UMW Domains-Now with More Community!

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...]

Technical Vistas: Flat Files and APIs

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...]

Tim Owens and Jim Groom Present at Open Education Conference

On Nov. 6,  Tim Owens and Jim Groom of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies were part of a multi-institution presentation on “ Reclaiming the Open Learning Environment.” This talk introduced the vision behind the distributed architecture of Domain of One’s Own as an example of an innovative open learning environment that empowers faculty, staff, and [...] … [Read more...]

The Domain is Right

This past week UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learnign Technologies rolled out what’s most certainly our most ambitious project yet: Domain of One’s Own. I’ve written a lot about this project over the last year or so, and it’s surreal to think it’s up and running. Domain of One’s Own provides any interested Freshman at UMW with his or her own domain and web hosting to start taking control of their identity on the web. The first week didn’t come without it’s highs and lows, and Martha Burtis’s awesomely comprehensive post recaps what’s transpired thus far. While we dreamed 1000 Freshman would sign-up day one, at the same time we knew it was gonna take a lot of work to make this fly. We’ve been through this all before with projects like UMW Blogs and ds06, great things need to grow organically as part of a community. And that’s what we have to focus on this year, and I have no doubt it will be a resounding success because Domain of One’s Own is pure and good and RIGHT. Which … [Read more...]

UMW’s ThinkLab Makerspace featured in EDUCAUSE

The innovative ThinkLab Makerspace in the Simpson Library of UMW has been featured in the latest publication from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative's 7 Things series on rapid innovation. UMW is cited alongside Stanford, Rutgers, and Case Westerns among other institutions for recognizing early on the importance of makerspaces as a way to inspire self-directed and hands-on learning using emerging technologies like 3D printing, robotics, and e-textiles. DTLT and UMW's work has been featured in past issues of the 7 Things series on a variety of topics including MOOCs, Wordpress, and 3D Printing technology. The full paper can be found on the EDUCAUSE website in PDF and ePub format. … [Read more...]

DTLT Projects Featured in 2013 Horizon Report

The 2013 NMC Horizon Report for Higher Education, a publication that identifies technologies likely to have an impact on learning, has featured not one but two separate projects born out of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Referencing Massive Open Online Courses as a development likely to be adopted in one year or less, the work of ds106, the open digital storytelling course at UMW, is cited as an example of early experimentation in this space. Under a section on 3D printing technology, the work of Tim Owens and George Meadows on the ThinkLab in the Simpson Library is featured as an example of work that is incorporating this technology into course curriculum. The full report can be downloaded at the NMC website here. … [Read more...]

DTLT Presents at ELI Fall Focus Session

A Culture of Innovation from umwnewmedia on Vimeo. Martha Burtis, Jim Groom, Tim Owens and Andy Rush of UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies (DTLT) presented on Tuesday, October 2 at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s Online Fall Focus Session on the theme of innovation in higher education. The basic question guiding the presentation, which was centered around the seven minute video above, was the following: how does a university like UMW consistently foster innovative projects like UMW Blogs, ds106, and, more recently, A Domain of One’s Own? There’s no one adequate stock answer to such a question, so when preparing the presentation DTLT decided to interview students, faculty, and staff around campus to get a broader sense of the culture of innovation happening at UMW. What DTLT got in return for its labors was quite compelling. The video was shot and edited by Andy Rush, and it’s just a teaser for a much larger documentary that DTLT is planning on making this semester … [Read more...]

Got My Head in the Cloud: Udell on Domain of One’s Own

Jon Udell blogged about the history of an experiment that is finally taking root here at UMW. The pilot is the dry run for giving every Freshman their own domain and web hosting space by Fall 2013 in order to embrace and encourage students to becomes master’s of their own spaces, and get in the habit of maintaining their own personal archive of work. It will be built into the curriculum of a number of courses, and it’s a model of that ask students to take responsibility of their digital presence. To manage their online identities and build it so that they can take it with them when they go. Also, it pushes courses to acknowledge and embrace the open web as an integral part of the of the process of teaching and learning in a classroom or online. What this means is that universities have to start thinking more like the web, but not in the catastrophic terms of MOOCs and the end of institutions, but rather in terms of understanding how networks and networked culture can change our … [Read more...]

Tim Owens Named Excellent Eagle Employee

Congratulations to Tim Owens, instructional technology specialist in the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, who has been selected as an Excellent Eagle Employee by the Staff Advisory Council. To thank him for such a wonderful job, Tim will have a reserved parking spot of his choosing from Monday, April 2 through Monday, April 30. Here is what one of Tim’s co-workers said about him: “Tim sets a high standard for customer service at the university. He provides prompt, professional service and takes the extra step to find the solution to technical problems. Not only will he find solutions but he will explain your options, make recommendations and work to put the solution into place. He is incredibly accommodating and always happy to work with people.” To nominate someone who you believe is an Excellent Eagle Employee, send an email to Priscilla Sullivan ( with Excellent Eagle Employee in the Subject Line.  In your email, be sure to list the person’s name, … [Read more...]

UMW Talks Educational Technology at the ACCS 2012 Conference

UMW was well represented at the Association of Collegiate Computing Services of Virginia Conference held in Charlottesville, March 14-16. DTLT’s Lisa Ames, LMS Admin, gave a presentation on UMW’s adoption of a new learning management system titled “Designing from a Blank Canvas” while Tim Owens, ITS, partnered with Andy Rush, New Media Specialist, to lead a session called “Ad-free Streaming with the Change in Your Pocket.” Webmasters Cathy Derecki and Curtiss Grymala led a birds-of-the-feather discussion on Web Redesign and Edward Gray, Systems Integration and Support Specialist, gave a presentation titled “Making a World of Difference: Inventory, Licensing and Software Management.” … [Read more...]