This Week in ODL: Apr 3-7, 2017

Welcome to This Week in ODL, a weekly blog series published by the Office of Digital Learning through which we provide readers with the latest developments in the projects and learning experiences under development at our office. With this post, we highlight this week’s news for your review and feedback. Remember to check back next week for the latest updates on our work!

Digital Language Learning: A Liberal Arts Exploration of New Modes of Teaching and Learning Languages

This week, the Office of Digital Learning in partnership with Middlebury’s Summer Language Schools is thrilled to host a workshop funded by the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC) on digital language learning. We are looking forward to welcoming approximately 40 participants from Middlebury and AALAC partner institutions, all of whom will gather on campus to discuss digital language learning in liberal arts contexts.

Participants will join us on Friday morning to kickoff the workshop with a plenary panel discussion which will situate digital language learning in the larger context of liberal arts institutions. On the heels of the opening discussion, breakout sessions will occur through which participants will dive deeply into questions around the implications and possibilities of teaching and learning languages in digital contexts.

A highlight of the workshop will be the “Technology Test Kitchen” through which guests will be invited to experience hands-on explorations of digital tools to use in language teaching. The Test Kitchen will give participants the chance to play with digital hardware, programs, and gadgets, and to envision creative ways to organize the use of these tools to shape language learning and teaching.

Digital Annotation Workshop with Jeremy Dean

This Thursday, April 6, at 1:30 PM Eastern, the Office of Digital Learning in collaboration with the Academic Technology Group in Middlebury and the Digital Learning Commons in Monterey is hosting a workshop in the Wilson Media Lab. The workshop will discuss digital annotation, a technology that allows users to annotate documents and web pages from inside a browser window or inside Canvas. Specifically, workshop participants will be looking at digital annotation as an alternative to online discussion forums used in teaching contexts.

The workshop will be lead by Jeremy Dean, the Education Director at, the company that has built a digital annotation platform on the web. The workshop is open to all students, faculty, and staff, and will utilize Zoom video conferencing to include participants from our Monterey campus.

Academic Roundtable on Fake News and Alternative Facts

On Tuesday, April 4, the ODL’s Amy Collier, along with other members of the Middlebury community, will lead a panel discussion entitled “Fake News, Alternative Facts, and the Toxic Web: Strategies for Understanding and Coping with a Changing Media Universe”  in the Center for Teaching and Learning located in Davis Library.

In this roundtable discussion, panel members will discuss how to understand and navigate a new reality in which the traditional media has been supplanted by a much more complicated set of media outlets and platforms. Panelists will discuss strategies to keep informed as well media literacies to cultivate in students and teachers.

The Academic Roundtable series is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research and the Library.

It’s Not What You Think: Latest Episode Released

MiddCast is a website created by the Office of Digital Learning in partnership with Erin Davis of Middlebury College’s Department of Film and Media Culture. The site features a collection of podcasts as dispatches from Middlebury’s campus and community about shaping the future.

MiddCast includes a podcast series entitled It’s Not What You Think, a storytelling series launched in January 2016 as part of a multi-pronged Middlebury College initiative to help foster resilience that includes spaces for reflection, increased access to counseling, workshops, and storytelling. This week, the latest episode of this series will be released, Episode 6: No Superheroes, in which Holly Allen, Assistant Professor of American Studies, and Kyle James Wright, a student from the class of 2019, discuss disability at Middlebury.

Office of Digital Learning

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