Resignation

It’s official, I have resigned my position at University of Mary Washington, and will be going full-time at Reclaim Hosting. It’s almost surreal, and I follow in the footsteps of the great Tim Owens—-whose hard work these last six months has made it all possible. And while I reference the opening sequence of The Prisoner above in honor of #prisoner106, my resignation was neither premature nor acrimonious, and it won’t be immediate. I will be working through September at UMW to ensure a smooth transition. What’s more, one couldn’t have asked for a better situation over the 1o years I’ve been at UMW. I had amazing colleagues in DTLT, a remarkable level of autonomy, and the best faculty and students you could imagine. I think the work I’ve done at UMW speaks for itself, and I leave feeling I was part of a group that truly made the campus a better place to teach and learn. There can be no greater professional satisfaction than that in this … [Read more...]

DTLT’s Hurley Award Winner: Martha Burtis

The Great Martha Burtis I have been remiss in mentioning that one of my favorite people this side of the Rappahannock, Martha Burtis, was awarded the 2015 Hurley Award. This award is presented to an administrative/professional faculty member who performs exceptionally meritorious service to the University; demonstrates strength of character; and maintains steadfast dedication to the University’s mission. Martha does all that and more. So when Jeff McClurken asked me to write a letter in support of Martha (he was a genius for nominating her), I knew it was going to be a long one.  There’s so many good things to write, and I think of her as my mentor during these past four years of DTLT directorship. What’s more, Martha has been so central to every creative, crazy thing we’ve done at DTLT these last years—I’m thinking her about ds106 in particular, Summer of Oblivion #4life. Despite the fact that so many folks associate me with DTLT’s success because I … [Read more...]

DTLT Newsletter: Preparing for Spring

Fall 2014 has been a bit of a whirlwind for DTLT. We’ve moved into the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC) and spent a lion’s share of the last twelve weeks wrapping our collective heads around this new teaching and learning space. We are very excited about what this building makes accessible to all the faculty. As a group, we want to make it as clear as possible the various spaces, resources, and technology in DTLT and at the ITCC that are here for you to use. And to that end, we want to delineate what DTLT can offer  so that you might consider exploring these resources as part of your Spring courses. Digital Knowledge Center: This fall, DTLT opened the Digital Knowledge Center which provides peer tutoring for UMW students on digital projects and assignments. Tutors at the Center can consult on a range of topics and systems, including UMW Blogs/WordPress, Domain of One’s Own and Canvas. Read more. Domain of One's Own: This initiative continues to build … [Read more...]

Digital Knowledge Center

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This fall, DTLT opened the Digital Knowledge Center which provides peer tutoring for UMW students on digital projects and assignments. Tutors at the Center can consult on a range of topics and systems, including UMW Blogs/WordPress, Domain of One’s Own and Canvas. The Center also provides tutoring on media projects (video, audio, and images) and has recently added tutorials on Zotero and Google Drive. Students can schedule an appointment online; in addition, whenever a tutor is available, we’re happy to accommodate drop-in appointments. The Center is located in ITCC 408 and is open during the following hours: Monday: 10AM – 6PM Tuesday: 10AM – 8PM (from 6PM-8PM we exclusively offer media editing tutorials in the Multimedia Editing Lab, ITCC 116) Wednesday: 10AM – 6PM Thursday: 10AM – 8PM (from 6PM-8PM we exclusively offer media editing tutorials in the Multimedia Editing Lab, ITCC 116) Friday: 10AM – 3 PM Sunday: 7PM - 9PM The Center’s Web site can be found at … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own (Fall 2014 Update)

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The Domain of One’s Own initiative (a.k.a. UMW Domains) continues to build momentum, providing any and all students, faculty and staff with their own domain and web hosting. Currently we are hosting 1204 sites across 1071 domains. More than 70 faculty and 900 students have explored this space already, and we are always looking for more. The great thing about this project is it can meet so many diverse needs: a personal website, a course site, a research hub, an online journal, portfolio, digital project, etc. There is no one way to use UMW Domains, so we encourage faculty to contact us about any and all interests you might have to see if this can help fulfill a need. And unlike UMW Blogs, it is more than just WordPress, you can explore open source digital tools like Omeka (a digital exhibit software), wiki applications, the Tumblr-esque IndieWeb app Known, and much more. For some an excellent example of how you might use UMW Domains check out Sue Fernsebner’s Taiping Civil War site … [Read more...]

UMW Blogs (Fall 2014 Update)

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UMW Blogs has undergone many infrastructural changes to help the system scale going forward. At this time there are over 8,912 sites on the system with 11,436 users (of which roughly 1500 are active). DTLT began experimenting with Amazon Web Services as a way to utilize cloud infrastructure to support a system like UMW Blogs this summer and migrated to a virtual server before the start of the semester. As part of this process we moved from a single dedicated server that was tasked with all functions of hosting UMW Blogs to separate smaller virtualized servers on Amazon that manage single processes. Several weeks ago we introduced load balancing into the system, which allows a single server to act as the entry point and distribute traffic to multiple servers based on the load. All files are also stored in the cloud with redundant backups. Not only should the UMW community immediately notice a performance boost, but we’ve also been able to dramatically reduce the cost of maintaining the … [Read more...]

Canvas (Fall 2014 Update)

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In our fourth year now using Canvas as our learning management system, we’ve reached a usage rate of 90%. This fall we have 878 active courses, and many committee and group workspaces as well. Over the years we’ve integrated Starfish and QEP modules for student success and Xplorance Blue as an evaluation tool for both students and faculty. Many of our instructors have installed 3rd-party apps with textbook integration and LTIs. Check out the list of what you can add to enhance the learning:https://www.eduappcenter.com/ … [Read more...]

Academic Media Production

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The opening of the ITCC ushers in new possibilities for students to explore media production in spaces such as the Multimedia Editing Lab & Vocal Booth, as well as the Advanced Media Production Studio. Those spaces will allow the production of a wide range of multimedia projects. The Vocal Booth is a small “room” in the Multimedia Editing Lab that is a very quiet place to record voiceovers for video projects, radio shows and/or podcasts, as well as screencasts (narrated computer screen presentations). In fact it could even enable a music duo to record some songs. The Vocal Booth will be open to all students (as well as faculty and staff) and will be a reservable space. The Multimedia Editing Lab has 5 Apple iMac computers with higher end video and audio editing software, and includes photo scanning, video conversion, and DVD/Blu-ray burning capabilities. The Advanced Media Production Studio will become available around the start of the Spring 2015 semester. The best way to … [Read more...]

Incubator Classroom

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The opening of the IT Convergence Center this Fall has brought a wealth of opportunity for faculty thinking about how they might use technology and innovative learning spaces as a part of their course. The Incubator Classroom located in ITCC 407 is a space to explore those possibilities alongside DTLT in an informal and low-stakes fashion. A variety of new technology including a 3D printer, tablets, and mobile displays are housed within a room that features the capability to record and livestream a session from built-in cameras and microphones. And best of all, the furniture as well as much of the technology is mobile allowing for the space to be reconfigured in a variety of ways. As an unscheduled classroom this space holds the potential for personalized sessions with your course and your students and an opportunity to test drive the experience of using new innovative learning spaces. As you begin to think about the various equipment available in the ITCC and classrooms across campus … [Read more...]

Draft State – The New Normal

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Draft State allows content in Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, Pages, and Discussions to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. Unpublished content is invisible to students and excluded from grade calculations. Here's a screenshot of the new interface. Some content-specific changes you'll see include: Pages has an index page and displays page titles Individual pages do not include sidebars Instructors can select any page to be the front page of their course Quizzes do not have to be republished if the content is changed Interested in learning more about it? Watch the 500 - Draft State Overview from Instructure on Vimeo.   … [Read more...]