Envisioning Distance Collaboration

Welcoming. Creating space. Participation and collaboration. Inclusiveness. The Middlebury ecosystem—the College, the Institute, the Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, Schools Abroad, and our Alumni—is made up of students, teachers, administrators, writers, artists, imagineers. Middlebury is home to some of nicest, most thoughtful, curious, and generous minds. And you could be working with them, no matter where in the world they are.

Amy wrote here recently that, “Presence is perhaps the most obvious issue to address when working at a distance, but it’s not always the simplest to address.” This is true; and for digital presence to work, we need to rethink how we approach our work. In other words, we need to be thinking about people who are not in the room even when we’re not in a meeting with them. Recognizing that our colleagues on both coasts and around the world are always part of our environment is a big adjustment, but it’s an important one if we’re to truly take advantage of the strength of diversity available to us.

Middlebury is just beginning to embrace its complexity as a source of strength and as a competitive advantage. Despite the possibilities, we face challenges with the multi-dimensional ways we must work together across the institution. As part of the Envisioning Middlebury series, the Office of Digital Learning, in collaboration with the Digital Learning Commons and the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team, will host a 2-hour, hybrid community-initiated conversation that will be held synchronously in Middlebury and Monterey, with live participation from around the web. We’ll explore both ideological and technological solutions to the challenges we face when working at a distance, and work together to identify the constraints of distance along with the affordances.

Speakers will include:

  • Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning
  • Sheila Cameron, Director of Organizational Development
  • Melissa Sorenson, Assistant Director for Special Projects, MIIS
  • Joe Antonioli, Senior Curricular Innovation Strategist
  • Bob Cole, Director of the Digital Learning Commons
  • Maha Bali, Professor of Practice, American University in Cairo
  • Rebecca Hogue, Co-founder of Virtually Connecting

The conversation will take place on November 11, 2016 at 12:00pm Eastern / 9:00am Pacific. In Middlebury, the main session will be held in the Davis Family Library room 105A, while in Monterey, people will gather in McGowan Building room 102. We will also host an online open video conference for folks who are part of “Big M” Middlebury, but who do not have offices on either campus. As a participant, you’ll have the opportunity to work in small break-out groups with colleagues from across the Middlebury ecosystem.

We hope not only that you’ll join us for this conversation, but that our work together during the event will set the stage for greater participation and collaboration across distance for all of us.

Register for Envisioning Distance Collaboration


Sean Morris

2 Responses to “Envisioning Distance Collaboration

  • Hi this sounds like a great conversation 🙂 I’ve signed up for the virtual particpation – that is ok isnt it ?

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