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7 Innovative Midd Course Sites in WordPress

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Have you considered using WordPress as a course website, but aren’t sure how it might look? Are you using it already, but curious about new ideas? Here’s a sneak peek at how other Middlebury faculty have been doing it.

Simple Websites
Create a simple website with WordPress by hiding its blog features. Make “Pages” for your content (e.g., syllabus, lecture outlines, and assignment overviews), then from the Settings > Reading menu, change your blog’s front page to a “static page.”

History of American Women (login to view)

Share Course Materials and Announcements
Use WordPress’s blog “Posts” to share timely announcements with your class, and create “Pages” for static content like your syllabus, schedule, and resources that students need often.

Modern Chinese Politics

Sharing & Publishing Student Work
Publish student work informally on the web, or give students a way to share their work with other members of the class. By elevating students’ role in your site to Contributor or higher (Users > Change Role To…), students can post to the course site themselves. WordPress’s Privacy settings give you control over whether student work is limited to just the class or beyond (Settings > Reading).

Political Ecology of GMOs
Solvitur Ambulando
Middlebury Studio Art

Digital Class Project
An entire class might collaborate to produce an archival and educational resource that lives on well after the course ends. LIS can provide extra support for ambitious projects.

Chicago Freedom Movement

WordPress is flexible. Use it for a combination of posting course content, creating interactive opportunities for students, and as a platform to share student work.

The Keys to Dan Brown’s Inferno

No matter which approach you adopt, your WordPress site can be visible to anyone on the web, limited to Middlebury account holders, or private to just the students in your course.

To create a WordPress site for your course, visit the Course Hub  > Manage Resources > Add a Resource > WordPress and follow the steps. Your LIS liaison is available to discuss ways you might use WordPress, walk you through the process, and provide additional support.

Friday Links – February 14, 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The return-on-investment of reading from Forbes, or Why you should read books

Vermonter Bryan Alexander of NITLE “goes” to Educause via Doppelbot.

Cute and humorous video about data sharing, management, and preservation from the NYU Health Sciences Libraries –

He Said She Said – How Blogs are Changing the Scientific Discourse – Mainstream media always follows the same kind of ‘He said, she said’ template, which is why even climate change deniers get their say, although they are a tiny minority. The leading scientific journals, on the other hand, are expensive and behind pay-walls. But it turns out there are places on the web where you can follow science up close and personal: The many personal blogs written by scientists — and the conversation there is changing the very nature of scientific debate.

Cloudinary vs. Blitline: Cloud-Image Services Compared – As Web applications grow in number and capability, storing large amounts of images can quickly become a problem.

Did you ever wish you were an Olympian? Check out these interactive elements from the New York Times to get close to the action from miles away. (Thanks to our digital media tutors for this find!!)

New sign-in page for Middlebury Google Apps coming soon

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Google has announced that all Google Apps services are getting a new sign-in page. This change will be rolled out to the Middlebury Google Apps instance by March 1st, 2014.

The new sign-in page requires users to sign in with their full email address, like this…


The new sign-in page is intended to provide a streamlined and cohesive sign-in experience for all users, an account chooser that makes it easy to switch between Google accounts, and security enhancements, including advanced bot detection and improved account hijacking protection.

If you have any questions about this change, please comment below or email gadmin@middlebury.edu.

The Middlebury Google Admin Team

Friday Links – February 7, 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

10 ways alternative energy is about to change the way tech gets powered – Solar-powered laptops, edible battery power, spray-on solar panels, mini windmills: This may be a game-changing year for clean technology.

Solar Powered LapTop

Apple was just awarded a patent for a possible solar-powered MacBook display. Image: Apple/USPTO


Microsoft Names Satya Nadella Its New CEO: Nadella is the third CEO of Microsoft, and is expected to continue developing its cloud services.

BuzzFeed Style Guide: If you’ve ever wondered about style guidelines for the “language of the web,” Buzzfeed specifies writing google in all lowercase when used as a verb, inserting a hyphen in live-tweet, and writing smartphone as one word.

Two perspectives on how a scholarly journal – Cultural Anthropology – goes open access: “The PR side” from the Chronicle, and a deeper exploration of the economics and philosophy from Scholarly Kitchen.

Moodle Update on Sunday, February 2, 2014

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

On February 2nd at 11pm EST, Remote-Learner will be updating our Moodle instance. This is a minor upgrade that includes updates to performance and security, as well as the following feature enhancements:

  • Option to auto-save during quiz attempts (administrative setting)
  • You will be able to search the list of users enrolled in a large course
  • Drag and drop file upload progress indicator in filepicker
  • New forum setting ‘Display word count’

For a user-friendly comprehensive list of changes please visit: http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/New_features

Please expect Moodle to be unavailable for a short time between 11pm and 1am.

December 2013 Web Stats

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

For trend comparison, the previous month’s statistics are included in parentheses.


  1. www.middlebury.edu: 352,885 (448,980) visits from 204,353 (260,230) people
  2. sites.middlebury.edu: 40,595 (67,394) visits from 34,798 (56,212) people
  3. mediawiki.middlebury.edu: 20,399 (21,648) visits from 19,207 (20,454) people
  4. menus.middlebury.edu: 19,311 (35,255) visits from 7,884 (19,571) people
  5. portal.middlebury.edu: 9,462 (12,424) visits from 5,118 (7,069) people
  6. biblio.middlebury.edu: 7,819 (12,768) visits from 6,083 (10,206) people
  7. web.middlebury.edu*: 6,700 (10,729) visits from 6,145 (10,094) people
  8. courses.middlebury.edu: 6,471 (15,181) visits from 4,852 (12,254) people
  9. catalog.middlebury.edu: 4,905 (36,063) visits from 4,643 (28,608) people
  10. facstaff.middlebury.edu: 3,803 (4,356) visits from 3,262 (3,817) people

* Note: The Online Directory was moved from web.middlebury.edu to directory.middlebury.edu on December 19.

Top Pages

  1. www.middlebury.edu: 178,969 (215,158) pageviews
  2. menus.middlebury.edu: 22,618 (36,457) pageviews
  3. www.middlebury.edu/academics: 19,854 (25,351) pageviews
  4. www.middlebury.edu/athletics: 19,378 (37,042) pageviews
  5. www.middlebury.edu/admissions: 19,032 (15,889) pageviews
  6. www.middlebury.edu/admissions/apply: 13,359 (8,793) pageviews
  7. www.middlebury.edu/academics/lib: 12,819 (20,709) pageviews
  8. portal.middlebury.edu/home: 12,346 (15,930) pageviews
  9. www.middlebury.edu/athletics/sports: 10,951 (20,147) pageviews
  10. www.middlebury.edu/ls: 8,549 (7,939) pageviews

Search Terms

  1. Search Midd: 378 (438)
  2. academic calendar: 237 (259)
  3. middfiles: 180 (313)
  4. mojo: 150 (80)
  5. moodle: 125 (243)
  6. menu: 70 (103)
  7. sites.middlebury.edu: 64 (109)
  8. webcam: 53 (51)
  9. interview: 50 (48)
  10. jobs: 46 (77)


  • Safari: 33.09% (34.73%)
    • Desktop Safari: 18.79% (20.70%)
    • Mobile Safari: 13.24% (13.07%)
    • Safari (in-app): 1.06% (0.96%)
  • Chrome: 30.51% (30.90%)
  • Firefox: 16.98% (16.70%)
  • Internet Explorer: 15.27% (15.24%)
    • IE8: 7.72% (7.55%)
    • IE10: 2.36% (4.04%)
    • IE9: 2.17% (2.05%)
    • IE7: 1.67% (1.56%)
    • IE11: 1.31%*
    • IE6: 0.04% (0.03%)
  • Android Browser: 1.29% (1.11%)

* Note: This is the first month that Google Analytics has been able to identify IE11 traffic, starting on December 17.


  • Windows: 43.39% (39.81%)
  • Macintosh: 37.92% (42.35%)
  • iOS: 15.04% (14.84%)
  • Android: 2.58% (2.16%)
  • Linux: 0.38% (0.35%)
  • BlackBerry: 0.09% (0.09%)
  • Windows Phone: 0.09% (0.09%)

Busy start to 2014 in Special Collections

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Special Collections has enjoyed a busy start to 2014 with several J-term classes visiting this week to use our collections for coursework. Prof. Peter Lourie’s class Adventure Writing and Digital Story Telling came to see 17th to early 20th century examples of travel and adventure writing, as well as to view photos from the College Archives of students engaging in their own adventures over the years.

And below see some photos from Prof. Kacy McKinney’s class Space and Place in the Graphic Novel. Students learned about the history of illustrations in books, viewing everything from a 1484 illuminated Latin text, to recently published graphic novels.


Students looking at a wide selection of illustrated books


Special Collections Director Rebekah Irwin shares a large format art book.


Prof. McKinney and students view illustrated books from the 16th to the 18th century.