Course Sites and New Services

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last year we posted some course site suggestions for faculty. The information is still relevant, and here is a short summary for those who only need a reminder:

  • Where to find help for faculty -
  • Where to find help for students working on media assignments -
  • Start at the Course Hub –
    • Add your syllabus as a web page, document, or link
    • In general, if you would like your course site to be private choose Moodle
    • In general, if you would like your course site to be public choose WordPress
    • If you make your course unavailable to students while you are building it, please make sure you make it available before students need access to it.

There are a handful of new services that are available for faculty to use in their courses:


SANSSpace has a web-based video and audio recorder for class assignments. Students can record audio or video and save directly to the site, and faculty can respond by inserting text, audio or video in the timeline of the student’s submission. It is most commonly used for an online language lab environment, and also has applications for presentations, music, and writing. SANSSpace can be added to your course via the Course Hub.

Shared Moodle Resource

Currently, the only shared Moodle resource is the Academic Integrity Tutorial. This tutorial can be added to any course via the Course Hub.

Curricular Innovations

There have been many stories about curricular activities gathered over the years, and they have been shared across many sites. We have started to gather them in one place, the Curricular Innovations site, where faculty can see and share experiences in the classroom.


Personal tech tip: A colleague recently shared that they use a program called Eyeleo ( to help them to remember to take regular breaks when spending long amounts of time at a computer. Eyeleo works on windows computers, and there is a similar program, Time Out (, that works on Macs.

The Oak Ridge Trail with Middlebury Trail Enthusiasts

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As the summer draws to a close and the days get cooler, my runs tend to get longer and longer in anticipation of a few Fall marathons, or other longer races which depend on a full summer’s training. I have been wanting to knock off a big chunk of the Oak Ridge Trail for some time this summer, and I found some good running partners for this endeavor through a new Meetup, called “Middlebury Trail Enthusiasts“.  For those of you are not familiar with this group of runners and trail seekers, it began just this summer.  For the time being, most of the group runs have been in town, after work (5:45), leaving from the Marble Works on Tuesdays, and some Thursdays.  While I have been a regular participant on these after work runs, which usually proceed at a pace amenable to conversation,  this was the first time I had joined in one of the longer group runs.  So, at 8 am on a beautiful Saturday morning, I joined up with Heather, the group founder, and John, the organizer of the local race, the Moosalamoo Ultra”  for a run up the ridge.  We started at the parking lot on Rt 125, between East Middlebury and Ripton, and headed up the trail.  One sign of good conversation is that you miss trail signs, so I guess we got off to a good start by missing a well marked right turn, where the Oak Ridge Trail veered off of the Old Town Road, an abandoned road which serves as the northern terminus of the nearly 20 mile long Oak Ridge Trail.  After about a quarter of a mile of running in increasingly higher grass, we realized our error, and backtracked to the incredibly obvious correct turn, and from this point we had no further routefinding difficulties!

I had done this section of trail once before, as a point to point run, after being dropped off at a significantly higher altitude, the turnoff for the Voter Brook Overlook on the Goshen-Ripton Road.  Running the same trail in the opposite direction added an additional 500 ft or so of climbing!  The trail angles up the north side of Mount Moosalamoo, rarely becoming steep, over the course of over 6 miles.  At one point, pretty high up, I grabbed a shot of my running partners as they attempted to escape me.

Oak Ridge Runners

Oak Ridge Runners

Shortly after this point, I parted company with my running friends, as they were looking for a longer run than I today – they continued along the ridge toward the now near Moosalamoo summit, and I chose to descend on the Moosalamoo Trail to the Moosalamoo Campground, and return to my car by country roads.  The descent was much easier than the ascent to this point – the Moosalamoo Trail gets much heavier foot travel than the longer Oak Ridge Trail.  Some recent local new articles had alluded to trail maintenance on this trails, to make them more accessible to mountain bikers as well, but other than a few cut up trees which had fallen over the trail, it looked like this plan was not fully underway yet!

I reached to Moosalamoo Campground, at around mile 9 in the run, and was surprised to see that, even on Labor Day weekend, this primitive campground only had two groups of campers staked out for the last holiday of summer.  At this point, I knew my return would be by road, but the Goshen-Ripton Road is about as quiet as a road can get- in my 4 miles or so on this road, returning to 125, I saw only 3 cars.  I also made mental notes of other trailheads to be explored in future postings, most notably the Wilkinson Trails across the road and to the west of the Widow’s Clearing parking lot.  In one sunny section, I also noted some of the last daisies of summer, clinging to the side of the road.

Last Daisies of Summer

Last Daisies of Summer



Rejoining Rt 125, I passed through Ripton, and realized that while I had passed through the village countless times by car, and by bicycle, the only time I had actually been on foot in the village was racing in the Ripton Ridge Run back in the 80s when it started and finished at the old Ripton School!  I also took a moment to enjoy the whimsy of the reproduction of the old sign for road tolls on this route, posted in the yard of the Chipman Inn.  Do you think they accepted Easy Pass?

No Easy Pass allowed

No Easy Pass allowed

The last mile of the run was the most unnerving – the run through the twisty turny section of 125 below Ripton. The shoulders here were less than ample, and I took care not to run on the side of the road on the inside of the many blind corners where cars tended to cut it a little close! I did indeed survive this short section without a scratch, to return to my car in time to get home for lunch. Overall, this was a pretty long run for me, covering almost 16 miles, with about 1500 ft of climbing on the trail sections.

Finally – it would be great to see some new faces at Middlebury Trail Enthusiast events – check it out!

Oak Ridge Ascent, Road Return

Oak Ridge Ascent, Road Return

Altitude Profile

Altitude Profile

Middlebury Dorm Shop

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We have all your dorm supplies in our Dorm Shop at the College Bookstore in Lower Proctor.  The Dorm Shop will be open today until 1:00, Orientation Week- Monday – Friday  8:30-5:00 with weekend hours Saturday Noon-5:00, Sunday 11:00-5:00 and Monday, September 8th 8:30-5:00.  Get your dorm outfitted while supplies last!


What?! No Strategy? The President Should Just Resign

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Typically my Saturday post centers on a trip back using the WayBack machine to revisit some presidential archive, but I confess I’m too distraught over the President’s monumental gaffe to even bother with my usual topic. You know the gaffe I mean – Obama admitted during his press confidence two days ago that he didn’t […]

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Middlebury’s Mahaney Center for the Arts Announces 2014-2015 Season

Students Lend Expertise to Help Preserve a Piece of Town History

New Book Gives Voice to Tolstoy’s Wife

Middlebury Launches New Athletics Website

Journalist Freed from Qaeda Affiliate is Middlebury Alumnus

View past stories by visiting the News Room page.

Why “We Don’t Have A Strategy Yet” Is a Good Strategy For Now

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
In my years of punditry sophisticated application of political science to presidential politics, it has been rare for a president to both confirm my take on his previous actions and to follow my advice on what to do next within hours of my post on the topic. (Please, hold the hate mail – I’m not […]

Lunch time Learning: Library Services & Resources at Middlebury

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Wed. Sept. 3rd, noon – 1pm, Davis Family Library Computer Lab (DFL 105) – lower level.  Drop-ins welcome or sign-up online (use the last box to tell us if there is something specific you want covered).

Description: Bring your lunch to the library and learn about what we have to offer you and your family.  We’ll introduce you to library services and resources available to Midd users and their families and show you how to search MIDCAT, the library catalog, and Summon (our “search everything” tool) to discover resources like books, articles, films, eBooks, audiobooks, and more. Learn how to access news and popular magazines online as well as find online resources aimed at all ages.  Questions will be answered throughout the session.