Laptops in the classroom?

MIDDLEBURY Communications Article

Should students be permitted to use their laptop computers in the classroom?

An academic roundtable of Middlebury students, faculty, and staff opposed any all-campus prohibition on laptops in the classroom, and raised key issues about the needs of students with disabilities and those for whom English is not their first language.

The gathering on March 10 sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research (CTLR) also discussed the so-called “nearby-peers effect,” how knowledge can best be gained and retained, and whether the use of personal devices in the classroom affects the quality of higher education.- See more at:

Professional Development Workshops Presented by John Tallmadge

Join us for professional development workshops presented by John Tallmadge, an educational and literary consultant (who is the author of Meeting the Tree of Life: A Teacher’s Path), on Friday, March 6th, in the CTLR Suite in the Davis Family Library. John has worked with a number of Middlebury faculty. To sign up, please visit

The three workshops on Friday are:

12:15-1:20 pm Workshop 1 - Staying Alive in the Beginning and Warrior Phases of a Career (for junior and term faculty) – This workshop is primarily for junior faculty as well as to those not on the tenure track and deals with the challenges of leading a balanced life during the beginning and warrior phases of one’s career. Lunch included.

1:30-2:30 pm Workshop 2 – Academic Publishing: from leveraging the dissertation to rendering mature work into articles and books (for all ranks) – This workshop, designed for both junior and senior faculty, deals with the nuts and bolts of academic publishing, both for those just getting started and for those whose experience may feel a bit out of date; it covers journals (print and online) as well as books.

2:45-3:45 pm Workshop 3 – Staying Vital in the Citizen and Later Phases of a Career: leadership, mentoring, and retirement (for senior faculty) – This workshop engages senior faculty in the citizen and later phases of their careers, when leadership calls and retirement looms (or beckons) and the challenges of leading a balanced, healthy life can feel particularly acute.

Application Deadline for Spring Student Symposium is Fri. 2/27

Remember to submit your application by midnight on Friday, 2/27 to present in the Spring Student Symposium this April! Check out the video below to hear from fellow students who have presented why they would do it again.


Dear Students and Colleagues:

Join us in celebrating the diversity of a Middlebury education! The 2015 Spring Student Symposium will begin in the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Thursday night, April 9 with a keynote talk by Kevin Murungi ’01, the Director of Human Rights and Foreign Policy at Global Kids, followed by a reception and student presentations. The Symposium continues all day Friday, April 10 with presentations of student work in McCardell Bicentennial Hall.

We invite students from all four years and in all departments and programs to participate. If you have done research in a class, independently, or through an internship; if you would like to read, show, or perform a creative work; if you have a project to present in a poster or oral format, please apply to present your academic work! The application deadline is February 27, 2015.

Why you should present with graphic

More information and the application are available at the Undergraduate Research website at

Students: Your application must include a project description (200 words) that has been approved by your faculty or staff sponsor.

Faculty and Staff: Please encourage students to apply.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Symposium!

Pat Manley, Professor of Geology
Lisa Gates, Associate Dean for Fellowships and Research

for the Spring Symposium Planning Committee

…the Symposium encapsulates Middlebury at its best. It was valuable for me to prepare and then present in a professional setting. An equally valuable component of the Symposium is how it celebrates students work. I am grateful that Middlebury has put time, energy and thought into a creating a day that celebrates all that goes on here– much of which could go unseen and unheard.
— 2014 Symposium Participant

Writing In the Changing Academy

The Writing Program invites you to attend one of the events in our upcoming symposium, Writing In the Changing Academy.

Tues, Feb 24 4:30- 6 pm, “Memoria: Every Writer’s Muse,” an interactive lecture with Victor Villanueva,Regents Professor and Director of the Writing Program at Washington State University, author of the award-winning book:Bootstraps, From an American Academic of Color, Rhetorics of the Americas: 3114 BCE to 2013 CE..Abernethy Room

Wed, Feb. 25 12:15-1:30 pm, “Writing, Identity and Power,” a student-led conversation for faculty, students and staff. Carr Hall Lounge. If you know that you plan to attend lunch, please RSVP our coordinator, Sheerya Shivers, If you can’t commit to lunch in advance, you are still very welcome to show up.

Sadly, because of illness of the speaker, the Wednesday lecture is cancelled.

4:30-6 pm, “Traveling Down a Desire Line: Surviving Where Academia and Community Meet,” an interactive lecture with Julianna Ávila, Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, author of Moving Critical Literacies Forward: A New Look at Praxis Across Contexts (Routledge). Robert A. Jones House

Mary Ellen Bertolini
Writing Center Director & Senior Lecturer, Writing
Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research

The Role of Grading

Academic Roundtable – The Role of Grading

October 28, 2014

To many faculty, grading is a necessary burden that accompanies the more invigorating dimensions of teaching. Grading’s secure place in the academy, however, often forestalls sustained discussion of its purpose and operation. This Academic Roundtable, which will be facilitated by Jane Chaplin of the Classics Department, Roger Sandwick of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, and Don Wyatt of the History Department, will explore the following questions: How does grading best promote student learning? What are strategies for discussing grades with disgruntled or disappointed students? Can grades be used for both process and product in the same course? Should we be concerned about grade inflation? And is there an art to grading?

Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research and the Library.

2014 Spring Pedagogy Series

Focus on First Year- Thursday, May 22, 10:00 am-noon in Axinn 219;

Annual Grant-Writing Workshop- Thursday, May 29, 9:15 am- 3:30 pm Axinn 220;

Online Identity Part 1- Tuesday, June 3, 10:30 am–noon Wilson Media Lab, LIB 220;

Designing Effective Presentations- Wednesday, June 4, 10:30-12:00 pm LIB 230;

Beyond PowerPoint- Wednesday, June 4, 1:30- 3:00 pm Wilson Media Lab, LIB 220;

Online Identity Part 2- Electronic Portfolios- Friday, June 6, 10:30 am-noon Wilson Media Lab, LIB 220;

~Lunch served at all events ~

Annotation Studio & the Futures of Annotation

Elyse Graham, Ph.D, Yale University on Wednesday, May 7

Annotation Studio is an open-source digital tool that permits users to create, store, and share annotations that link to digital materials of all kinds. This talk compared annotative models and devices that readers have used historically to organize the information in texts, in order to better understand the needs that the readers bring to the digital environment.

Academic Roundtable: Moving Research Forward

Christal Brown and other members of the Movement Matters Steering Committee, Wednesday, April 30

Members of the Movement Matters steering committee discussed the process of creating interdisciplinary research models that foster embodied scholarship. This discussion will begin by looking into current research models that blend dance and science and identify other collaborative models that could be supported thorough our current curriculum. The Movement Matters steering committee comprises faculty from Dance, Education Studies, Biology, and Sociology and Anthropology. Movement Matters is a three year initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation to support the work of an interdisciplinary movement artist working across the disciplines of the college.

See the entire Spring 2014 Academic Roundtable schedule at