Category Archives: News & updates

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.

lynda_logo3r-d_144x

Lynda.com

What is Lynda.com?

Lynda.com is a massive archive of video tutorials. It’s a great way students, faculty and staff can learn specific software (like every variety of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint), programming concepts and skills (like WordPress, HTML, CSS and Javascript) and design principles (like typography, color theory and typography).

How do I log in?

Every member of the Trinity community has access to Lynda.com, on campus or away!

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.

How do I find what I need?

There are a lot of videos on Lynda.com, and it can be hard to know what one you need. Fortunately, there are a few ways to find the content that will fit your needs.

  1. Use Lynda’s search feature. Start by entering the specific name of the software you’re looking for (like Microsoft Office 2016 – it’s important to include the version) and the phrase “essential training.” This will return a list of videos and courses that the Lynda.com editors have flagged as, well, “essential” for the software you are learning.
  2. Browse Lynda’s library. lynda_topicsIf you know the general discipline of the skill you’d like to learn, Lynda’s library has a nice interface for browsing their content. Clicking the “library” link next to the search bar will open a tray of all the disciplines Lynda covers. So if you want to learn about typography, you can probably find a lot of great tutorials in the Design category. Here’s what the library browse tray looks like:
  3. Take a look at one of Trinity’s curated playlists. Our curated playlists are works in progress, and we’re adding more all the time. Below are the ones we have put together so far, but if you’re looking for something different, make an appointment with the STA office, and they can help you find what you are looking for.

Curated Playlists

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/

We are hiring students for the Fall

The Educational Technology group (part of Information Technology Services) is looking to hire motivated students to join our Student Technology Assistant program in the Center for Educational Technology in the library.

Fill out an application today!

Are you looking for an opportunity to learn valuable (and practical!) technical skills while working on meaningful projects? Do you like to help people? Do you like to tinker? Would you like to learn about educational technology such as:

  • Blogging and web publishing with WordPress
  • Digital video editing
  • Classroom technology
  • edX MOOCS
  • Audio/Video event support
  • 3d printing

If you already have some experience in these areas or you are motivated to learn more, the STA program may be the right match for you!

While you should be computer literate you do not need to have extensive technical knowledge – just the willingness to learn.

Priority will be given to First Year students, so this could be a great opportunity to learn and grow with us during your time at Trinity!

Shifts are available during our regular hours:

Monday – Wednesday: 8:00a.m.-9:30p.m.
Thursday: 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m.
Friday: 8:00a.m.-6:00p.m.
Saturday : 12:00p.m.-6:30p.m.
Sunday: 12:00p.m.-8:00p.m.

Fill out an application today!

If you have any questions about the STA program contact David Tatem at 860-297-2124 or david.tatem@trincoll.edu

WordPress has been upgraded

WPWe have upgraded WordPress (commons.trincoll.edu) to the latest version which is currently 4.2.4. Twenty Fifteen, a new responsive theme from WordPress, is now available. A complete list of the 41 plugins and 9 themes that were upgraded can be found below. The system was also migrated to a new virtual server which will allow us to upgrade more often and with less disruption in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about the upgrade please contact David Tatem at 860-297-2124 or david.tatem@trincoll.edu.

Updated Themes:

Academica
AccessPress Parallax
Atahualpa
BuddyPress Scholar
Headway
Twenty Eleven
Twenty Fourteen
Twenty Ten
Twenty Twelve
Yoko

Updated Plugins:

Advanced Custom Field Widget
Advanced Sidebar Menu
Aesop Story Engine
Akismet
BuddyPress
Category Posts Widget
CommentPress Core
Events +
FD Footnotes
FeedWordPress
Formidable
Geo Mashup
Google Analyticator
Google Doc Embedder
Graceful Pull-Quotes
Gravity Forms
Greg’s Comment Length Limiter
Hypothesis
iframe
Intuitive Custom Post Order
List category posts
Magic Post Listing
My Category Order
My Page Order
NextGEN Gallery by Photocrati
NS Cloner – Site Copier
Page-list
PopUp Pro
Post Content Shortcodes
Post Indexer
Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin
Search & Filter
ShareThis
Shortcode Exec PHP
Sidebar Login
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
User Role Editor
WP Google Fonts
WPMU DEV Dashboard
WYSIWYG Widgets / Widget Blocks
Zotpress

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

Moodle Drop-In Hours

2014-09-05MoodleStats

The above graph demonstrates vividly the start of the semester, as Moodle starts getting lots and lots of traffic all of a sudden.

This year, we’re offering two new forms of support for Moodle.

  • The Trinity College Moodle Resource Center offers guides, screenshots, and screencasts that cover the basic uses of Moodle.
  • Every Friday from 10am-noon, in the Center for Educational Technology (LITC 105), there will be Moodle drop-in hours, where people can ask questions about accomplishing pedagogical goals or even just troubleshooting a problem. There will be coffee!

AAEEBL 2014 Conference Recap

Last week, I presented at the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning conference in Boston. Essentially, this is the ePortfolio conference. I attended several interesting sessions, from a range of conference tracks – from Digital Storytelling, to Learning-Oriented Assessment to Multimodal Assessment.

The sessions I attended didn’t dwell the “nuts-and-bolts” of the educational technology they use to make their portfolio programs run, but there was definitely a lot of discussion on how institutions could make better WordPress, like we do at Trinity. What’s especially interesting is that a lot of ePortfolio issues that many institutions grapple with are actually easily served by WordPress. Here’s a brief rundown of two of those issues, and how WordPress can handle them:

Students have a hard time connecting learning experiences. Website construction is essentially building virtual connections between different pieces of content. WordPress categories and tags allow students to connect portfolio posts with keywords and short phrases, then build site navigation based on those terms. The connections between different content entries become tangible. Take a look at Olivia Tapsall’s “Communications” category in her Trinity Portfolio. She’s made connections between community learning, athletic and travel experiences by tagging all these posts as relevant to her communication skills, all by checking a few boxes.

Should portfolios be private, and solely for the benefit of the learner and advisor; or should they be public and searchable? This was definitely a “hot topic” at the conference. WordPress allows either, and several levels in between. Trinity Portfolio sites can be visible to only the author and those they give permission to, or they can be published on the web, and fully searchable. Select pages can be kept private, drafts can be hidden until published. Pages can even be password protected, so students can private pages within a public site.

Of course, we use WordPress for much more than portfolios here at Trinity. If you’re interested in getting started with WordPress or portfolios, contact your Instructional Technologist.

Under Construction

empty wall

A lot is changing in the Educational Technology group this summer:

  • We’ve added a new instructional technologist, Cheryl Cape, who comes to us from many years at the University of Findlay, in Ohio.
  • Relatedly, we’ve re-organized the instructional technologists in a more discipline-friendly way: Cheryl will handle the physical and natural sciences; Sue Denning the arts and humanities, and Dave Tatem the social sciences. Anyone else should come to me with questions. We’ve done this to better align with Trinity’s own organizational structure, and to allow the instructional technologists to build up more knowledge about the specialized tools in different areas.
    You can always find your instructional technologist on this page: http://www.trincoll.edu/LITC/its/instructional/Pages/default.aspx
  • We are turning LITC 105 into a proper center for educational technology, offering tools and services that will support the work of faculty across campus. More on this later in the summer!
  • In the above picture, you see a blank wall in LITC 103, which will soon house the telepresence equipment that was used to great effect in a Wesleyan-Connecticut College-Trinity neuroscience course this past spring. We’re looking forward to supporting several Russian classes in the spring 2015 semester.

There are many other projects afoot, but these are some of the most visible changes. In the coming weeks, John Dlugosz, Cheryl, Dave, and Sue will each report on some of their work from this summer.