August 6, 2020

UMW Converges Time and Technology in 80’s Exhibit

The University of Mary Washington is converging time and technology with its interactive “Console Living Room” exhibit, a collection of 1980’s technology on display through May 2015. Featuring more than 100 video games, movies and technologies, the exhibit is arranged within a 1980’s living room set-up. Located on the fourth floor of the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC), the interactive exhibit is a space for all visitors to play with the games. Click to view slideshow. The exhibit illustrates the evolution of technology. Today most people play games on mobile phones or high end, specialized devices, but it wasn’t always that way. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, video games were flourishing in the public spaces of video arcades, but the mass production of home media consoles led to gaming as a home family activity. “The consoles in this exhibit are a piece of our shared digital history,” said Jim Groom, executive director of teaching and learning technologies. “They’re a pre-cursor to the technology we take for granted now.” Situated in the ITCC, the site highlights the history and evolution of technology by contrasting original video games and movies on vinyl with the building’s state-of-the-art structure. “This building, the Convergence Center, is about converging information technology for the future,” said Zach Whalen, associate professor of English. “But historically, new media converged within the technological ecosystems of living rooms everywhere.” According to Groom, there is a story in the technology that is no longer around today. “A lot of this is forgotten technology,” said Groom. “Take, for example, RCA’s Selecta-A-Vision videodiscs.” He points to a bunch of over-sized vinyl video platters against the paneled walls that resemble floppy discs. “That failed format captures a bizarre hybrid of analog and digital that represents a transitional moment in consumer technology in the 80s.” The exhibit’s collection includes well-known video games like Space Invaders, Pitfall and the original Super Mario Brothers. Among the video collection are movies both on VHS and videodisc, such as the copy of Footloose vinyl videodiscs from 1984. Other institutions also have created exhibits featuring older technologies including the University of Colorado Boulder, which has a media archeology lab. For Whalen, the ability to interact with the exhibit was key to the design. “Accessibility was a key factor in designing the exhibit,” said Whalen. “We want students to be able to play the games and appreciate how far technology has come.” For more information about the exhibit or donations to the collection, visit http://www.consolelivingroom.net/. Join the conversation on Twitter with #UMWConsole.

Groom Keynotes Conference at University of Oklahoma

Jim Groom, executive director of teaching and learning technologies, presented the keynote at the University of Oklahoma’s 2015 Academic Technology Expo discussing the vision undergirding the Domain of One’s Own initiative that originated at UMW. The presentation, “Domain of One’s Own: Digital Agency in the 21st Century,” explored the importance of providing students, faculty, and staff with an innovative, web-based platform for owning, managing and migrating the digital work they create over the course of their academic careers.

Groom Featured in Tech Trends Article

Jim Groom, executive director of teaching and learning technologies, was featured in Hack Edu’s “Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2014” discussing the Domain of One’s Own project at UMW. Check out the full article at http://2014trends.hackeducation.com/indie.html.

Connected Courses Webinars Focus on Implementation (PR.Com)

Wired Article Highlights DTLT’s Known Pilot

WiredLogoAn article in yesterday’s Wired about the open source blogging application Known mentioned the pilot work being done in UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Known provides a space where students can manage and publish their posts for various social media sites through their own application, controlling the archival copy of their work. It rethinks the users relationship to ownership of their data across sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, etc. Right now, Jim Groom’s Digital Storytelling course and Zach Whalen’s Introduction to Digital Studies are exploring this application.

One of the points made in the Wired article, that reinforces some of the possibilities of the Domain of One’s Own project, is that the campus can quickly and easily pilot new, cutting edge applications that are defining what many refer to as the Indie Web Movement.

Jim Groom Co-Authors Article in EDUCAUSE Review

Jim Groom and Brian Lamb published the article  “Reclaiming Innovation” in the May/June edition of EDUCAUSE Review. The article examines the state of innovation in higher education in regards to information and education technologies. Additionally, the article featured a series of supplemental videos about various sites of innovation, including one focusing on UMW’s intiaitive Domain of One’s Own. You can read the article online here and watch the video below.

Jim Groom Talks UMW Domains

Since early March of 2014 Jim Groom has delivered numerous invited presentations about the work the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies (DTLT) has been doing with Domain of One’s Own.

On March 6 Groom delivered a featured session at the 2014 Digital Media Learning Conference in Boston, Mass. focused around the theme of Connected Practices. The presentation was titled “Domain of One’s Own: Notes from the Trailing Edge,” and it delves into the question of why higher ed has turned its back on the web for teaching and learning, an invention it in many ways made possible. Here’s an extended post framing the thinking behind this presentation, and there is also an archived video of this presentation below (the Domain of One’s Own discussion starts at minute 32:00).

On March 14 Groom was invited to deliver the keynote presentation at UMW’s 4th annual EdTech Conference titled “Reclaim Learning: A Domain of One’s Own.” This presentation examined a decade’s worth of experimentation and development at the University of Mary Washington that has resulted in a series of innovative projects such as UMW Blogs, ds106, and Domain of One’s Own. The presentation examined the common denominator of these edtech projects: they operate from a shared ethos of supporting an open environment for teaching and learning online by helping faculty and students alike exert control over the digital spaces they learn, teach, and live in.

On March 28 Groom was invited to keynote the Baruch College’s 17th Annual Teaching and Technology Conference. The presentation was titled “Domain in the Afterglow Or, What we Can Learn about Digital Identity from Geocities” and it explored the development of web publishing at universities during the mid-90s as well as the emergence of one of the earlier social media sites: Geocities. The presentation explores how higher ed turned away from the open web as platform at the turn of the millennium in exchange for coherence, security, and ease-of-use, the issue remains what was lost in that sacrifice. You can see the slide below and read more about the pesentation on Jim Groom’s blog here.

On April 10 Groom delivered the keynote presentation at the Sloan-C Emerging Technologies Conference titled “Domains in the Afterglow” that was a further tightening of the talk delivered at Baruch College almost two weeks earlier.  The focal point being how can universities more broadly support an infrastructure beyond the learning management system that enables digital literacy and creates a student-centric technology ecosystem. Below is a video of the talk, and here is a trail of the Twitter conversation that resulted from this presentation. You can read more about this presentation on Jim Groom’s blog here.

Sloan-C Keynote Talk

More recently, on April 26 and 27 Jim Groom was invited down to Emory University, along with Tim Owens and Martha Burtis, to discuss Domain of One’s Own with representatives from various colleges in the Atlanta region at the Domain Incubator. This was a conference inspired by the work happening at UMW, and the two-day intensive program was dedicated to sharing the work UMW and Emory (who is running a pilot of Domains this year) have been doing over the last year. The keynote presentation Groom delivered was titled “Domain of One’s Own: a Problem of Coherence” and you can see the video below. The talk, which relies heavily on the ideas and words of Jon Udell, explores the deeper cultural implications of Domain of One’s Own by taking a broader view of the idea of coherent personal digital archives as something we will all need in the near future.

EdTech Brings Regional Educators to UMW

Educators from across the region came together March 14 for the Fourth Annual EdTech Conference at the University of Mary Washington to talk about ways to change learning in the digital age. Students from J.W. Alvey Elementary School show Catherine Walker, adjunct instructor for the UMW College of Education, a project that they are completing. Pictured from left are Walker, fourth-graders Misha Padigala and Jessica Minelli. Sponsored by the College of Education, the day began with a keynote presentation by Director of Teaching and Learning at UMW Jim Groom who spoke about publishing and archiving student work, UMW blogs, digital storytelling and why K-12 educators should incorporate those tools in the classroom. “What we do as educators – what we do in higher ed and K-12 – is share a hope. It’s a hope that what we’re doing is framing a whole world of possibility and connections. And the Web is the single greatest tool ever invented to help us build on what we do,” said Groom. “It’s a remarkable world that we live in.” The conference also included a variety of sessions from “Animoto Movies in Your Class!” to “Expanding Your Web 2.0 Toolkit.” One session, “Frames and Share, You Can Do It!,” featured presentations from J.W. Alvey Elementary School students who created short movies and presentations. In the afternoon, Margaret Stout, a teacher at Antietam Elementary, introduced participants to Google Glass and demonstrated how she’s using the new technology in her classroom to teach students with autism. The conference ended with a panel discussion about current issues and challenges. From left to right, seventh-grader Danbi Rhee, second-grade teacher Roxanne Edwards, third-grade teacher Juliette Snyder and sixth-grader Ben Kopek introduce EdTech participants to Frames and Shares and explain how it can be used in an elementary classroom. Teresa Coffman, associate professor in the College of Education,  and Tami Pratt-Fartro, assistant professor in the College of Education, helped to create the annual conference four years ago with the goal of forming a regional network of educators who come together to share great teaching practices. That goal has remained intact. “I want people to build connections and community. I want them to think about their pedagogy in new and different ways and to use technology to foster learning in the classroom to engage their students to think critically and creatively,” said Coffman. “I want people to explore professional development in new and exciting ways.”

ds106 Showcased as Model of Online, Participatory Learning

ds106_Howard Rheingold has written a case study using ds106 (UMW’s open, online version of the Computer Science Digital Storytelling course) as a model of participatory learning. The case study was published by the Connected Learning site, which is the community arm of the Digital Media Lab and Learning Research Hub at the University of California, Irvine.

ds106 was conceptualized, designed and taught by Martha Burtis, Jim Groom, and Alan Levine as part of the research and development they have been a part of at the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. The case study highlights a few approaches of the course:

  • Faculty have to confront their discomfort with giving up some control to students, enabling students to help shape the assignments, set the tenor of the class, and even help form assessment criteria.
  • Instructors must blog themselves. Groom finds that his blogging has particular benefits for him in terms of being a networked scholar, technologist, and teacher.
  • Levine adds: “It’s more than blogging – as instructors, we do the same work we ask our students to do. This shifts the power dynamic of the teacher-student relationship.”

You can read the entire case study here, or check out the ds106 course here.

Jim Groom Delivers Keynote at MOOC Conference

DSC_0271On Thursday, Dec. 6 Jim Groom presented a keynote presentation at the MOOC Research Conference in Arlington, Texas. The talk examined a decade of experimentation and development at the University of Mary Washington that has resulted in a series of innovative projects such as UMW Blogs, ds106, and Domain of One’s Own. It discussed how all these projects operate from a shared ethos of supporting an open environment for teaching and learning online by helping faculty and students alike exert control over the digital spaces they learn, teach, and ultimately live in.

Below are the slides and you can find a recording of the presentation here.