ds106 Showcased as Model of Online, Participatory Learning

Howard Rheingold has written a case study using ds106 (UMW’s open, online version of the Computer Science Digital Storytelling course) as a model of participatory learning. The case study was published by the Connected Learning site, which is the community arm of the Digital Media Lab and Learning Research Hub at the University of California, Irvine. ds106 was [...] … [Read more...]

Jim Groom Delivers Keynote at MOOC Conference

On Thursday, Dec. 6 Jim Groom presented a keynote presentation at the MOOC Research Conference in Arlington, Texas. The talk examined a decade of experimentation and development at the University of Mary Washington that has resulted in a series of innovative projects such as UMW Blogs, ds106, and Domain of One’s Own. It discussed how [...] … [Read more...]

Distinguished Adjunct Professor Broadcasts Guerrilla Art Installation

On Nov. 7, distinguished adjunct professor of media, Dr. Brian Oblivion, installed a guerrilla art piece at the Open Education conference in Park City, Utah. The installation is a groundbreaking meditation on identity and data in the 21st century. Dr. Oblivion posits in this piece that “data is the new flesh.” With the help of [...] … [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...]

Jim Groom Delivers TEDx Presentation in Puerto Rico

On Oct. 18, 2013 Jim Groom delivered a TEDx presentation at the University of Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The invited talk focused on the philosophy behind the Domain of One’s Own initiative happening currently at UMW. The video of the 14 minute presentation can be seen below. … [Read more...]

All Aboard!!!

More than a week ago the President of UMW, Rick Hurley, published a piece in The Huffington Post explainging how and why UMW was “Getting Aboard the Hightech Train.” What’s crazier than anything, is why it’s taken me over a week to blog about this article! What’s wrong with me, this is an article in which UMW’s president openly acknowledges that the Division of Teaching and Learning Technology is essential to the future of UMW. More than that, he publicly says things I think are totally awesome, such as the following: …about eight years ago, the University of Mary Washington created a Division of Teaching and Learning Technology and staffed it with the brightest, most creative people we could find. At the time, a lot of schools were investing in software, in learning management systems, programs and platforms. But we invested in people. We wanted them to be our braintrust, to work with our faculty to find interesting and innovative ways to use … [Read more...]

Wrigley Ivy: Jack Bales on the Chicago Cubs

I've been meaning to write a post about Jack Bales's amazing work as part of the Domain of One's Own faculty initiative this past Spring, but somehow a post seemed inadequate. For more than three years now I've been bothering Jack, telling him he should get a domain to feature all the amazing research he does. An effort which resulted in his first domain: jackbales.com. And by no means was I pandering to Jack's ego (if he even has one), he has eight books under his belt, and his magnum opus---a multi-volume tome on the history of the Chicago Cubs---is being written presently. Jack is a titan amongst librarians, and a veritable icon at Mary Washington. He's been at UMW for 33 years now, and in addition to his copious research and stellar publication history, his work ethic with faculty and students on a day-to-day basis is the stuff of legend. Like Jack, I support faculty as part of my job here at UMW, so I have a very good idea how much time and energy goes into supporting more than … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own, Digital Liberal Arts, and the Popular Imagination

When I saw UMW’s Faculty and Staff Newsletter (a.k.a Eagle Eye) today, the top story was about the fact that UMW was being featured in Virginia Living magazine’s 2013 Educational Supplement as one of Virginia’s innovative schools. The two things responsible for getting UMW mentioned are Domain of One’s Own and the Information Technology Convergence Center (which is coming online next year). This is a very cool day for DTLT for a few reasons: First, while we’ve been referenced by the Chronicle a number of times over the years for various projects, focus on the work we’re doing in Virginia Living (the state’s most popualr lifestyle magazine) suggests we’re crossing over. More than just being seen as a fringe “blog” shop, the work we’re doing is starting to impact the broader identity of UMW. We’re becoming a mecca for innovative technologies when it comes to teaching and learning around the state for the average, … [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...]

Tracking Over Four Years of Traffic on UMW Blogs

I’m working on presentation about assessment on another front, and as an excuse for a break I decided to post some recent UMW Blogs traffic statistics from the last four years. I know analytics and data is all the rage currently, and these numbers should somehow enable me to better articulate UMW Blogs’ usefulness. Nonetheless, they always seem at once massive and paltry. Massive in that various work produced on UMW Blogs by thousands of students have been viewed 13+ million times over the last four years by milliosn of people. Paltry in that 13 million views is a middling viral YouTube video at best. Probably like most people in the era of “big data,” I often feel lost in a malaise of statisitcal aggregates—data that ultimately means less than nothing without a context. The only hope I garner from this is that people are finding our work, but not at the aggregate. Seems to me it’s at the ground level—thousands of sites with tens and hundreds … [Read more...]