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Draft State allows content in Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, Pages, and Discussions to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. Unpublished content is invisible to students and excluded from grade calculations.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...]

Reclaiming Innovation Article

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Jim Groom and Brian Lamb published the article  "Reclaiming Innovation" in the May/June edition of EDUCAUSE Review. The article examines the state of innovation in higher education in regards to information and education technologies. Additionally, the article featured a series of supplemental videos about various sites of innovation, including one focusing on UMW's intiaitive Domain of One's Own. You can read the article and view the varius supplemental videos at EDUCAUSE Review's online version of the article here. … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own 2.0: the Manatee Release

Domain of One’s Own, the distributed, web-based sea cow everyone loves! In this wopping one hour and 26 minute video Martha Burtis and Tim Owens take you through two years of development on the UMW Domains project. It’s the most thorough record available of the work they’ve been doing since Summer 2012, and it traces the thinking, development, and deployment of how UMW is giving every student, faculty, and staff a domain and web hosting account of their own. We understand that an hour and 26 minutes is a very long time, so we’re breaking down the conversation according to specific topics so you can watch what might be relevant for you: 00:01:26 – 00:10:30 Domain of One’s Own 0.5: The Alpha Pilot Timeframe: Spring 2012 through Spring 2013 In the first part of the video Tim and Martha discuss the pilot of Domain of One’s Own. We start with some history. During the Fall 2012/Spring 2013 Academic year we used a dedicated server with MediaTemple … [Read more...]

A Networked History of UMW’s DTLT

Mary Washington College’s Proposal for CNI’s Assessing the Academic Networked Environment Project One of the things I derive great pleasure from is learning about the long history of the edtech field. It’s such a strange, intersitital “discipline” between IT support and academics on one hand, and revolution and conformity on the other. It’s a deeply shizophrenic field in so many ways, and I think that’s why it appeals to me so much Within the long, sordid history of edtech, nothing interests me more than the particulars of the group I currently work with, UMW’s DTLT. When Martha, Andy, and Jerry tell stories of the past it’s like sitting around the dinner table hearing stories about my ancestors. Overblown simile, I know, but I can’t help it. I’m intrigued to no end of what came before me. The same is true when Brian Lamb starts getting on a roll about the history of learning objects in edtech during the early 2000s. So, I … [Read more...]


Image credit Andy Rush Yesterday I took a tour of the nearly completed Information Technology Convergence Center (a.k.a, ITCC and the Convergence Center). The building will be opening mid-Summer, which is hard to believe. I’ve been at UMW long enough now that I can say “I remember almost eight years ago when that building was just a twinkle in Chip German’s eye.” Well, the vision has been poured into concrete, and in two short months DTLT will be moving into our new digs in a pretty amazing building that will have an editing lab, production studio, a cyclorama, an incubator classroom, an active learning classroom, a digital auditorium, a digital knowledge center?, a media wall, a digital archiving lab, and much, much more. Tim Owens hard at work building the video production studio. Image credit Andy Rush In other words, we’re heading into a state of the art physical hub for all things digital. The move will bring our group into a building that will share … [Read more...]

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


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


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


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...]