Center for Digital Learning & Research

Blog

June 2, 2010

Here's what happened when 200 students at the University of Maryland unplugged themselves from their cell phone, iPod, and the internet.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/trends-in-higher-education/college-students-unplugged-24-hours-without-media-brings-feelings-of-boredom-isolation-anxiety/

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May 5, 2010

Stephen Ramsey, of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at U Nebraska - Lincoln, has a nice post on the vibrancy and impermanence of digital scholarship centers. Among other good points, Ramsey suggests that we make an effort to not just praise centers for the mere fact that they exist, or, worse, because now faculty can get tech support from other faculty instead of the IT group, but because in their best forms they can advance knowledge and educate students in a manner that is different than the silos of the rest of academia.

Importantly, he is not arguing for permanent centers, but for a mode of center development that recognizes the role of impermanence:

Universities are designed around subject areas. But what if they were designed, like centers, around methodologies or even questions? Right now, we have English Departments, and...
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April 27, 2010

The Literary Platform looks to be a decent site to track popular and commercial experiments with books and technology. It is clearly not targeted for an academic perspective, and, perhaps as a result, seem to be on top of the most exciting developments.

April 13, 2010

Since the CDLR is all about bridging and making connections but most importantly - we are all about sharing information!  Here are some links to free webinars that may be of interest and are grouped into categories:

Backchannel (passing digital notes)

Digital Storytelling (using multimedia to engage in a traditional practice)

  • Connect@NMC: Rich Media Publishing with Sophie -...
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April 12, 2010

While many non-technical users are flocking to Google Sites to create free, easy to update websites, I recently found another option. Like Google, Yola provides free web hosting and a powerful site builder, but also offers access to over one hundred customizable templates, 1 GB of storage, basic blogging functionality, and integration with many popular web services from Google, Flickr, and Youtube. What's more, I have found the Yola website builder easier to use and much more intuitive than what Google offers.

Yola also allows users to register or use an existing domain name if they do not want to have a yoursite.yolasite.com URL.

It will be interesting to see if students and teachers adopt Yola as a means to create rich new media projects.

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April 1, 2010

Something to keep in mind as we move forward.

I think this consumer vs. producer distinction is helpful in most circumstances, most notably in our overall push toward advocating media fluencies. As we begin to engage ourselves and our constituents with more complex technologies, this is an argument for building up our own abilities to code. At the same time, we should resist the easy binary and recognize that even producers spend much of their time consuming, and that the smartest producers rarely start from scratch.

March 18, 2010

DH SoCal has just been born: http://dhsocal.blogspot.com

This site is a hub for connecting the various individuals and groups working on Digital Humanities issues in Southern California. The hub and collected bios are useful, and the calendar is essential: http://dhsocal.blogspot.com/p/events.html

Sign up to join in the fun.

March 4, 2010

The next major version of the Moodle learning management system is nearing its beta release. Curious to see what Moodle 2.0 would offer, I set up a few instances of the development build for testing. I am enthusiastic about the new version based upon what I’ve see, but also anxious. Many of the changes represent a major step forward in the future of the LMS, but upgrading to Moodle 2.0 will be a challenging task for Occidental and many other institutions. I have decided to write briefly about the challenges and opportunities Moodle 2.0 may offer for institutions hoping to upgrade later this year.

Moodle 2.0 will have a very different look and feel. Version 2.0 changes how themes and templates work, allowing for more flexibility. However, custom themes for previous version of Moodle will have to be completely redesigned to work for v. 2.0. Many of the icons used in previous versions of Moodle have also changed, which could...

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February 26, 2010

As we head into the semester where faculty are beginning to write and prepare midterms,  as an Instructional Technologist I feel I am obligated to demonstrate uses of technology which I think will help faculty prepare their students so they can do well in all their exams and classes.  I planned a workshop which involved giving faculty an opportunity to experience Moodle from a student's perspective which in turn I would hope they could see the potential of using Moodle in another manner.  I also wanted to have faculty converse and share their experiences with what about and how has Moodle affected their teaching.

The beginning of the workshop involved faculty logging into Moodle to take a quiz simulating the use of an available practice quiz.  Based upon feedback, quiz takers can receive instant feedback and awareness of which areas they should focus studying in if they did not perform particularly well.  Providing...

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