The DIRT for Aug 27-31, 2018

DLINQ Upcoming Events

Written by Evelyn Helminen

The Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry is involved in several events for the 2018-19 academic year. They include: a year-long conversation series for faculty to explore and address pedagogical and technical issues related to teaching and learning online, a mini-workshop series for the fall semester to help faculty explore digital pedagogy theory and practice in a number of ways, and a collaborative effort around digital fluency with the Digital Liberal Arts initiative and the College Library.

Summaries of several upcoming events are below, and you can find more information about all DLINQ events on our Events Page.

Teaching Online & Hybrid Conversation Series Kick Off


In this kick-off session, we invite interested faculty to share their experiences, concerns and excitements around online learning, and to join us in shaping the agenda for the ongoing conversation series. This is an informal learning and discussion session. No technical skills or technology required.

Amy Collier, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Digital Learning
Dr. Sarah Lohnes Watulak, Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media


Wednesday, September 12, 2018


12:15-1:30 pm PT | 3:15-4:30 pm ET

Digital Learning Commons Design Space, McGowan 001 (Monterey, CA)

or online via Zoom

Designing Digital Assignments That Support Learner Variability


Looking for strategies to support the diverse learning needs that students bring to your classroom? In this session, we’ll use Universal Design for Learning as a framework to explore ways of using digital media and digital technologies to design assignments that account for learner variability and promote the success of all learners. We’ll also work together to identify barriers that might exist in our own assignments and address those barriers using the UDL principles.


Dr. Sarah Lohnes Watulak, Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media


Thursday, September 6, 2018


9:30-10:30 am PT | 12:30-1:30 pm ET


Wilson Media Lab (LIB 220) (Middlebury, VT)

or online via Zoom

Student-Centered Course Design using Canvas


In this interactive session, we will examine different methods for utilizing Canvas in ways that amplify the student experience and support student-centered learning. We will explore ways of minimizing the cognitive load that students face through thoughtful Canvas course site design, and learn about Canvas tools and teaching techniques that incorporate student voice.


Heather Stafford, Multimedia/Curricular Tech


Friday, September 14, 2018


11:00-noon PT | 2:00-3:00 pm ET


online via Zoom


Stay tuned for these sessions and more, from DLINQ.


Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) was held July 30-August 3, 2018, in Fredericksburg, VA, at the University of Mary Washington. We had a mighty DLINQ and Middlebury contingent represented this year. Here are some of our reflections from the Lab.

Access, Privacy, and Practice — Reflections on Digital Pedagogy Lab, 2018 by Amy Slay

Written by Amy Slay

Photo by Scott Webb on UnsplashI recently spent a week with my colleagues at the Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL), an annual event bringing together teachers, administrators, designers, librarians, and other educators thinking very critically about 1) the purpose of education and the work they do within it and 2) the (often deeply troubling) relationship between technology and education. This was my third year attending DPL, and when the 2018 program was announced, I was delighted to see that the number of tracks had grown to include a week long deep dive into digital privacy. As a cyberfeminist working in the digital learning field, this topic has been extremely important to me for some time. When I began a graduate program in international policy in 2013, I had already made a habit of covering my laptop webcam with a sticky-note. At the time, most of my peers interpreted this behavior as unwarranted paranoia (except for the students in the nonproliferation and terrorism studies program). Since then, the relationship between surveillance capitalism and the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election has resulted in some consciousness-raising around the dangers of ad-revenue driven platforms’ and predatory terms of use and privacy policies. But, even nowadays, when I talk to friends and colleagues about the importance of privacy (I tend to bring it up — a lot), I’m often met with this familiar response: “I have nothing to hide, so I don’t care.”

In that case, if you could just give me the keys to your house, as well as your social and mother’s maiden name, that would be great. We also tend to think of privacy as being controlled at the individual level, but privacy is also extremely relational. For example, anytime you download an app and allow it to access your contact book, that decision has implications for those contacts. What does that data point mean for your Black Lives Matter activist friend, or your undocumented neighbor, or your trans colleague?

Or, specific to an education context, I’ve also heard:

“Students don’t care about privacy — they’re putting all their information out there, anyway.”

They’re actually not putting all their information out there. The data collected and sold by platforms typically includes:

  • given data — data that you provide/volunteer
  • extracted data — data that is taken from you without you volunteering it (your location, for example, anytime you open the Facebook app)
  • inferred data — assumptions that a platform makes about you based on the first two categories

Read the rest of Amy’s reflection here.


Dig Deeper:

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. 
– Douglas Adams

Featured Image by Michael Brandt on Unsplash

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