Language Advisory Group – Fall 2013

1. Curricular Technology (Joe)
2. Videoconferencing (Petar)

Curricular Technology

1. Discussion of  digital humanities and partnerships between CTLR, LIS, and faculty. lead by Joe Antonioli.

Joe and other members of the task-force are gathering information on how can LIS & CTLR can best meet the needs of faculty

  • What steps can LIS take to improve curricular technology services for faculty?

  • Joe’s presentation slides  illustrate the- most common uses of curricular technology by faculty.

  • According to the statistics LIS has gathered, the most common use of technology is to store and distribute files

  • The two uses of curricular technology in the German department are a website associated with the 2nd year textbook which is licensed and can be viewed by students who have purchased the textbook  and Markin – a marking software recommended by director of the German Schools Abroad.

  • The German department views their placement exam as a recruiting tool, and prefer continuation of the paper version.

  • The LIS curricular technologists are exploring mobile technology for grading

  • The SansSpace Pilot is running this year – LIS is negotiating with them and has not made a decision on whether or not to continue the service

  • This past summer there were a number of problems with the German placement exam in Moodle some people we automatically logged out before they completed the exam, in other cases the computer crashed during the exam not allowing the students to complete it. Joe will follow up with the German school director before next summer.

  • Bettina Matthias mentioned that she has asked her students in the German play this semester to create either a Facebook persona and page for their characters or to use their cellphones to further explore their character.

2. Video conferencing where are we going and what are the needs. (Petar Mitrevski)

  •  Planned as a new service on campus – an existing classroom will be made suitable for video-conferencing. There already are classrooms set up in some of Middlebury’s other locations – just not in Vermont yet.

  •  Video conferencing is in some ways similar to Skype – able to call others and collaborate – but Skype is not stable enough, and it is missing some functionality – not all students in a class can be seen on camera at a time

  • The ability to have a video conference will be open to anyone, locally here in Vermont and beyond – including Monterey and schools abroad. The platform LIS is considering will be a small piece of software, easy to install on a computer so that it could be sent to someone who might use it to appear as a virtual guest lecturer within a class.

  • The Department of the History of Art and Architecture HARC will be piloting the software in December to connect to guest lecturers

  • In the future it could be used in a language class, for instance to connect with native speakers -the Spanish Department used Skype that way in a class.

  • This past year students abroad studying Portuguese abroad called in and talked about their experiences.

  • The proposed software will be relatively easy to use in a classroom

  • Bettina Matthias mentioned that she had the students Skype with her mother last week, the proposed videoconferencing software would have worked even better, as her mother couldn’t see all the students she was talking with

  • Polycom is the name of the software LIS is considering.

  • The lecturer, or other guest will be sent a piece of software which can then be opened on a web browser. In order for the whole class to participate, the classroom will need special microphones and cameras.

  • At this point having an in class video conference would need to be arranged through Media Services. Although in the future (over the next 5 years) the hope is that with a dedicated classroom, video conferencing will become self-service.

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