Welcome Summer 2018 DLINQ Interns

Summer is here and the Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry is thrilled to have a number of student interns working on various projects throughout the next few months. This week will feature Tim O’Donnell, a Digital Media Tutor.

Tim is currently a junior at Middlebury College. He is a declared Sociology major, and is considering adding a Japanese minor. He began working as a Digital Media Intern in the summer of 2018. Tim is hoping that his experience working in the Digital Media Lab will provide him with skills working in a variety of different programs and mediums, which could then be applied to other projects that involve digital media storytelling. In high school, he used tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to work as the lead designer for his school’s yearbook. He intends to expand his knowledge on these tools and use them in service of his passions, advocating for political issues and labor rights.

Learn more about Tim and the work he’ll be doing this summer here »


Displaying Research Through Digital Multimedia: Post by Emma Neary

Written by Nadani Dixon

Digital Media Tutor, Emma Neary, created a website to discover the possibilities of how users could interact with Middlebury College Professor Amy Morsman’s research. Amy Morsman is a Professor of History focused on 19th-century America and Women in the United States. She thus teaches courses in American History, primarily around topics of the Civil War and women’s history. Her research interests lie in the historical evolution of gender roles, race relations, and regional differences. Her first book, The Big House After Slavery: Virginia Plantation Families and their Postbellum Domestic Experiment, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2010.  She is working on a new book project that focuses on race relations and the legacy of the abolition movement in the postbellum Northeast.

Some initial ideas for the website included: portrayal of personal stories, maps, fly overs etc. The website was ultimately made through WordPress on MiddCreate with various plugins and a 3D modeling software, Sketchup. The site explores interactive maps and images using Leaflet Map, timelines using Timeline Express, 3D videos and searchable spreadsheets using Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer.

Emma explains, “Though it also made this project initially challenging, I enjoyed that it was open-ended and that I could experiment with different ideas. I was able to learn a great deal about WordPress and realized how powerful it can be but also what some of its limitations are. I also was able to use Sketchup for the first time and appreciated the intricacies of 3D modeling. Overall, it was interesting to think about the portrayal of data from both the perspective of feasibility for the person creating the site, but also what would be most engaging for a viewer.”

The test site can be found here.


Internationalizing Web Literacy Project with Globe MultiLingual Services

Written by Bob Cole with Max Troyer

Web Literacy for Student Fact-CheckersThe web is polluted and it’s a global problem. This pollution comes in many forms from viral misinformation to polarizing discourse, and algorithmic adtech. The Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry is actively exploring how this toxicity plays out in our lives through initiatives like Middlebury’s Information Environmentalism and our Digital Detox. So, we’re excited to announce the beginnings of a partnership with the Middlebury Institute’s Globe Multilingual Services on a project that envisions how we might begin to cultivate international and intercultural perspectives on web literacy. This summer, we will start working with Max Troyer, Middlebury Institute Translation & Localization Management (TLM) Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, on a proposal to crowdsource the translation of Mike Caufield’s open source e-book, Web Literacy for Student Fact-checkers, into a select number of critical languages.

The partnership is particularly exciting because it brings together Middlebury’s unique strengths in immersive professional education, languages, and interculturality to address the global challenge of web and digital literacy. Globe is staffed by second-year TLM students who do most of the tasks related to running a full service translation and localization agency. Translation projects are collaboratively managed and completed by students enrolled in the TLM practicum course, translation and interpretation students, alumni, professional translators who want to volunteer, and finally by students at partner translation schools abroad. This summer Max is drafting a white paper on the project that will support Globe’s initial partnership outreach with translation schools. He explains, “the partnership model will foster relationships, engage with the faculty and students at these schools to raise awareness about web literacy, and hopefully build a group of willing volunteers who can contribute translation so the content is available in other languages…” to educators and learners around the world. The translation phase of the project will most likely launch in the fall term with the next cohort of practicum students, but Max is already excited by the opportunity this project brings to improve some of Globe’s project management practices. “Right now one of our biggest pain points is managing volunteers. This particular project has inspired me to explore a new crowdsourcing solution for all of our translation projects- one that will permit volunteers to self register and choose which projects they want to contribute to. This will allow our project managers to work on supporting them, for example, through weekly team-building and training conference calls.”

Languages under consideration for the initial pilot phase of the project include French, Ukrainian, Italian, and Spanish. We look forward to providing more information about the Internationalizing Web Literacy project in the coming months.


Dig Deeper:

“Play in the dirt because life’s too short to always have clean fingernails.”


Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash