Throwback Thursday: Katrina Spencer

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer visits Downtown Guadalajara Mexico with the Spanish School in 2010.

Name: Katrina Spencer

Former Role(s) on Campus: Master of Spanish Grad Student, Class of 2010; Portuguese School, 2014

Current Role on Campus: Literatures & Cultures Librarian

When was this photo taken?

Summer 2010

What were you doing in this photo?

I was studying in Guadalajara Mexico, completing my last requirements for my degree. There was a scheduled field trip for touring the downtown portion of the city. Here we’re all in an historic governmental building. It looks like one of my classmates caught me reviewing photos in my camera.

How have things changed in your life since then?

A number of things have changed in the last seven years. I’ve gained some weight. ;) Traveled to West Africa. Studied Arabic. (Mastering Spanish certainly gave me the confidence to approach other languages, though just last week I had a “por vs. para” slip up.) Started working in the professional world. And. . . have finally approached persuading myself to explore meatless meals.

What hasn’t?

I still wear leggings around three times a week. My tennis shoes (Tigers ‘n’ Reeboks) and purse (long strap and slightly exotic design) preferences are rather equal to those in the photo. I still strive for an abstract ethos and ideology of “equity.”

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I get paid well to listen to and help students I love.

What is on the horizon?

I still have an appetite to build on the minimal foundation I have in Arabic. There are so many things I want to read: David Sedaris, Toni Morrison, Nicole A. Cooke… I’d also like to meet my niece.

For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Video Conferencing Tool for Middlebury: Zoom

We are pleased to introduce a new tool that will make communication and collaboration easier regardless of your location.

In the fall of 2016, a team representing Academic Technology, the Digital Learning Commons at Monterey, ITS, and the Office of Digital Learning set out to identify a new video conferencing solution that would improve the ways we communicate and work with each other across Middlebury. The team selected Zoom Video Conferencing as the tool that best met Middlebury’s needs, and initiated a pilot program in January 2017. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from academic and administrative groups, Middlebury is now making Zoom available to all users.

Zoom works with our existing video conferencing rooms and includes features such as video calls with up to 100 participants, screen sharing, breakout groups, webinars, and more. It’s quick to download and easy to use. Zoom will completely replace the Polycom software by January 1st, 2018. If you use a dedicated Polycom video conferencing unit in conjunction with an office or conference room monitor, it will continue to function and you can use it together with Zoom by dialing your Zoom meeting as described in our documentation.

To start using Zoom, please visit http://middlebury.zoom.us and sign in with your Middlebury credentials. We hope that you will find Zoom convenient and useful in your work. We invite your comments and suggestions about the service and our communications regarding it. You can submit feedback here.

For more information, please visit the Zoom web page.
For questions and other support, please visit the support page.

Weekly Web Updates – October 2, 2017

 

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Trailing paragraphs and line breaks in course descriptions on the course catalog are now removed to ensure the formatting for following sections isn’t thrown off.
  • RSS page feeds produced by Drupal now include a cache header with instructions on how long they should be retained.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Creating a new automatically generated course catalog.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, Omeka, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
The image of the banner to be used for the Disability Employment Awareness Display on a dark blue background with white text highlighting access, full participation and opportunity.

Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. Come to the Davis Family Library atrium October 2nd- 15th to see our display that includes books and DVDs that touch on a variety of themes related to disability. Also read below about the various efforts made to make our campus more accessible and inclusive. Many sincere thanks to Marlena Evans for her work in designing this month’s banner and to the Advisory Group on Disability, Access, and Inclusion for its generous guidance. Continue reading

Rachel Kang '19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Rachel

Rachel Kang '19

Rachel Kang ’19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is part of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. Meet Rachel!

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Year at Middlebury: 2

Major: Computer Science + Political Science

What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?

DMT stands for “digital media tutor” and the DMT program on campus is a great resource for both students and faculty. This job focuses on tutoring services for media editing programs, including Adobe Suites. I have some experience using these softwares, but I wanted to learn more and become more proficient in them.

What type of training have you received?

We went through each software on the iMacs in the Wilson Media Lab and created simple projects to better understand its functionalities.

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?

Going into training, I felt that I understood Adobe Photoshop well, but quickly realized there was much more to the program than I thought. After a couple months into the job, I feel confident navigating both Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro CC the best.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?

While Photoshop is a great tool for modifying images, Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based software that emphasizes creating graphics with precision. I’d like to take on a project that heavily uses Illustrator one day.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?

One of the projects I worked on was a nature-based film series I made for a professor, using both Audacity and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Starting from scratch, with only raw footage and some rough audio, I created short 4-6 minute films which turned out to be more challenging than I thought. Because I had no prior experience with film editing and Premiere, taking on this project really helped me understand how to navigate Premiere quickly and efficiently.

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?

An important part of this job is to have the drive to understand these softwares—you get out what you put into it! Pushing yourself to learn what some of these complicated softwares can do will not only be helpful for tutoring purposes, but also useful for any basic media-related needs you may run into in the future.

 For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.
Research Desk

Keep on asking! We’re glad to answer.

Research Questions, Week 1

Research Questions, Week 1 (2016 and 2017)

Great job, students!

We’ve enjoyed talking with you at the Research Desk at the Davis Family Library. You’ve asked us a lot of questions! More this year than last year, even.

In just the first week of classes, you stopped by 142 times, which is up from the 124 questions we received in Week 1 last year. That’s a 14.5% increase. Even more significantly, 72 of your questions were research-related, which is a 33% increase over last year!

What’s been going on at the Research Desk?

  • We’ve helped people find books and DVDs (“Where is this call number located?”)
  • We’ve figured out how to cite unusual sources (“How do I cite something I read in Chinese?”)
  • We’ve discussed how to narrow a research topic, how to refine a search for scholarly articles, how to decide when it’s time to shift to a different research topic, and more

What do students say?

  • “I just came from a research workshop for my first-year seminar, and I wanted to continue my search.”
  • “Thank you! I’ve never known how to use Interlibrary Loan, so I’m glad I asked!”
  • “I wish I’d come to see you last year!”

So please, keep on asking! We’re glad to answer.

ACTT Notes

News & Updates

Joe is still working with Panopto on testing updated integrations before activating. Faculty are seeing errors when they preview a quiz in Panopto.

Agenda:

  1. Discussion: ITS Governance

The portfolio meeting last week provided a more formal review and discussion of the ITS governance process that ACTT has been introduced to in prior meetings. The team is hopeful that the process will improve prioritization of academic and digital learning projects relative to the other portfolio groups.

Questions remain about the relationship between the ACTT and the ATDL portfolio group. ACTT in its current configuration may well serve to help academic projects ‘bubble up’ to the next level for improved visibility and prioritization. ACTT’s work can help inform the governance process through evaluations, pilots, and recommendations. The portfolio group is a place where such activities can be shared to help inform decisions about projects.

The governance process will require some adjustment to technical processes and perhaps some additional communication and education of stakeholders to help non-IT community members engage.

Some questions arose in reflecting on the first meeting:

  • How might we better engage all members of the portfolio team in discussions of academic tech and digital learning beyond technical considerations?
  • How might we work to develop shared language to talk about academic projects and needs?

Additional questions considered:

  • First question: Do we all need to be there?
  • What representation do we want/need?

No immediate decision or changes agreed on regarding current membership or attendance at ITS gov monthly meetings. Expected organizational directions and may result in revisions to current portfolio group membership in governance process. This topic will be revisited.

 

  1. Discussion / Action: Canvas Orientation sites for students to be added to Course Hub as a resource

We briefly reviewed a couple of resources with a student audience:

Sean’s site – https://middlebury.instructure.com/courses/123

Bob’s site – https://middlebury.instructure.com/courses/364

Canvas orientation site for students project will need to continue to be improved and revised. Agreed on a desire to update a single resource for all Middlebury students and faculty. Monterey integrated the student quickguide for students at the course-level menu in the Institute’s sub-account for all courses. Based on schools abroad and Institute sites, different strategies for presenting Canvas orientations were discussed.

What do we want these sites to do for students? What needs to be there?

Sean is interested in getting some additional feedback from students (ODL and DLC interns) to determine how we to proceed. Expects to work with Amy S. on ways to collaborate, collect feedback, and improve the orientation experience for first-time Canvas users.

Action Plan:

  • Joe will add a link to the Student Canvas Orientation (Sean’s version) in the Primary Canvas HELP menu
  • Adam will add the Orientation site to Course Hub (College and Monterey) as a “shared Canvas resource”
  • Sean will follow-up with Amy Slay regarding input from students and revision of the orientation site for an all-Middlebury student audience
  • ACTT will plan to track usage of the orientation site through AY17-18 via Hub and Canvas analytics before making further recommendations

 

  1. Added Discussion: Course Hub Refactoring & Integration

Bob raised the issue of integrating College and Institute Course Hub sites. Adam provided an update on the status of the Course Hub Drupal 8 and Refactoring project which had previously been cancelled. Bob agreed to be a co-sponsor on the project to help advocate for continued integration of currently separate platforms (e.g. sites dot WordPress at Midd and MIIS) link to project: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fnzG_T18DP5E0ReWQ6PG39vSuSMBFwN8QiSTV3Gvf1M/edit#