domains17

#Domains17

This week, most of the educational technology group went to Oklahoma City for the Domains 2017 conference, jointly hosted by Reclaim Hosting and the University of Oklahoma.

We went because we are quite close to setting up a pilot instance of Trinity Domains, a Domain of One’s Own project (see also: A Domain of One’s Own in a Post-Ownership Society) that will give faculty, students, and staff the digital infrastructure to stake out their digital identity and develop new, exciting forms of scholarship. Since setup is imminent, the conference seemed like a good way to see what other schools were doing, and to make connections for when we inevitably need help.

We’re launching the project because we want to be able to support as much open, web-based teaching, learning, and scholarship as possible, in as many forms as possible, and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to experiment online.

I don’t think any of us at Trinity were well-positioned to do a proper “review” of #Domains17, as we don’t yet have access to the Domain of One’s Own setup, and so don’t have fingertip knowledge of what’s easy, what’s hard, or anything like that.

In lieu of that review, then, here’re a few thoughts:

  • #Domains17 was a great short-conference experience, at an interesting venue and with lots of very friendly, collaboration-minded people. Lauren Brumfield, Adam Croom, Jim Groom, and everyone associated with the conference deserve a lot of credit. 13/10, would attend another event.
  • Martha Burtis’s keynote, “Neither Locked Out Nor Locked In,” is a really great starting point for thinking tangibly about some of the reasons one might want to pursue a Domains project.
  • It also primed me with a thought that held up very well throughout the conference: Her entire section on “WordPress as Symbol and Choice” decries the fact that WordPress often becomes the default way to inhabit a domain of one’s own, which is . . . problematic. Students and faculty need to be free to have domains with different technology options, even if we all have to stretch a bit in terms of what we support, and what people have to support on their own a little bit.
  • Once you’d heard that talk from Martha, it was hard not to realize that the conference schedule was quite WordPress focused. There were more examples of “here’s how to do a cool thing in WordPress” than there were examples of “here’s a successful instructional use of Domains.” This is neither good nor bad as such, but it was just interesting to see the lay of the land. Since we have two multisite WordPress installations on campus, the temptation to default to WordPress will be something to both resist and work with.
  • Switching gears a little: On a personal note it was neat to see Jon Udell talk about annotation. It’s probably not the thing he’d pick to be known for, but I’ve shown his screencast on Wikipedia & the heavy metal umlaut to thousands of people over the years.

There will be more thoughts on this over the summer—and I’d certainly invite Amy and Dave and Sue to chime in with their impressions—as we get started. Certainly it’s the case that I jotted down a ton of things to look into as soon as we’re up and running, which I hope to be able to report on soon!

Photo with all four of us by Tom Woodward, shared under a Creative Commons-BY-SA-2.0 license

Summer Virtual Reading Group

medieval marginalia
As discussed at SITT this year, we’d like to use Hypothes.is this summer as a way to collaboratively read a few essays about digital pedagogy and research.

To play along, make sure you have an account with hypothes.is, and, ideally, install the extension for Chrome. (You don’t have to use Chrome–you can also annotate things using the website.) The explanatory video is pretty good:

Once you’ve signed up, go here to join the Trinity Ed Tech group: https://hypothes.is/groups/pDxZ7oAr/trinity-ed-tech.

Then, let’s start reading! We’ll start with Wired.com’s overview of the A Domain of One’s Own movement, which we’re piloting here at Trinity beginning this fall. For the best effectiveness, try to post comments to the Hypothes.is group before June 9.

Our second reading will be Natalie Houston’s essay on Text Analysis–we’ll try to comment on that between June 10 and June 23.

We’ll determine subsequent readings later in the summer.

Photo “2 chickens, a duck, and a priest?” by Flicker user Aria Nadii / Creative Commons licensed BY-NC-ND-2.0

TOW: Get organized with Evernote

Tip of the WeekEvernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to gather all of those scraps of paper, to-do lists, Web clippings, notes, etc. and put them in one, searchable online notebook. Notes can be organized by tags, and are stored on the Web, so they will sync between all your devices.

You can easily share your notes with others: students, faculty, colleagues at other institutions, and invite them to collaborate on documents if you wish.

Potential uses:

  • Collect research notes as you discover articles or Web sites. Evernote will let you take a snapshot of the Web site, file it in a particular notebook, and make a comment for your future reference.
  • Store ideas and reminders related to your courses.
  • Take notes during meetings. You can even take a photo of an item and upload it to Evernote directly.
  • Develop collaborative documents with colleagues from other institutions.
  • Make vacation plans!

Here are some other ideas for using Evernote academically, from Raul Pacheco-Vega.

Proceed to Evernote.com to get started.

Join Our Growing Digital Scholarship Team at Trinity!

screenshot of a story map

Why Work on Digital Scholarship at Trinity?

A week or so ago, Trinity College posted a job opening for a digital scholarship coordinator, a position designed to build on recent momentum in digital humanities and other forms of born-digital scholarship. We anticipate that the successful candidate will work with faculty interested in conceptualizing new methods or modes of research, as well as with students looking to build digital research skills for a thesis or other forms of scholarship. The digital scholarship coordinator will work closely with the educational technology group and the library in support of all this work.

The digital scholarship coordinator posting speaks for itself, but I did want to highlight a few things that might make this post even more attractive than I think it already is:

  • We’re currently beginning to design a digital scholarship studio in the library, which the successful candidate will have significant input in finalizing and implementing.
  • We are seriously evaluating partnering with Reclaim Hosting’s Domain of One’s Own program to ensure that our students and faculty have the digital infrastructure to develop exciting new projects. I am not a gambler by nature, but there is every possibility that we’ll have reached an agreement by the time interviews for this position start.
  • Staff support for digital scholarship projects is already quite sophisticated–we have expertise in WordPress, GIS, timelines, 3D printing, and more.

We’ve been building toward being able to make this move for several years now, and it’s a very exciting development in Information Services that we’re able to go forward.

The most compelling reaason to come to Trinity as the digital scholarship coordinator is that we have terrific faculty who are already doing exciting work in this field. While this blog post can’t begin to do justice to the rich environment you’ll find here, let me just briefly mention a few we’ve either supported or are in development:

  • Jack Dougherty (Educational Studies) draws on digital history and data visualization tools to reveal the relationship between schooling and housing over time. Examples include On the Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and Its Suburbs (currently hosted at TrInFo Cafe’s PressBooks; under contract with Amherst College Press); Data Visualization for All, Web Writing(U of Michigan P, 2015), and Writing History in the Digital Age(U of Michigan P, 2013). You can see his course syllabuses on our WordPress site.
  • Jack Gieseking (American Studies) uses digital methods and analytics to visualize and make public hitherto invisible lgbtq histories and geographies. All of his work is online at http://jgieseking.org/cv, but let me specifically call attention to two ongoing projects, The Queer Public Archives and the Trans Tumblr Project, as well as his course on Data-Driven Cultures.
  • Alden Gordon (Fine Arts) has worked with his students to develop art+Hartford: A website that catalogs public art in the Hartford area, with photographs and scholarly entries for each item. The site is designed for mobile devices, and includes customizable walking tours of the area’s public art. Alden is also working on a digital mapping project illustrating travel in the 18thC.
  • Seth Markle (History/International Studies) is working with the Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center to develop a digital archive about the history of hip hop in Hartford.
  • A variety of faculty have developed assignments that build on mapping or other forms of digital storytelling that aren’t currently publicly available. Cheryl Greenberg (History) had students crowdsource a story map (pictured above) showing how the civil rights movement unfolded in a small Mississippi town. Zayde Antrim (History/International Studies) has students working concretely with maps. Beth Notar (Anthropology) and Molly Helt (Psychology/Neuroscience) have students produce digital artifacts during the semester. This list is very partial!

When it comes to teaching, the resourcefulness of the faculty is even more apparent, using tools such as hypothes.is, Zotero, Gelphi, QGIS, Google Docs, WordPress, and much else besides to accomplish myriad pedagogical goals. Some faculty also have student-driven research projects that could potentially become more open and public, but could use help making that happen. We have a dedicated, innovative faculty, and are poised to take further steps in the realm of digital scholarship and pedagogy.

If you have questions about the position, please feel free to get in touch! Again, the full job listing is here: https://trincoll.peopleadmin.com/postings/1308.

TOW: Using Qualtrics for Survey Research

Tip of the Week

There are many ways to field a survey online including free services such as Google Forms and Survey Monkey. But what if your survey requires some complex logic or you need to track participants and automate the process of sending reminders and follow up emails? Trinity College has a subscription with Qualtrics, a powerful and flexible survey tool used by many top researchers. While it does take some getting used to it is easy to use and is powerful and flexible enough for any survey research you can throw at it.

To get started simply go to http://trinity.qualtrics.com and create an account using your Trinity email address. You will then have access to a sandbox area where you can design a survey and see if it is the tool for you. If you decide to use it for your research you should contact your department’s Instructional Technologist and we can help get you started. We will have to fully enable your account before you can activate your survey. To do this we will need some information from you especially proof that you have completed the Institutional Review Board process.

 

Winterize Your Course!

Tip of the WeekSince we are in the season of flu outbreaks and 18 inch snowfalls, it seems to be a good time to review how to “Winterize Your Course.” If you are not able to make it to campus, but would prefer not to cancel class – there are many options for presenting a lecture or interacting with your students remotely.

If you want to conduct a synchronous session during your scheduled class time, we recommend a variety of options including Skype, WebEx, Google Hangouts, Moodle Chat or a simple conference call. If you want to post materials for students to review in a self-paced format, there are a number of tools that can be used to create a video or narrate a screen-capture, such as PowerPoint and Camtasia.

If you are interested, review this handout that describes the different tools in more detail. Then, contact your Instructional Technologist to get started. Stay warm!

Visit the new Center for Educational Technology!

The CET is complete! Located on the south end of Raether LITC Level 1, the Center for Educational Technology is a newly remodeled space for collaborative and individual study using the latest in technology and applications.

The space is open 24/7; and staffed by Student Technology Assistants during both day and evening hours. (Hours available on the right.)

The CET is outfitted with large screens of various sizes that you can connect any device to; Mac minis with dual monitors, and some with Adobe’s Creative Cloud software suite; USB charging plugs in every outlet; 3D printers; virtual reality headsets; and of course – plenty of modern soft seating.

Visit us soon!

 

TOW: The Moodle Resource Website is Ready to Help!

Tip of the WeekAre you new to using Moodle at Trinity College? Or are you a Moodle veteran who suspects something simple has changed, or you’re missing a step?

The Moodle Resource Website, at commons.trincoll.edu/moodle/, probably has the answers you’re looking for, including:

  • How to make your course visible to students
  • How to add your TA
  • How to upload files
  • How to import materials from a previous semester
  • … and more!

Visit commons.trincoll.edu/moodle/ to get started. If there is a topic that you would like to see included on the site, email your Instructional Technologist.

If you need immediate help on your Moodle course, the STA desk is the fastest way to get help. Visit their information on the Trinity website at this link or contact them:

TOW: Digitization Service

Did you know Educational Technology provides a digitization service to faculty? Tip of the Week

You may have noticed VHS decks, 35mm slide projectors and overhead transparency projectors aren’t as common as they used to be. They are also becoming harder to replace and keep in working order. These items are going the way of the Dodo so what can you do to future proof your course materials?

If you have VHS tapes, 35mm slides or overhead transparencies you use regularly we can convert them to a digital format for you. We can convert VHS tapes to MP4 files or DVD or scan 35mm slides and transparencies to a variety of image formats.

To get started contact your Instructional Technologist!