The DIRT for November 12-16, 2018

Hey! Thanks for reading the weekly DIRT! As we approach the end of the year, our office is beginning to reflect on our work. One thing we are thinking about is how we tell our story and connect with our communities. So, look for some changes in 2019 as we plan to re-launch the DIRT as a monthly subscriber-based newsletter. We’re still working out the details, but current subscribers to our site will continue to receive notifications when posts are published and we will be actively campaigning to invite new subscribers. With this re-design, we’re excited about ways a new format might help us share our story and dig deeper into important conversations about the digital sphere and digital learning with the Middlebury community and beyond!

“Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts”, Prototyping Conversations on Privacy and Security

Written by Joe Antonioli and Amy Slay

 Mozilla Lightbeam screenshotDo you know who has your data? What do companies know about you? Who are they sharing it with? How are they keeping it secure? Recently, a number of Middlebury faculty and staff joined the INTD 0254a Innovation in Action: Design Thinking class for a discussion titled “Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts” led by DLINQ staff Joe Antonioli and Amy Slay. The pilot conversation, informed and inspired by DLINQ’s 2018 Digital Detox and attendance at the 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab immersive course on Access, Privacy, and Practice, took a look at personal data privacy and security, and the information we share when we communicate using the web. Some of this information we provide when we use social media sites. Other information is extracted from us via pervasive tracking, usually without our knowledge. To better understand the magnitude and impact of tracking on the web, we explored a number of visualization tools including:

Ghostery – a browser extension that helps you identify and block trackers.
Lightbeam – a browser extension that creates an interactive visual of how trackers follow you as you browse the web, and the relationships between trackers.
Am I Unique? – this website helps you understand your device’s uniquely identifiable fingerprint.

The conversation concluded with a handful of tips for safer habits that could be used without drastically changing our lives. Our hope is that this initial conversation will serve as a model as we engage the broader Middlebury community in the conversation.

Related posts:

3 Ideas – Digital Pedagogy Lab 2018 Reflections
Access, Privacy, and Practice — Reflections on Digital Pedagogy Lab, 2018

Heather Stafford Kicks Off  “Small Moves” Instructional Design Blog Series

Written by Bob Cole

Learn, Unlearn, Relearn by Giulia Forsythe cc licensed via FlickrHeather Stafford is launching a blog series to dig deeper into some of the small moves that were discussed during her October 26th online workshop ‘Student-Centered Course Design Using Canvas.’ In the series Heather plans to share some of the activities and design elements that faculty can implement in class to amplify the connectivity of a class.

In the first edition of her series, Heather suggests that a screen captured virtual video tour of a course Canvas site can be a very effective extension of a course syllabus creating opportunities for instructors to establish teacher presence before a course meets for the first time and also to communicate course expectations. Keep an eye out for future posts in the series in coming weeks.

Documenting Content Based Instruction Project Update

Written by Jason Martel

Middlebury Institute Summer Intensive Language Program - RussianIn a late-May installment of The DIRT, Bob Cole wrote about a brewing collaboration between DLINQ and Jason Martel, TESOL/TFL Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Middlebury Institute’s Summer Intensive Language Programs (SILP). The goal of the project was to create multimedia artifacts that showcase the Middlebury Institute’s expertise in content-based instruction (CBI), an approach to language teaching that involves the simultaneous learning of language and non-linguistic content like cultural studies, environmental issues, and current events. Bob and DLINQ multimedia specialist Mark Basse met with Jason from SILP during the spring semester to set terms of partnership and an initial timeline for the project.

We are happy to report that the project is well on its way to meeting its goal! During the Monterey summer term, three SILP instructors agreed to having their language teaching documented: Claire Eagle in French, Vita Kogan in Russian, and Gabriel Guillen in Spanish. In preparation, each instructor was invited to sit down with Jason for a thirty-minute recorded interview during which they discussed their experiences with and beliefs about CBI. During September and October, Claire, Vita, and Gabi reviewed the raw video footage that Mark captured to identify significant instructional moves and weave together coherent representations of their lessons. This week, Mark has received their outlines and has begun the task of editing the annotated segments into a coherent whole. The next step will be to finalize and review the videos – both the classroom lessons and interviews – so that they can be shared publicly on the SILP website.

It is our hope that these videos will be helpful tools for the foreign language teacher education community. For example, we envision foreign language methods instructors using them for observational analysis in class and shown as models of effective teaching practice in their courses. We are grateful to DLINQ for helping us turn this idea into a reality!

Dig Deeper:

“Sunflowers end up facing the sun, but they go through a lot of dirt to find their way there.”
― J.R. Rim, author

Featured Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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