This Week in ODL: Feb 6-10, 2017
Welcome back to This Week in ODL, where you can learn the latest developments in the projects and learning experiences under development at the Office of Digital Learning. As always, we have more plates spinning than can fit within the confines of a single blog post, but with this note we hope to highlight some interesting details we think you will enjoy. Remember that you can check back next week for the latest updates on our work. We welcome your comments and feedback!
BOLD is an incredibly inspiring project with which the Office of Digital Learning is both thrilled and honored to be involved. The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is an intergenerational initiative across four institutions of higher education — Middlebury, Rutgers, Cal State Fullerton, and Smith — led by women presidents that have demonstrated their commitment to collaboration, innovation, diversity, and inclusion. The ODL built a hub site to provide a digital space where the forty BOLD scholars from all four institutions can connect and grow together. ODL also awarded each of the scholars her own MiddCreate site for her personal development as a scholar, leader, and activist; here she can be the author of her own growth in the BOLD program, in her community, and in the world. On the Community Hub, scholars can connect with one another, with their mentors and administrators, and can access a syndicated display of BOLD scholar blogs so as to stay closely involved with each other’s work and development.
ODL is excited to have begun a new Schools Abroad project with the School in Morocco, a Middlebury CV Starr School Abroad in Rabat, Morocco. The goals of this new site will be to prepare Arabic language students for their learning experience in Rabat by providing them with an introduction to Darija, the dialect of Arabic used in this region of the world. On this pre-immersion site, students will have access to digital language learning exercises which will introduce them to new vocabulary in Darija, with audio and visual support for their learning. Additionally, students will have access to a rich resource of cultural information related to Rabat, which will include not only listings of activities and events in the city, but also information regarding Moroccan literature, film, and photography. We have been enjoying working with the team at the School in Morocco and in Middlebury, and look forward to learning how this collaboration will continue to support students’ language learning before their arrival in Rabat.
Over the past year, ODL has worked alongside several other tech groups across the Middlebury institution as part of a collaborative group called the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team (say it 10 times fast!) focused on evaluating and recommending technology services and innovations for teaching, learning, and research. The team is comprised of ODL’s Sean Michael Morris, together with Joe Antonioli of the Academic Technology Group, Jamie Carroll and Adam Franco from IT, Bob Cole and Amy Slay from Monterey’s Digital Learning Commons, and Amy Frazier of the Davis Family Library. The ACTT has taken on reviews of proposals such as the institution’s adoption of Panopto and Zoom. This week, ACTT will open the meeting to students from the College and the Institute to listen to their tech concerns and ideas. Check out the ACTT blog to keep informed of this group’s latest developments!
The ODL and the School of Spanish have collaborated on the creation of a new, online Community of Practice for Spanish teachers. The site, while aimed primarily to support current and former MA students from Middlebury’s School of Spanish, is also open to anyone involved with Spanish pedagogy who would like to join the community. On this site, you can find an abundance of theory and methodology resources for the teaching of Spanish, as well as various opportunities to connect with other site members such as online forums, spaces to share teaching materials, and fun weekly games related to Spanish teaching. Currently the site is still under development, with the intention to launch prior to the start of the Summer Language Schools in 2017.