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MiddCreate

It's time for you to have a domain of your own.

MiddCreate is Middlebury’s open web design project, based on the Domain of One’s Own initiative. All Middlebury faculty, staff and students have access to MiddCreate.

About the initiative

With MiddCreate, faculty, staff, and students can create online websites and spaces for writing, self-expression, professional, academic, or creative portfolios, and more. 

THE MISSION OF MIDDCREATE is to provide spaces on the web where students, faculty, and staff can explore and connect their learning, experiment with digital tools for teaching and learning, and create a digital identity that is owned and managed by them, to take with them when they leave Middlebury.

MIDDCREATE PROVIDES SUBDOMAIN NAMES and web space to members of the Middlebury community, encouraging individuals to explore and develop their digital identities using tools such as WordPress, Omeka, Media Wiki, Known, and more. MiddCreate supports an individual’s agency in creating their digital identity through processes of reflection, self-expression, and connection to other learners and experts.

LINQ UP WITH US

Want to learn more, or wondering how to get started? Here are three ways to get involved with MiddCreate.

More Details

What is MiddCreate? How is it different from our hosted blog environment, sites.middlebury or sites.miis? and Why do this MiddCreate project at Middlebury?

Self Help

MiddCreate is all about agency—it's up to you to imagine what you want to do, try it out, and learn from it. Here are some helpful how-to documents covering general information about how to set up and manage your domain, what you can do on your cPanel dashboard, and some of the applications you can install.

Get Started

MiddCreate is more than just a space on the web. It's a place to practice digital fluency, create a digital presence, and have more agency and control over the tools you use on the web. What are you waiting for?

Go deeper...

More—A round-up of all things MiddCreate

Blog posts, announcements, events, and reflections

 

Working across distance – Amy’s view

Sean in Middlebury this week! Hooray!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to Sonja and me, it's so important. You see, Sean works remotely from Oregon. While his working remotely is going really well, it can be hard on him and on the team. Working across geographic distance brings a host of challenges that require attention and intentional work to overcome.

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Announcing MiddCreate

It's official! MiddCreate is live!

What is MiddCreate, you ask?

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Creating a Website or E-Portfolio

Creating a website or e-portfolio is a great way to showcase your past and present work, as well as build your professional web presence. You may wonder why you should bother putting your information in an online format. For one, résumés are boring. No pictures, no videos, no flair, and very little personality. On a website, you can link to work samples and presentations, easily link to your LinkedIn profile, and imbue the site with your personality. Moreover, it shows potential employers and connections that you are technically savvy, which is important in the 21st century economy.

In addition, résumés are static. As soon as you give someone your résumé, they forever have that version of it. However, if you include your personal site’s URL on your résumé or business card, your connections will have access to a dynamic, up-to-date (hopefully!) source of information.

Finally, a personal website is searchable. An important part of building web presence is controlling what results people find when they Google your name, and so your site provides a lot of relevant context that will be indexed with your name.

Ready to get started? This resource will guide you through the process and give you some tips for creating a basic e-portfolio.

Step 1: Choose Your Platform

Check out this great resource to learn more about the differences between some of the website building platforms available to students and how to choose the one that's right for you. Keep in mind that there are many more platforms than what's listed here, like Strikingly for example, which lets you create a simple one-page website.

Ideally, you will continue to use your site long after you leave school, so make sure you consider your exit strategy. If you choose a platform hosted by Middlebury or if you ever want to switch platforms as your site grows, what migration options or ways to export your site will be available to you? Thinking about this from the beginning may help you avoid unpleasant surprises and frustration in the future.

website builder comparison chart

Step 2: Select a Design

Depending on the platform you've chosen, one of the most important decisions will be choosing a theme. This will determine the look and to some degree, functionality of your site. Consider your personal brand: what do you want your site to visually communicate about you?

Changing themes will often change the formatting, so make sure you choose one you like because switching after creating lots of content sometimes requires a lot of tedious reconfiguring. It might be helpful to look at examples of e-portfolios, think of a potential vision first, then browse and test different themes until you find one you like.

Step 3: Add Your Content

Once you've found a home and a design for your site, it's time to consider what to include on it. I recommend creating the following basic sections:

About Me

This is a chance to express who you are as a person, share a little about your unique life experiences, and communicate your career goals. You could approach it as a cross between a short bio and a cover letter for your dream job position.

Résumé or CV

There are lots of ways to include the information on your traditional résumé. You could manually type it in, but this may restrict your text formatting. Another option is to take a large, clear screenshot of the document, then upload it as an image. You might also want to link the image to a downloadable PDF version of the document. You could also embrace the digital nature of the medium to visualize your skills in a completely new way, using interactive graphics.

Remember, the information on your e-portfolio will be publicly viewable on the internet so take the same safety measures to guard your privacy as you would anywhere else online. You may want to remove personal information such as your phone number, address, email, etc. from the résumé you post on your e-portfolio.

If you have a LinkedIn account, this is a good place to put a link or button to your profile. You can do this by embedding HTML code, linking a button image, or get a fancier profile preview via their plugin generator.

Project Showcase

Use this section to highlight your relevant coursework, projects, internships, research, or volunteer experiences. Be creative! Use video, photo galleries, slideshows, or upload audio to diversify the way you present your achievements to the world.

Contact

Make sure visitors have a way to get in contact with you, whether this takes the form of providing links to social media, your email address, or creating a contact form.

Show Off Your Specialized Skills

If you're a translation or interpretation specialist, you could create your portfolio in multiple languages. Looking to start a career in international education management, trade, or development? Make a section that elaborates on your range of experiences abroad or the certifications you've received in your field.


Want more advice or one-on-one help getting started?

If you have any questions, feel free to come in to the DLC or make an appointment. We'll be happy to help!

Additional Resources

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Bringing digital humanities tools to your classroom

Recently, I had the privilege to present with Dr. Florence Feiereisen (Department of German) at the CTLR Writing and Teaching Retreat. We talked about digital tools that faculty can use in their classes to help students develop skills with those tools, and to help increase their sophistication with creative work and collaboration. Florence talked her Acoustic Ecology course, in which students created audio soundscapes to explore "the social, cultural, scientific, and ecological aspects of the sonic environment." Assignments like this encourage students to develop their understanding of digital tools (beyond the tools they often uncritically use on a day-to-day basis) and give students a chance to exercise agency in their creative and scholarly work.

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Benvenuti a Firenze! (Welcome to Florence)

Last week, the Office of Digital Learning and the School in Italy launched a project that we are very proud to have jointly created: a “pre-immersion” website where novice-level Italian language-learners who are preparing to study abroad in Florence can ready themselves for their language immersion experience before they arrive in-country. (If you are wondering what “pre-immersion” is, read this blog post).

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Canvas: Creating audio playback in quizzes (w/o audio controls)

Post written by Andrea Narciso, summer intern for the Office of Digital Learning

This summer, I worked  as an intern at the Office of Digital Learning. As such, I’ve helped people in the Middlebury community use technology to support their teaching and educational experiences. One of my projects was to help a Middlebury C.V. Starr School Abroad with their Language Assessment, which is used to assess the progress of students studying abroad. It is currently a paper-based test, which means that students studying all over the country have to travel to the flagship site to take the test. My job was to help this School Abroad find the best online platform to host their exam.

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More help on MiddCreate

Our colleagues at the Digital Learning Commons at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey have been exploring and blogging about MiddCreate, Middlebury's domain of one's own environment. Take a look at their most recent posts:

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Expanding MiddCreate with Open Source Apps

MiddCreate provides around 150 applications that can be installed and used on your domain, but what if none of them are quite what you're looking for? Don't worry! One of the great things about having your own domain is the power to manage your own files. This means you can endlessly expand the utility of your domain by installing any application that will run on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) server, which is what we use for MiddCreate.

When you use the MiddCreate Installatron, you don't need to worry about moving files, creating databases, or doing the initial configuration because it's all done for you. However, installing applications on your own means you'll have to make sure it's compatible with our servers and configure them on your own. You also need to be sure you take the appropriate security measures to confirm the quality of the application and that its configuration won't leave your domain vulnerable to hackers.

Most web applications consist of files and a database, which you can view in the cPanel. To install an app you'll need to make sure all of the files are copied over into the appropriate location, set up a database (and database user), and connect it to the files. There are installation guides for many of the open source web applications out there that can help you navigate this process.eafilemngrThe following tools and applications are not included in the Installatron suite, but can be added independently and integrate nicely with other MiddCreate applications.


Easy!Appointments

eaEasy!Appointments is a free, customizable appointment scheduling web application. The Digital Learning Commons recently investigated this app as a possible way to streamline our appointment bookings. Here are some of its features:

  • manage multiple services and providers
  • show each provider their appointment details in a unique calendar
  • send email notifications
  • display user interfaces in multiple languages
  • sync your data with Google Calendar
  • integrate Google Analytics
  • access all of your customer info and their appointment history
  • embed your booking form into a WordPress site with the Easy!Appointments plugin

 

Intrigued? To add this app to your domain, just follow this easy installation and configuration guide from GitHub. If you need help or have questions, check out the E!A support group.

** One thing to note about this application is that you can't edit the client information fields required by the booking form through the backend interface. If you want to customize the form you'll have to edit the application files in the File Manager on the cPanel. Therefore, if those are changes you require, I'd only recommend this application to those who are comfortable editing PHP and Javascript code. You can find some configuration tips here.


Hypothes.is

yclx4_gvHypothes.is an annotation web tool that allows you to discuss, collaborate, organize your research, or take personal notes on any website. You can get it by generating a link from the Hypothes.is homepage, downloading the browser plugin, or embedding it directly into a self-hosted website. You can learn more about how it works in the video below or in this FAQ. Some applications in MiddCreate, such as Scalar, have built-in Hypothes.is functionality that you can toggle on and off.

https://youtu.be/QCkm0lL-6lc

Want to explore the unique layer of functionality this tool can bring to your site? Check out these links:


If you find an application you'd like to use that requires additional components or has requirements that you're not sure our servers can meet, email support@middcreate.net.

Learn more about MiddCreate »

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Tips for Stronger Personal Website Security

It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of having your own domain and forget the risks that come with that freedom. 5941

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AMY MICHELLE SLAY

Instructional Designer, Monterey

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Photo Credits:

Header photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

Butterflies Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

Spotlight Photo by Daniel Tseng on Unsplash

Peppers Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Gardening Tools Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Grass Photo by Christian EM on Unsplash

Woods Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash