Digital Detox by the Numbers

Written by Bob Cole

Last week we sent out the final installment of our “digital detox” bi-weekly newsletter featuring helpful information and activities designed to reduce the toxicity of our personal digital environments and how we engage with them. If you missed the series, we’ve archived on our website the nine posts exploring dimensions of ‘critical digital fluency’ such as mindful e-mail and social media practices, tools to guard our data and privacy, web literacy and fact checking resources, and implications of a future without net neutrality. Subscribers to the series increased over the course of the five weeks, with a total of 229 sign-ups. We saw a significant bump in subscribers from beyond Middlebury during the final two weeks when the project was featured by the Chronicle of Higher Education as part of its regular Profhacker series.

By the numbers, the top links to articles, resources and tools from the first part of the series included: Limiting social media time, password and security breach tool “Have I been pwned?”, cleaning up Facebook with the Greasemonkey extension on Firefox, planning a Digital Diet, and a “Before you Scroll” practice for mindfulness on the web. From there, the links with the most interest included a TEDx video about the virtues of unplugging from the web to cultivate creativity, alternative e-mail providers endorsed by Me and My Shadow, ad-block and anti tracking browser extension Ghostery, and a Me and My Shadow primer on why we should all be concerned about digital tracking called Tracking So What?

Explore the full detox series here, and If you want to dig deeper, join our emergent Information Environmentalism movement. We are exploring curricular and co-curricular ways to de-pollute digital information environments, in a variety of disciplinary contexts, cultural contexts, and languages. Contact Amy Collier to discuss what your class, student group, or community group can do.

Digital Pedagogy & Media Director Search

The DLINQ team has been active over recent months during the search process for a Director to lead the Digital Pedagogy and Media group. We are interviewing candidates and look forward to welcoming our new director soon!

Dispatch from Educause Learning Initiative – Next Generation Digital Learning Environments

Written by Bill Koulopoulos

During the last week of January, Bill Koulopoulos, Director, Learning Spaces and Infrastructure based in Vermont, attended the 2018 Educause Learning Institute’s (ELI) annual meeting in New Orleans. While the meeting offered a number of thematic tracks aiming to address top key issues such as faculty development, learning environments and analytics, a number of presentations focused on the next generation digital learning environment (NGDLE) framework. Celebrating its two-year anniversary, NGDLE aims to function as a framework for institutions grappling with the challenges of creating a cohesive environment in which all the systems that support learning (e.g. Learning Management Systems, Survey platforms, etc.) can form, what John Baker calls: “a unified learning ecosystem.”

A key component of NGDLE is interoperability, which allows for different platforms to talk to each other seamlessly and is based on using open standards. An organization leading the effort is the IMS Global Consortium, a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to “advance technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment.” Bringing together educational institutions, government organizations and vendors it aims to develop interoperability standards and push for their adoption through large scale projects.

The Unizin consortium is another nonprofit organization, whose membership includes 25 institutions and 900,000 learners and aims to “improve the learner experiences with digital teaching and learning resources.” While recognizing the unique needs of each institution, the member institutions provide a professional network that facilitates conversations and provides support for institutions who want to develop their own NGDLE framework.

For its part Middlebury, one of the three members of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, is in a unique position to initiate these conversations and work together with Champlain College and Saint Michael’s College to explore their own version of the NGDLE.

Learn more about NGDLE here

Multimedia Production in Monterey

Written by Bob Cole

Mark Basse is a DLINQ Multimedia Specialist who supports curricular video production projects based out of our offices at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. Mark is currently partnering with a number of faculty and departments to produce multimedia content for online and hybrid courses at the Institute. In a recent post on his MiddCreate site, he provides a glimpse into working in his green screen and teleprompter ready studio with Professor Moyara Ruehsen who is currently piloting an online course on financial crimes related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Learn about Mark’s work with Professor Ruehsen and proliferation financing by watching her course welcome video.

Featured image: “Pink Blossoms” by Ornella Binni on Unsplash