by Julianna Martinez, DLINQ Intern

I am Julianna Martinez, a third-year student majoring in Earth and Climate Sciences. I started working at the Digital Learning and Inquiry Office in Fall 2022, so I have been an intern for one academic year.

As a DLINQ intern, I have had to balance my schedule and make myself available to support my team. I aim to attend all my shifts on time to properly support the shift leads and anyone who comes in for drop-in hours. I have also had the opportunity to refresh some of my hard skills and learn new ones as an intern; my co-interns have led workshops that taught us how to use RStudio as a data analysis tool and AI applications for educational and recreational purposes. We also fostered a space to discuss current trends in technology, like the rise of AI applications; we were able to discuss the ethics of using AI in an academic setting, but also discussed our current stances on AI in general, whether there was fear or excited anticipation. I also had the opportunity to lead and support tech projects through the internship.

I wasn’t sure what my focus medium would be, but I thought it would have more to do with poster design via canva or Illustrator or more data analysis using RStudio and Microsoft Excel. I have found that I’ve come to focus more on Augmented Reality applications and photo recognition software. I led AR + photo recognition software programming during the last two Tech Kitchens and continue learning more about the mediums and their application in education.

I briefly worked with the Tech Helpdesk, CTLR, and DLINQ office to brainstorm ways to get students to the right area of support last semester. I have created activities for two tech kitchens in the Wilson Media Lab, one created in the fall and both used in the spring.

My first activity utilized Google Lens, showing how image recognition technology is valuable and accessible. I gave my co-workers and tech kitchen visitors a run-down of how to download and access the app and what image recognition services were available. We scanned furniture to find similar ones for sale, looked up pet types, placed them in the Wilson Media Lab with the AR feature, and translated CTLR handouts into different languages using the Google Lens application.

Google Lens handout

Figure 1: A handout from my first tech kitchen explaining the uses of Google Lens and installation instructions. The handout can be found here.

MagicScan banner

Figure 2: A slide from the 3D model scanning presentation for the second TechKitchen activity.

My second activity utilized MagiScan, a 3D object scanning application. I used this application to figure out small-scale object scanning for a Middlebury College Professor. I gave a presentation on the benefits of using object scanning in 3D modeling and the benefits of using object scanning technology on handheld devices. The presentation can be found here. I taught my coworkers how to use the MagiScan application, and we scanned multiple images. I continue exploring AR applications and keep an updated list of software here.

I’m working with German Professor Bettina Matthias to sort out AR software to help a Middlebury College professor. Professor Matthias wants to use a scan of the Middlebury campus and town to build an overlay. This overlay would be Middlebury to Middleburg or the Vermont campus as it would look in 1920s Germany. I believe the course will be taught as Weimar, Revisited, and will be taught entirely in English.  Students will use various technologies, including 3D image overlays, triggers/ sensors, and digital media creation through programs like the Adobe creative suite. I plan to help Professor Matthias during the course, testing technologies before students and sticking around for troubleshooting.

I plan to focus next semester on the overlap between environmental sustainability and technology. This may be a Symposium poster or a simple PowerPoint presentation for a tech kitchen. I’d particularly like to focus on the culture of consumption at Middlebury College and the rate at which students upgrade or replace their technology. Some students buy the newest iPhones as they come out, but I’m unsure if they know how to dispose of old phones correctly or about the environmental damage caused by overconsumption and disposal. I think it would be beneficial to have an information session, as I know many students on campus are more inclined toward sustainability.

My internship highlights are making my “album cover,” weekly all-hands meetings, TechKitchens, and supporting my co-interns.

The album cover activity has interns create an introduction of themselves and their hard skills. It was developed after our introduction posters that featured our interests and soft skills; the introduction posters are meant to break the ice between interns, and the album cover is meant to guide Wilson Media Lab guests to the interns with the skill set they desire to assist in their projects.

Juli's album cover exercise.

Weekly meetings were not only informative but an excellent opportunity to get to know my fellow interns. We were able to have meaningful conversations and workshops regarding new and useful technologies we were exploring. I am grateful to have shared space with my co-interns at DLINQ; DLINQ interns are the most reliable, adaptable, and helpful people at Middlebury.