Canvas & Internet Explorer – the old relationship ends May 24, 2014

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As an Internet Explorer user, you've struggled with degraded service and annoying messages on your browser when logging in to Canvas...well, that time has come. Time to pick: depart ways or upgrade to IE 10 or 11! Starting on May 24, 2014, users who attempt to log in to Canvas using any version of Internet Explorer older than IE9 (e.g. IE6, IE7, or IE8) will not be able to gain access. Instead, they’ll see a message prompting them to use a newer browser and linking to the Canvas Guides article on supported browsers (http://goo.gl/4ZvUB). Users who use IE9 to access Canvas after May 24 will continue to see a warning message in an orange bar across the top of the browser when they log in, telling them their browser is no longer supported. You can dismiss the message for the duration of their current browser session but it will be back - so why bother? Upgrade to Internet Explorer 10 or 11 or use a different browser. It's just time. After all, we want the best user experience … [Read more...]

UMW Domains-Now with More Community!

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Domain of One’s Own has been an unqualified success, and Martha’s post on this project provides a nice summary of where we are at six months in. We’re on track to have more than 700 folks in the UMW community with their own domain and web hosting this academic year, and for 2014/15 we’re shooting to double that number with an additional 1500 domains. Just think of it, 2200 people with their own domain by year two. That’s almost half our campus community—that’s absolutely awesome. Unparalled in the known world—we’re the god damned Magellans of edtech! But like any age of exploration, we have to start mapping this brave new worlds for beauteous mankind, and that’s just what Martha Burtis and Tim Owens  have been doing. Since the beginning of the semester they’ve been building a community hub for all of the distributed working happening on UMW Domains. Tim wrote about creating this space in some detail already, and … [Read more...]

Tim Owens: Making it Happen

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There’s an article by Lindley Estes in yesterday’s Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg’s local newspaper) about UMW’s makerspaces. It chronicles the work  Tim Owens has done, alongside education professor George Meadows and library director Rosemary Arneson, to create UMW’s Thinklab—a makerspace in the library that provides an “interdisciplinary hub of activity” where students can create stuff both for and beyond a given course. I’ve said this before, but of all the work DTLT has done in educational technology for the last decade, you could argue the collaborative  endeavor to introduce 3D Printing, build a makerspace on the cheap , and collectively architect a freshman seminar (“Makerbots and Mashups”) may be the most powerful demonstration of the amazing fruits that can result from cooperative work between departments. What’s more, for all my UMW Blogs boosterism over the years (and I do love that publishing … [Read more...]

Announcing MediaCore

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The Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies is pleased to announce that it has partnered with MediaCore to run a pilot installation of their media platform. MediaCore will give members of the UMW community the ability to control and curate their own media collections. It will be more than just a “campus YouTube”. Students having their own media space is crucial for their experimentation and expression (kind of like “Domain of One’s Own“). What better way to do it than within an educational context and a platform that is specifically geared toward educational media hosting. MediaCore will serve that function and allow students to share their media work locally behind a login, or make their work public when they want/need to. The other idea behind using MediaCore is the idea of curating “collections”. Youtube, Vimeo, and even content from TED Talks and Archive.org can be curated by a user to share unique combinations of media elements. It allows the viewer to go to one place … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own is ALL BUSINESS

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Somehow I missed the fact that the article about Domain of One’s Own published in University Business has already been out for a week. I’m slipping. I love that this article was published in an IT management-centered publication. IT management might not be our particular focus at DTLT—we’re all about the teaching and learning—but that’s part of the genius of Domain of One’s Own: it’s protean. And this isn’t the first time a more business-centered publication picked this initaitive up, last semester by Nicole Henderson wrote an article about UMW Domains on the Web Host Industry Review. The author of the article for University Business, Matt Zalaznick,  talked with Tim “the wizard” Owens about the project, and it all sounds so good: The tools provided by the “Domain of One’s Own” initiative make it easier for students to carve out their own space on the web, and control and customize it… “Students want to make … [Read more...]

Digital Scholars Institute

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Image by Kyle Bean: “The Future of Books.” One of the more exciting things to grow out of the Domain of One’s Own Faculty Initiative—the second cohort starts this week!—is Mary Kayler’s beautiful brainchild the Digital Scholars Institute. The Digital Scholars Institue is a way to continue the work started in the faculty initiative for those interested in sharing out the digital projects they are working on. It’s a way to bring a small group of faculty (5-7) together to talk about what they’re currently working on in the digital realm. The institute can provide a space for faculty to share the details of their work, get feedback from their peers, and publish their ongoing reflections at the end of the year. We’re roughly thinking of this being a series of 5-7 meetings a semester, each of which discusses one faculty member’s digital project (kind of like a dissertation group). They’ll be a cohort of faculty that continues to provide … [Read more...]

Technical Vistas: Flat Files and APIs

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It’s been an exciting time at DTLT for a bunch of reasons, not least of which is that the Domain of One’s Own project, much like the Death Star, has been fully operational for more than a semester now. We’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and we have much more to learn this semester. We’ll be sharing out what we learned in more detail shortly, but in short: curricular integration is king. Moving beyond the cultural work we’re working towards with Domain on campus, there’s some technical stuff we’ve been exploring that’s pretty exciting. I’ve already wrote about the student coding projects we’re working on with professor Karen Anewalt’s Software Engineering course which should bare much fruit in the way of WordPress plugins for Domain of One’s Own and UMW Blogs. The other technical stuff we’ve been experimenting with is sharing our documentation for Domain of One’s Own. Tim … [Read more...]

Student Coded Projects for DTLT

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This semester students in Karen Anewalt’s Software Engineering course (CPSC 430) will be working with DTLT to create a series of WordPress plugins/themes for UMW Blogs and Domain of One’s Own. This is pretty awesome because we could always use some development, and it gives these students experience working with clients who need particular functionality for an open source application. Traditionally students in this course put a call out to the community for projects and built applications for any takers from scratch. This model had some success, but the issue with this approach was that there was no one to take care of the application after the students graduated. Under this new approach, DTLT will be maintaing whatever they program. Major kudos to Martha Burtis for coming up with this model as well as taking the lead on organizing it. Below is a list of the projects we are asking the Computer Science students to develop. The descriptions are in italics and were written … [Read more...]

Finishing up 2013 with Redesigns to Groups, Quizzes and more!

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Improving the User Experience is a continued goal at Instructure. Finishing up 2013, we saw a redesign to the Groups page, Quizzes, Calendar 2, the Gradebook, Etherpad and the Rich Content Editor! Groups: sidebar was removed to maximize the Group view; Group and Group set buttons were added; and a new gear icon allows group members to edit, delete and access the Group homepage Quizzes: Quiz options are now expanded; instructors can allow students to see correct answers within a date range; and for multiple attempts see quiz responses only after the last attempt Calendar 2: an agenda was added Gradebook: column attributes allow for resizing frozen columns - however, stickiness is browser-specific; downloaded csv files now place the Test Student at the bottom; keyboard shortcuts have been added Etherpad: new collaborations open in a new browser tab and have condensed menus to be less intrusive Rich Content Editor: Superscripts and Subscripts have been added to the standard … [Read more...]

UMW Domains a Win for Open

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Audrey Watters has been on an all-out tear over at Hack Education as she wraps up the year in edtech. Few, if any, in the field are sharper, more concise, and resolutely independent of the institutional and corporate entanglements that pervade this space. I’ll echo so many others who have recognized how unbelievably important her voice is as a result. That said, working independently, speaking freely, and calling out so many on their nonsense doesn’t always pay the rent, so to help ameliorate this UMW’s DTLT would like to provide a standing offer of a job for Audrey when she finally decides to settle down Until then, I totally support her writing things like what follows when ennumerating the many “wins for open” in her recent post  “Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2013: The Battle for ‘Open’:” University of Mary Washington’s “Domain of One’s Own” initiative (one of the very best things in ed-tech right now) has been picked up by other universities, including Emory and Davidson. Also, in … [Read more...]