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The DIRT for June 4-8, 2018

Welcome Summer 2018 DLINQ Interns

Summer is quickly approaching 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 Caleb Turner, a student intern from Middlebury College.

CALEB TURNER

Caleb Turner ’20 has been working with Digital Media Services for over a year and a half as a Digital Media Tutor in Wilson Media Lab. Starting out as a trainee in Fall of 2016, Caleb began working as a Digital Media Intern this summer. Caleb is currently a rising junior majoring in History and Religion, and works with Multimedia/Curricular tech Heather Stafford. As a Digital Media Tutor, Caleb is tasked with assisting students in the Wilson Media Lab with their class or personal projects involving graphics, videos, audio, digitization, and printing among other things. Caleb typically works with Adobe software such as Photoshop, Premiere, and Illustrator. As an intern, Caleb works with professors and other faculty on creating or developing digital resources and platforms such as videos, WordPress pages, and event posters.

Caleb takes an interest into digital media software like Adobe because it can serve both functionally and as a creative outlet. Caleb is most eager to work with faculty in creating and improving resources and media that serve to improve instruction at Middlebury. In his free time, Caleb practices language learning and calligraphy, sketches, and designs posters and other graphics.

 


Amy Collier at LACOL

Written by Nadani Dixon

Last week, Amy Collier attended the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL) 2018 Consortium-Wide Workshop. LACOL founded in 2014, “leverages the power of consortial relationships to promote excellent and innovative teaching, learning, and research in the liberal arts, with a special emphasis on utilizing and adapting emerging technologies.” The consortium “encourages experimentation to develop, share, and assess the most effective modes of digital teaching and learning”. The 2018 Workshop was held at Carleton College in Minnesota. The workshop evolved around three central themes:

  • Critical Literacies in a Digital Age
  • Data Sciences Education & the Environment
  • (Online) Learning in the Residential Liberal Arts

and constituted panel discussions, keynote speakers, hands-on mini workshops and small group breakouts.

Middlebury is not a member of the consortium but the organizers asked Amy  to present a workshop about Information Environmentalism, which she co-led with Sundi Richard, Lead Instructional Designer at Davidson College. This workshop was a ‘hands-on mini workshop’ entitled Depolluting the Web: Information Environmentalism in Education. Participants ‘got their hands dirty’ to better understand the drivers of mis/disinformation on the web and to begin to take actions to clean up those environments. The session described, “the web is polluted. The digital platforms where we learn and connect are replete with misinformation and threats to our wellbeing and privacy. We know that toxic digital information environments impact our daily lives, and the lives of our students, in everything from politics, to policy, to interactions in public and private spheres”.

This was an exciting opportunity to learn more about LACOL and connect with colleagues doing interesting work at institutions similar to ours.


Animation Studio News

Co-written by Nadani Dixon & Gigi Miller, Middlebury College Graduate

The Animation Studio is a collaborative, interdisciplinary digital media studio at Middlebury College that strives to foster a vibrant, cross-college community of undergraduate students with a fundamental skill-set in the creation of rich, sophisticated, digital media projects.

This past year, a Middlebury College student-led team won the US Department of Energy’s Race to Zero design challenge in the Elementary Schools Design division. The design had 3D visualizations made by Gigi Miller, a recent graduate who studied Computer Science and Studio Art. The goal of the competition was to design affordable buildings that produce as much energy as they consume, or have net-zero energy consumption. The team, MIDDZESD, participated in the Elementary School Design portion of the contest and competed against 40 international finalists from graduate, undergraduate, and engineering programs in 5 different design categories. In an exciting upset, our small liberal arts team won the Elementary School category with a community focused design that aimed to create a space that children would want to come to everyday. The judges noted the attention to the needs of children and the Middlebury community as a determining factor in their success. Creating a space that achieved this and catered to changing pedagogy required an in depth look at the interior design of the school.

Their interior design goals focused on creating spaces where children could naturally engage in collaborative experiential learning as well as take ownership of their space. In order to illustrate the ideals the team strove for, Gigi Miller created a 3D model of a classroom in Blender and animated multiple different furniture arrangements. This showed how using the same affordable furniture in each classroom was still flexible enough to give students and educators control of the space, allowing it to be set up in a way that would suit each class’s individual needs. Throughout the entirety of the design process the team developed 3D models that allowed them to envision the school beyond the floorplans. The use of 3D modeling allowed them to be realistic about the spaces they were creating, and this thoughtful inquiry of space ultimately lead them to victory.

Here is an animated video that was created to help develop some core interior design concepts about flexible spaces.


Dig Deeper:

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
– Robert Louis Stevenson


Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

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