Author Archives: JBJ

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

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: New Features in Moodle

 

Tip of the Week

As is usually the case, we’ve updated Moodle over the summer, and are now offering Moodle 3.0. In addition to a variety of behind-the-scenes updates, there are a few new features that may be relevant to your fall courses:

  • There are four new question types for quizzes, two involving text, and two involving images. The text types are: select missing word (multiple-choice fill-in-the-blank) and drag-and-drop into text (same, but with a drag-and-drop interface rather than selecting from a list). The image types are: drag-and-drop onto an image, which lets students drag text or small images onto larger images, and drag-and-drop markers, which lets students add text markers to predefined locations.
  • If you use the Workshops feature, showcased during SITT, it now lets you see at-a-glance who has/has not participated.
  • You can optionally set your course to display the dates you uploaded files or other resources, which may help students focus on new material.
  • There are also some simplifications to the course editing process.
  • The text editor features improved handling of tables.

If you’d prefer these features recapped in an Australian-accented jaunty video, well, that’s also available:

As always, if you have questions about anything involving Moodle, please get in touch with your instructional technologist!

How to Access Office365/OneDrive and Why You Might Want To

Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week is a series wherein a member of the educational technology group describes a resource that’s available to the Trinity community, how to use it, and why.

Trinity College has a campus agreement with Microsoft, which allows anyone on campus (faculty, students, staff) to do two things: first, you can download and install Microsoft Office on up to 5 computers you control. And second, you can access Office365, Microsoft’s cloud-based version of Microsoft Office, as well as OneDrive, which gives you one terabyte of storage. You can find instructions for downloading Office and for accessing OneDrive on the Information Services website; in this post, I want to briefly explain why you might want to take advantage of OneDrive and Office365.

The two biggest reasons to take advantage of Office365 are the one terabyte of cloud-based storage it gives you, as well as the ability to access all the smartphone/tablet versions of Office. A third reason is that you can access, edit, and share your files from any device with a web browser and an internet connection.

Accessing Office365/OneDrive For the First Time

Go to portal.office.com, and enter your username@trincoll.edu:

screenshot of portal.office.com

(Obviously, use your own username!) The password field is greyed out, which is fine: just hit “tab” or “enter/return”. The branding will change, and it’ll look like this:

screenshot of portal.office.com

Now you can enter your password. Do so, click “sign in,” and you’ll be brought to this screen:

screenshot of Microsoft OneDrive in a web browser

I’ve pixelated my files to avoid distractions; you shouldn’t have any files listed yet. To add files to OneDrive, you can click the upload button in the middle of the top menu, or you can just drag-and-drop files from your desktop.

Also, note the two orange arrows. The one on the top left points to the Office365 apps: Browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. That menu looks like this:

screenshot of O365 apps

We’ll revisit these apps in another week. (My basic take is that they are better at formatting and other specialized features than, for example, Google Docs, but they are less good at real-time collaboration. Although they’re not terrible at it! They might be particularly useful if you frequently prepare documents or slideshows on one platform, but view them on another. If you make the file in Office 365, they will look the same everywhere.)

You could use OneDrive like this, and it will work reasonably well. However, the power of OneDrive comes into focus if you click the link marked out on the bottom left: “Get the OneDrive Apps.” You’ll see a screen like this:

OneDrive downloads screenshots

Your browser will autodetect what kind of device you’re accessing the site from, and it will suggest the correct one–in this case, it’s the Mac version. Click “Download” and follow the rest of the instructions, and you’ll see a brand-new folder appear in your directory:

screenshot of OneDrive as a folder

(On a Mac, it’ll say “OneDriveBusiness”; I believe on a PC it’ll just say OneDrive. Microsoft’s internal branding issues are beside the point.)

This folder looks like any other folder, but in fact anything stored within it automatically syncs to Microsoft’s cloud servers, and is available on any machine if you log in to OneDrive. Also, if you have OneDrive installed on more than one device (for example, your office computer, your home computer, and a smartphone or tablet), these folders will always be in sync. (If you’ve used Dropbox or Google Drive, it’s pretty similar.)

If you are uploading many files at once, or bigger files, uploading them via the folder is the safest way to do it.

Important note: Files shared with you via OneDrive will not automatically be synced to your computer. Everything else will be. This is a bit annoying, but there it is.

We will have more on working with OneDrive in future weeks; in the interval, you can learn more by checking out Lynda.com’s series of videos on “Up and Running with OneDrive” (Details for accessing Lynda.com are available here: http://www.trincoll.edu/LITC/its/Pages/Lynda.asp.)

Accessing Office365/OneDrive from a Smartphone or Tablet

One of the real benefits of knowing how to access Office365 is that you are then able to use the Microsoft Office apps for smartphones and tablets (iOS, Android, or Windows). They have a pretty decent range of features for writing and commenting–for example, I have copyedited a colleague’s book chapter on an iPad with Word, using track changes and comments.

For whichever smartphone or tablet ecosystem you have, go to its app store and find the Microsoft apps. (Alternatively, you can access the portal.office.com page from your web browser, and click on the “Get OneDrive Apps” as described above.)  Download and install the (free) apps, and then log in using the username@trincoll.edu method from above. Everything will sync up, and you should be all set!

(The mobile apps will even let you edit documents that are shared with you, as long the document was *specifically* shared with you–that is, it’s not something you just accessed via a link.)

In a future post, we’ll look more closely at working with files from the mobile apps.

Educational Technology can help you work out workflows for integrating Office365 or OneDrive into your classroom, but the Help Desk (x2100) is the place to get help with set up and configuration.

Introducing a new series: the Educational Technology Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week

This is just a quick note to say that we’re rolling out a new feature of the Educational Technology blog: a tip of the week post, scheduled for Monday mornings, that will spotlight a resource that’s either available to the Trinity community or that’s freely available. Many of these will be tied to the academic calendar, but others will be “timeless.”

The first in the series, up later this morning, will be a look at Office365 and OneDrive, which aim to help people collaborate and share documents safely and easily.

Thanks to Sue Denning for the neat graphic, and Amy Harrell for wrangling the schedule. Posts will be by everyone in our group.

Spring Institute for Teaching & Technology Agenda

What Spring May Bring

 

The exact sequence is still subject to slight revision, as are some titles. The location will the 1823 Room of the Library, and there will be food in the morning and for lunch.

Schedule

9.00    Coffee / treats

9.30    Important changes for Fall 2016: Windows 10, Office 365, Moodle 3  (Sue Denning, Jason Jones)

 

10      Writing Workshops in Moodle (Aidali Aponte-Aviles)

10.30  Visualizing Historical Stories and Collections (Cheryl Cape, Rick Ring, Nancy Smith, Amy Harrell)

11.15 Teaching Through Technology: Victorian Studies & Digital Humanities (Joanna Swafford, SUNY-New Paltz)

12.15  [Get lunches before the discussion starts]

12.30 Josh Kim, Dartmouth & Inside Higher Ed, will lead a conversation on liberal arts colleges and technological change

 

Photo “What Spring May Bring” by Flickr user Henk Sigjers / Creative Commons licensed  BY-NC-2.0

WITT Update / ITEC Grants / Upcoming Events

I’m writing with three bits of news:
  • The Winter Institute on Teaching with Technology, announced for Tuesday, has had to be rescheduled as a consequence of a burst pipe soaking the 1823 Room and the Educational Technology spaces in the library. The new date is May 18. Joanna Swafford (New Paltz) will still present on digital humanities and the undergraduate classroom, and Josh Kim (Dartmouth) will tentatively speak on the role of liberal arts colleges in a time of technological upheaval.
  • ITEC is delighted to announce that it is once again offering grants in support of faculty members’ technology exploration. You can download the form here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gi2wwaz7ng4c36z/ITEC_GrantApp2016_2017.docx?dl=0  The deadline is Tuesday, March 22nd.
  • Educational Technology has a variety of upcoming events: a 3D printing expo; a discussion of mobile devices in the classroom; and the aforementioned Spring Institute on Teaching and Technology. You can find out dates and locations here: http://commons.trincoll.edu/trinedtech/upcoming-events-save-the-dates/

Previewing lynda.com

lynda_logo3r-d_144x

Effective *yesterday*, Trinity College has started offering all faculty, staff, and students full access to the thousands of training videos available on lynda.com. They’re great for brushing up on a particular software package, or, for example, to make sure all the students in a class know how to use Excel’s pivot tables, or ArcGIS, or inDesign. (Many thanks to the Dean of Faculty, to Human Resources, to Career Development, and to the Library and ITS for making this possible.)

We will be coming out with much more information in a week or so about how to use this effectively, and especially about how to incorporate it into your classes, but there’s no reason people can’t log in now. You can log in one of two ways, either is fine:

First way:

  1. Click this link to go to lynda.com
  2. Log in with your Trinity College username and password.
  3. The first time you do this, you’ll need to verify that the information we’re using to authenticate is correct.

Second way: 

  1. Go to lynda.com
  2. Select “Log in” on the upper-right part of the screen
  3. In the dialog box that pops up, click on “organization login” then scroll down to “enter your organization’s URL.” This is trincoll.edu
  4. Log in with your credentials. Again, the first time you do this, you’ll need to verify your authentication information.

if you have any questions, please get in touch with Jason Jones.

Moodle 2.8 arrived today

Moodle sign

Today we updated Trinity’s Moodle site to version 2.8.6. This ended up happening a bit quicker than we’d expected, so our documentation site will be catching up over the next week or so, but anyone interested can have a look at Moodle’s new features page. (Actually, since we jumped from 2.6 to 2.8, there are some additional new features here.

If you have any questions about Moodle and your summer or fall class, please get in touch with your instructional technologist!

Photo “The Moodle Sign” by Flickr user Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / Creative Commons licensed BY-SA-2.0