SELF Appeal: Self Care recap & resources





Yesterday afternoon in the DLC D-Space a few students from IPD, MPA, TEFL, and IEM came together to discuss Self care.  Specifically we focused on how self care is SELF DEFINED. We decide what we do to relax, we decide what we do and don’t make time for, and we know our mental state better than anyone else. The group came to the consensus that self care is self awareness, self preservation, and SO SO necessary.

The relationship between self care and technology is interesting. The way we are able to connect and disconnect is astonishing. We discussed how we interact with our devices. A hot topic was to watch or not to watch the police brutality videos going viral and the effect of those videos.

Do you unplug? When was the last time you turned your phone off?

As graduate students we are constantly moving from one meeting to the next, forgetting to eat lunch, and stressing about the paper that’s due tomorrow. Take time to love and care for yourself. Think about the way you create time for other things and people in your life. Make more time for yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first. You can’t do anything for anyone else if you aren’t at 100%. As we all learned in the Office “Treat yo self”   . Take breaks, drink water, stretch, close your laptop, and take a walk.




Maria guided the group through mediation, breathing techniques, and great stretches for in-between classes. Paired with breathing these tips are life altering. Just remember to breathe IN and OUT. Be sure to try these out by yourself or with a friend!

Contact info:

Maria Prichard, or

Link to the document 




Excel Learning Series – Fall 2016

Are you looking to improve your Excel skills? Does the phrase Microsoft Excel make you nervous? Fear not friends, META LAB and the DLC are collaborating once again to provide a series of Excel workshops to support the MIIS community. The sessions will take place in CF442, Pac Lab from 12 – 1:30 PM. All you need to bring is yourself! Your facilitator will be META Lab GA and Data Analysis Teaching Assistant: Flynn Pollard. When used properly, Microsoft Excel can be an extremely powerful tool to display, organize, and analyze large data sets. The series will contain hidden tips and tricks in addition to exercises that will make you an Excel champion in no time. Questions? Reach out to Flynn at


  • Session 1: Friday, October 14, 12 – 1:30
  • Session 2: Friday, October 28, 12 – 1:30
  • Session 3: Friday, November 18, 12 – 1:30

Sign Up

excel-signup-buttonTo get access to the learning series materials and receive information on future sessions, click the sign up button!


Session 1

  • Cursor
  • Cells
  • Formula bar
  • Tabs
  • Worksheets
  • Templates
  • Fonts
  • Copy and paste
  • Wrap text
  • Minitoolbar
  • Quick Access Tool Bar-
  • Status Bar
  • Entering data
    • Autofill
    • Undo/redo
    • Comments
    • Save
  • Formulas
    • Writing formulas
    • Copying formulas
    • $$$$$$


Lynda is an incredible online resource offering guided video tutorials and step by step instructions for all sorts of digital tools. As a member of the Middlebury community you have premium access. Here’s how it works:

  • Visit
  • Input your MIIS login credentials
  • Search “Excel Essential Learning”

SELF Appeal | Sept 27 | 12-2pm


Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Design Space (Below the DLC Learning lab)


SELF Appeal is an interactive discussion series concentrating on varying aspects of Self specifically how we mindfully navigate through digital and physical spaces. These monthly happenings hosted by Alie Jones (DLC Graduate assistant) are inspired by talks done by Creative Mornings .

The theme for the first talk is SELF Care.  Maria Prichard from the MIIS Yoga Club  will be sharing useful breathing exercises and yoga based stretching techniques. Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, explore self care practices, and engage in a meaningful discussion. Here is an Op ED piece written by Alie Jones on the importance of self care. We live in a time with so many platforms that allow us to share and receive information. We will talk about how these mediums can be used for social change, community building, or healing.





Privacy on the Web

“Almost all arguments about student privacy, whether those calling for more restrictions or fewer, fail to give students themselves a voice, let alone some assistance in deciding what to share online.”

Hack Education author Audrey Watters highlights an issue that everyone using technology in the classroom or to share their work online has to grapple with. When we think about it abstractly, it’s easy to recognize that privacy is very important. But when it comes to online spaces, privacy is sometimes unwittingly sacrificed or overlooked. In educational settings, it’s not always explored fully in a way that engages students, listens to their concerns, and informs them of their rights. We are all responsible for protecting our own privacy. This post is intended to explore the topic more deeply and give some guidance that will hopefully help you decide the boundaries of what you are comfortable with sharing.


The distinctions between public and private spaces are often blurred on the web. The nature of how websites are constructed means that privacy settings can add multiple layers of security that hide or show different things to different people. When you first create them, most sites will automatically be set to a public privacy setting, meaning everyone can see what’s on it. You are responsible for adjusting these settings for your own needs.

On a more personal level, how can we use privacy settings to enhance our work? It might be helpful to reframe this distinction as “thought space” vs “public space”. We can use privacy features to help us draft our ideas in a contained environment just for ourselves and our collaborators, before sending them out into the public arena where they will interact with the opinions of the greater world.

thought-1014406_960_720Before sharing anything on the web, think about whether it’s something you would mind sharing in real life. Consider carefully before revealing identifying information, like usernames, passwords, your real name, addresses, and phone numbers. Someone could use even a small piece of information like this to find more about you via a reverse search. If you want to keep your personal information from being entered into public, searchable record (i.e. general web search results), you may want to avoid filling out forms that require those details or posting them anywhere online.

SITES dot and MiddCreate Domains

Middlebury hosts two WordPress based platforms, SITES dot MIIS and SITES dot Middlebury, which are available for you to create content on. MiddCreate provides our community members with an entire domain of their own, and is hosted through Reclaim Hosting, a company that offers a strict privacy policy. It was reviewed and approved as our vendor by the Information and Technology Services group (ITS) at Middlebury. Reclaim Hosting doesn’t make any intellectual property claims about what you host on your MiddCreate domain (unless you post something they created or wrote).

Some people may wonder how the US Department of Education’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is implicated in projects like these. FERPA only requires that student records not be public unless a student gives permission, so ultimately you have control of how much information is made available.

What this means is that anything you make on SITES dot MIIS, SITES dot Middlebury, or MiddCreate can only be made public with your permission or by your own choice. You have full agency to control the level of privacy you want to set for your websites. If you’re creating something for a class assignment, you will probably have to find a way to allow your professor to access it for grading purposes. However, an instructor cannot force you to use identifying personal information or share your content without your consent.

WordPress Privacy Settings

WordPress powers not only SITES dot MIIS and SITES dot Middlebury, but is also one of the most popular applications on MiddCreate. Almost 26% of sites on the internet use WordPress, so it’s very useful to familiarize yourself with the privacy options it offers. It’s important to understand what these option mean and how your site will be affected by any changes you make.

Content Visibility

When you create a post you can save it as a draft instead of publishing it right away. Drafts are only be visible to people who have login access to the Dashboard of your WordPress site. Once you publish a post or page, you can customize its visibility under the “Publish” sidebar in the editor. You have three visibility options:
  • Public – The page will be visible to everyone.
  • Protected – The page is protected with a password you set. WordPress will prompt you for the password on your initial visit to a protected page, and only people who have the password can view a protected page. You can password protect post-by-post, or entire areas of your site by using a plugin.
  • Private – Pages are only visible to Editors and Administrators*. Private pages are not visible in the Reader, feeds, or in any search. A page can be private without being password protected.

* Learn more about WordPress user roles and permissions in this resource from WP Beginner.

Private Site

If you’d like to make your entire website private, you’ll need to adjust your general privacy settings. They can be found under Settings > General on the left-hand sidebar in the Dashboard.

Search Engine Visibility Options

You can also choose whether you want your site to show up in search engine results. In WordPress, these options can be found under Settings > Reading > Search Engine Visibility.
  • Allow search engines to index this site. – This is the setting used by most blogs. It allows everyone to read your site and enables it to be included in search engine results and other content sites.
  • Ask search engines not to index this site. – If you want all human visitors to be able to read your blog, but want to block web crawlers for search engines, this is the setting for you.

** Please note that these options cannot force search engines to not search your site at all.

Knowing how to manage your identity and information online is a critical part of developing digital literacy. Whether on social media, as part of your academic work, or in your everyday web browsing, privacy is something we all have to think carefully about in order to discover what our comfort level is and how much we are willing to share with the world. You have the right to choose what amount of engagement is most appropriate for you, and protect yourself and your information accordingly.

I hope this article has provided a useful framework for thinking about privacy, but if you have any further concerns or questions, feel free to drop by the DLC for more advice!

Additional Resources

Want to take control of what people find about you online? Check out our web presence resources.

Concerned about malware/spyware and fending off invasive hacks? Learn more about web security.


#IDSP17 Dr. Netta Avineri “Building Community Partnerships One Story at a Time” | Sept 29 | 12:15-1:45pm

The Intercultural Digital Storytelling Project #IDSP is excited to be hosting a series of community-initiated conversations this Fall term. #IDSP was launched two years ago in 2014 as an experiment in digital storytelling by TESOL-TFL Assistant Professor and Chair of the Intercultural Competence Committee, Dr. Netta Avineri, and DLC director, Bob Cole.

We invite Institute community members to participate in one or more of the #nestedstories events – participation in all of them is not required. Each session will be independent, but all are connected to the others through the IDSP pillars: immersive learning, inductive research, peer mentorship, reflection, & digital media.

#IDSP17 Happening #1
Dr. Netta Avineri “Building Community Partnerships One Story at a Time”
Thursday, September 29, 2016
12:15 – 1:45pm
DLC Design Space, McGowan 001 / 420 Calle Principal

So much of what we do at Middlebury Institute involves mutually beneficial partnerships with local and global communities. In this opening session we will explore the concept of “nested interculturality” and discover how individual and communal storytelling can play a key role in the ongoing creation of these partnerships. Participants will explore various modes of storytelling that they can then use in their personal and professional lives.

Learn more about #IDSP17 and get involved:


Introduction to Panopto Video | Sept 27 | 3-4pm

DLC staff are pleased to host this workshop as an introduction to Middlebury’s pilot of the integrated video asset management and screen-casting platform: Panopto.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
In-Person: DLC Learning Lab (above the Design Space in McGowan Bldg)
Can’t make it in person? Join us for a LIVE CAMPFIRE WEBCAST or catch the video afterwards!

During this interactive session participants will 1) share and consider how they are currently using web-based video in their teaching, training, or learning; and 2) with the assistance of DLC staff work through an interactive demonstration of how to do the following:

  • Login to Middlebury Panopto via SSO (single-sign on) at
  • Install the Panopto App on own computer (Windows or Mac-compatible)
  • Record a screencast video with the Panopto desktop application (e.g. voice over short powerpoint slide-deck)
  • Upload video to Panopto
  • Review sharing settings (permissions, link, embed)
  • Add discussion notes
  • Embed a video on a webpage
Additional curricular video topics may include:
  • Panopto editor (cutting, add link, Table of Content)
  • Integration with Course Hub
  • Editing with Camtasia (production value, multi-track annotations)
  • Linking to quizzes in videos

MiddCreate Conversations: Openness Without Penalty | Sept 26 | 1-3:00pm

What have you heard about MiddCreate? Want to learn more about the possibilities it opens up? How will it change our relationship to the web?

Join us for a live viewing of a presentation by Adam Croom, Director of Digital Leaning at the University of Oklahoma, entitled “Openness Without Penalty: The Cornerstone of the Creative Student/Classroom/University”.  He will be sharing his views on the importance and possibilities of “Domain of One’s Own” initiatives like the newly launched MiddCreate.

Be sure to stay for a post-talk discussion on how web domains can help all members of the Middlebury community expand their digital presence, fluency and agency.

Event Information

Place: This will be held in the Learning Lab of the DLC. The Learning Lab is in McGowan, the room with the big central table, the recording booths, and the dock of computers against the wall.

Date: Monday, September 26, 2016

Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

What: A viewing and discussion of Adam Croom’s presentation, live streamed from Middlebury College. The talk will focus on how MiddCreate can enhance learning, encourage digital literacy and creativity in our community.

We hope you’ll join us!

Want to know more about Domain of One’s Own? Check out these recent articles:

Creating an E-Portfolio

Creating an 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 portfolio. 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 portfolio, 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.


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


Diary of a Summer Graduate Assistant

clarissa-photoHi, my name is Clarissa Stewart and I’m a graduate assistant at the Digital Learning Commons! This summer I had the privilege of working here full-time, assigned primarily to the MiddCreate project under Amy Collier, the Associate Provost for Digital Learning from Middlebury College, and Evelyn Helminen, Assistant Director for Digital Initiatives at MIIS. MiddCreate will officially launch for Middlebury community in September 2016, after a one year pilot phase.

Have you noticed something different about the DLC site? It still looks the same, but check out the URL. One of the major projects I completed this summer was migrating our website from the sites.miis platform over to a MiddCreate domain. This shift will allow us to greatly expand its functionality and integrate powerful apps like a Vtiger CRM to track the people we serve and find ways to better support them.

MiddCreate domains open up almost limitless possibilities, but while assessing our pilot I discovered that for new technologies like this to have a positive impact in the classroom, pedagogy must change first.  A lot of the work I did this summer involved creating support resources and processes that will help people think through how to design projects in MiddCreate. This included expanding our support documentation, configuring course sites for faculty, blogging about web security and adding external apps.

Thinking About Digital Pedagogy and Literacy

Pedagogy can become ineffective when it’s overly restricted by the tools it uses. MiddCreate challenges students to take responsibility for choosing the tools they want to use in their learning, and instructors to adopt more collaborative teaching practices.

In his book Net Smart, Howard Rheingold says that the web’s architecture of participation lends itself to developing key digital literacies like critical awareness, collaboration, and network awareness. Having access to and control over their web tools helps all the members of our community appreciate how digital identity is formed, pushing them to understand not only the technologies themselves, but how they impact their lives.

This is a primary goal of Domain of One’s Own according to Martha Burtis, Director of the Digital Knowledge Center at the University of Mary Washington where the movement first began. I hope my efforts furthered that goal for those who had appointments and workshops with me or will use the resources I created. I think my own digital literacy definitely improved, particularly because learning by doing and teaching others seems to stick with me the best.

Embracing Failure and Experimentation

As an International Education Management student, my degree program focuses on developing intercultural competence: the ability to be comfortable in diverse, highly contingent environments and communities. Shouldn’t we encourage analogous experiences in the digital realm? Some people may be hesitant to embrace MiddCreate because of its unpredictability and lack of structure or dedicated support services. But I think one of its greatest strengths is that it rewards creative experimentation and promotes agency and activism.

At Middlebury language learners often hear that failure is how we learn, that we need to break down hierarchies and rhetorics of linguistic “ownership” to make progress. Working with MiddCreate has taught me to take the same approach to learning the web. If you build a site and something breaks, just think of it as a learning opportunity instead of a failure. Now you have a real reason to figure out how it works in order to fix it. I did a lot of this kind of problem solving while experimenting with MiddCreate applications. I got to dust off my long-neglected web design skills and put them to good use, practicing everything from PHP, CSS and HTML, to Javascript.

Looking to the Future

I think my experience this summer will be invaluable to my career in the international education field because I’m now more aware of how digital tools can be used to promote and support programs and higher education institutions. I’d like to imagine that Domain of One’s Own initiatives like MiddCreate could be used to not only connect students, faculty, and staff on our academic campuses, but engage and create new communities across the country and the globe.

I’ve learned so much about technology, digital pedagogy, and how university administration functions over the past three months. I’m very grateful to Amy Collier and all the DLC staff for the trust they placed in me to take on all these projects, as well as their encouragement and advice.

Recommended Reading


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.


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. 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 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 functionality that you can toggle on and off.

Want to explore the unique layer of functionality this tool can bring to your site? Check out how Evelyn has used it to annotate her MiddCreate examples site.

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, submit a support ticket to Reclaim Hosting and they will look into it for you.

Learn more about MiddCreate »