Author Archives: Heather Stafford

Wilson Media Lab – Summer Stats

We’ve finished tabulating the usage counts for the Wilson Media Lab which can be found in the Piktochart below or here. Some interesting differences from last year’s summer session include:

  • An increase in requests for help from 11% in 2014 to 33% of users in 2015.
  • We are also seeing an increase in graphics and video usage and a decrease in text usage

If you haven’t visited the newly redesigned Wilson Media Lab we encourage you to do so!

Embedding a Kanopy Streaming Video in a Course Site

Good news! Thanks to our partners in ITS, faculty can now embed a video from Middlebury’s repository of Kanopy streaming videos in their WordPress sites. We’ve documented the process here. Below is a sample of what this would look like once it is embedded in the site.

You can do this in Moodle as well. The process is a little different, and is documented here. (Look in the section “Additional Options” below the YouTube instructions.)


Friday Links for Halloween, October 31, 2014

10 reasons scholars should start writing BuzzFeed articles

Infographics in 3 Steps

NEW! Moodle Users Listserv – This group is for Moodle teachers who would like to use an email forum to ask, answer, and share Moodle questions and tips. To join the list you can either visit and use the sign up form in the right hand column, or send an email message to and include:

  • subscribe in the subject field
  • subscribe moodle-users in the text of the email



Friday Links – October 17, 2014

Time for a Thesis – From the Senior Admissions Fellows Blog, a self-reflective essay by a History major on the impact of our annual message to seniors about thesis carrel signup and research support. His conclusion is quite nice: “When I think ahead to the books and research, I am not so much nervous as I am excited,” he says.

Practicing Collaborative Digital Pedagogy to Foster Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms – This article presents two case studies of classes who employed different techniques to “foster digital literacies in humanities students using distinct approaches for each course.” My key takeaway hinged on one student’s observation: “Through creating an infographic in, I learned that it is very important to develop skills in being able to pick out important information from the vast amounts that you can easily find online.”

How Stress Affects the Brain During Learning – A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at the neural and hormonal responses that underpin a student’s stress response, and make a few suggestions for continuing to teach through the challenges it presents.

Upcoming Battery Will Charge Phones And Electric Cars in Minutes – It takes about an hour to fully charge a cell phone, and the battery lasts about two to three years over 500 charge cycles. However, a new design could reduce charge time to only a few minutes and the battery is expected to last for 10,000 charge cycles over a 20 year lifespan.

FireChat in Hong Kong: How an app tapped its way into the protests
(CNN) — The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted, instant messaged or, in the case of Hong Kong, broadcast on mesh networks like FireChat.


Friday Links – July 11, 2014

At Sea in a Deluge of Data
By Alison J. Head and John Wihbey
Chronicle of Higher Education
People in charge of hiring at large organizations such as Microsoft, Nationwide Insurance and the FBI say that recent college graduates lack skills in research and analysis. “The new workers default to quick answers plucked from the Internet. That method might be fine for looking up a definition or updating a fact, but for many tasks, it proved superficial and incomplete…”

How unexpected opportunities can inform practice – As a part of some of my coursework I have had the opportunity to read some interesting educational research. I thought it might be helpful to share a brief overview of some of the articles that I’ve reviewed. This is the first post in a series that I was planning to share. Please feel free to contact me at if you’d like to discuss further.

11 University and Library Groups Release Net-Neutrality Principles – The nation’s colleges and libraries have a message for the Federal Communications Commission: Don’t mess with net neutrality.

Bicycle-powered charger

Friday Links – April 18, 2014

Photos: 15 gadgets to reduce your energy consumption – Earth Day is April 22, so it’s a great time to take a step back and look at your personal energy consumption.

The Truth About Google X: An Exclusive Look Behind the Secretive Lab’s Closed Doors – Space elevators, teleportation, hoverboards, and driverless cars: the top secret Google X innovation lab opens up about what it does–and how it thinks.

Benjamin Bratton on “What’s wrong with TED Talks?” A, er, TED talk …

“… This is taking something of substance and value and coring it out so it can be swallowed without chewing.  This is not how we’ll confront our most frightening problems. This is one of our most frightening problems. …” [around 2:00]

There are a lot of digital stories being told at Middlebury. Check out a few here.

13 Ways To Be A Great Public Speaker – Rehearsing your body language and getting proper rest are effective tactics for reducing public speaking anxiety and ensuring that you give a memorable presentation.

Friday Links – April 4, 2014

The Terran Computational Calendar – Synchronized with the northern winter solstice and the UNIX Epoch, the terran computational calendar contains 13 identical months of 28 days each in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year’s day and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years).

Why Facebook Acquiring Oculus Rift Is A Good Thing – Here are a lot of numbers with the word ‘billion’ in them. Facebook has 1.2 billion active users. In 2013 Facebook made $7.872 billion in revenue. Facebook could afford to pay $2 billion to acquire a technology that could have potentially been doomed to a niche market, squandering all its incredible potential, squandering a genuine chance to change the world through interactivity. This is now a potential that has an exponentially stronger chance of become a hard reality.

Infographic: See the daily routines of the world’s most famous creative people – Ever wonder how your routine stacks up against others? Check out this infographic from Info We Trust to compare your schedule to Darwin’s.