Author Archives: Robin Ladouceur

New Seminar Set of iPad 3s

Based on the success of ITG's iPad pilots in Julie Newman's EVST 170 course, Bobbi Stuart's English 116 course, and the WiresCrossed Mobile Tech internship this past academic year, we have added a brand new seminar set of iPad 3s to our mobile technology battalion. What's more - we now have 2 slick and powerful charging and sync carts, called "iPad Learning Labs," that will allow us to image and charge up to 30 iPads in one go! The learning lab carts will make it easier than ever to get apps onto multiple iPads. We are proud to announce that we have 2 seminar sets of iPads - one set of iPad 2s and the brand new iPad 3s.

Please consider submitting a proposal to use the iPads in your course this fall! For more information, please see: iPad Course Loans.

My Mobile Year Internship

The Yale Instructional Technology Group [ITG] is looking for two intrepid, tech-savvy, and uniquely articulate students to get paid to live “mobile-ly” for the 2011-2012 academic year. If that sounds tantalizing, we encourage you to submit an application for a newly created “My Mobile Year” Internship.

What is a “My Mobile Year” Intern? We don’t really know yet. Ideally you’ll be part research analyst, part tech writer, part blogger, part vlogger, part twitterati, part humorist, and part critic. The internship will entail using mobile technology (smart phones, iPads, laptops, mobile apps, etc.) as much as is productive, pedagogically sound, and fun in your experience as a Yale student. You will also be required to chronicle your experiences publicly using whatever media you gravitate to: blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, podcasts, videos, etc. ITG will provide the mobile devices and applications you need to go mobile if necessary.

Tell us why you should be our “My Mobile Year” Intern! To apply, send an email to containing two stunning paragraphs describing why you want to share your mobile year with the world. Include another paragraph about your prior experience with mobile devices and apps. Also provide links or attachments for two other writing samples. One of your samples can be a radio-style documentary, a photo/text montage, or a video.

This internship is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Pay: $15 an hour for up to 10 hours a week.

Application deadline:  9:00a.m. on Monday, September 19th, 2011

War and the Environment

The War and the Environment teaching and research site went live this semester! This ITG project was spearheaded by Bruno Cabanes, an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Yale and specialist of post-war transitions in the twentieth century, and Gene Tempest, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Yale and specialist of the First World War and its cultural and scientific impacts on European societies and environments.

This site is designed to introduce students and researchers to the primary sources available at Yale relevant to environmental histories of war in the twentieth century. Sources are grouped by theme and type—from medical and culinary topics to entomological collections and beyond. Users can also choose to navigate by keyword, repository, or even search for a specific phrase. A working master list regroups all resources identified to date.

Unlike most existing environmental-military histories, the War and the Environment site is most influenced by the newest developments in the history of war, rather than springing from environmental history. This directly reflects the bias of the academic project directors: both are trained as cultural historians of war.

Instructional Innovation Interns [i3] were indispensable to the creation of this site. Sabina Mehmedovic worked with Bruno Cabanes and Gene Tempest to design the site while Ari Borensztein created the site structure using Drupal.

2011 Digital Humanities Student Poster Session

The Collaborative Learning Center was pleased to host Yale's first digital humanities student poster session in Bass Library room L01 as the penultimate Teaching with Technology Tuesday of the spring 2011 semester. Robin Ladouceur of ITG gave a brief introduction of our convener, Kristjiana Gong (CLC intern and American Studies major).

After some brief remarks, Kristjiana first introduced Laura Wexler (Professor of American Studies; Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Co-Chair of the Women Faculty Forum at Yale). Wexler noted that she was speaking on behalf of herself and Inderpal Grewal (Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies) as teachers in the fall 2010 course WGSS 380, "Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture", the source of some of the projects shown. She thanked Yianni Yessios of ITG for his presence in the course as a digital artist and teacher of the humanities lab portion of the course. The projects shown represented the completion of an assignment to create a digital street “somewhere other than here, some time other than now,” with an emphasis on using Yale University Library resources and on primary sources in particular. In particular, Wexler highlighted that the students brought an inspiring, impressive, and energizing “force of creativity” to their projects.

Our next panelist was Jessica Pressman (Assistant Profesor of English), introduced by Kristjiana. Pressman stated that she was pleased to show the positive results of teaching with technology, and echoed Wexler’s comment about students’ force of creativity and imagination. Her courses often center on, as she describes it on her website, “how technologies affect our understanding of literature, both in terms of aesthetics and reading practices.” Students in Pressman’s fall 2010 ENGL 391, “Digital Literature“ course were assigned the challenge of creating a web-based analytical essay. This avant-garde format extended her teaching about form and how form and content are inextricable. Put another way, student projects needed to embody and to discuss how content is presented and the reasons for presentational choices.

Finally, Kristjiana introduced Julie Dorsey (Professor of Computer Science). Dorsey is one of the founders of the Computing and the Arts major at Yale as well as of Creative Consilience of Computing and the Arts. In the Computing and the arts major, students take all the required courses for the Computer Science major and select a track in the arts (e.g. music or theater) to weave into their computing scholarship. Student projects showcased today were from senior class majors, demonstrating an interdisciplinary fusion researched, learned, and forged over their tenure at Yale.

Student projects showcased were very impressive. Among those featured:

  • A multimedia walk down a street in Pontochō district of Kyoto in 1958.
  • A hypertext with Blue Hyacinth as its starting point, composed of two sets of four paragraphs that can be shown independently and with integrity, or remixed on the fly in mousing over it.
  • An interactive map of Jamaica during emancipation (1834/1863), set in Google Earth and drawing heavily on images from Yale's digital collections. Included a guided tour through the created world.
  • A complex game and game platform, “The Groov Cosmos,” involving elements of strategy gaming, combat gaming, puzzle gaming, and in-play musical adjustments, created in C#.
  • A web-based digital essay analyzing and building on the work of The Jew’s Daughter and Blue Hyacinth to create a destabilized text locating meaning in chunks below the discourse level. Added a game aspect by allowing user to re-arrange text in apparently the correct order (or, rather, the original order), but this is a mirage.
  • A close reading of the use of sound in three works of digital literature: Sooth, Nippon, and Project for Tachistoscope. The project also incorporates the tactic of close-writing, borrowed from the aesthetics of Sydney’s Siberia by inserting sound into a piece that was originally silent.
  • “All Roads Lead to Toads,” an interactive fiction that tries to capture the feeling of a branching structured game, taking the emphasis off of the completion of either puzzles or the game and placing it on exploring actions, environments, and characters.

New York Times series on Digital Humanities

The New York Times has just issued the first in a series of articles about "Humanities 2.0: Liberal Arts Meet the Data Revolution."

The article quotes Tom Scheinfeldt, managing director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Tom will be speaking to Yale's Digital Humanities Working Group this Thursday. The session is open to the Yale public. Please join us!

November 18
Tom Scheinfeldt, Assistant Director of the Center for History and New Media
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Whitney Humanities Center, room 208

NERCOMP: Developing and Using Material Culture Collections for Teaching and Learning

May 19th, 2009

Session 1: Introduction

Teaching collections are:

1. Classroom based vs. institutional level collections
2. Faculty initiated and developed - we want faculty thinking and talking about the metadata - how tools will be used. Also talking to media resource specialists - how best to capture material objects - photograph them.
3. Faculty managed - faculty are the ones who are responsible for managing and handling the collections.
4. Instructionally focused - what is the application of these types of resources in the classroom? Focusing on the higher order thinking skills.

Continue reading

Howard Besser on Copyright

Yesterday Pam Patterson and I attended a talk on Copyright issues at Sterling Memorial Library given by Howard Besser, Professor of Cinema Studies and Director of New York University's Moving Image Archiving & Preservation Program. The talk was very comprehensive. Professor Besser did an excellent job of examining changes to copyright law over the years, mounting restrictions to and encroachments on fair use, and the numerous "gotchas" inherent in the laws as they are currently written (you can copy a portion of a digital medium according to fair use, but you cannot break its encryption). For a more detailed treatment of the topic, please refer to Professor Besser's Power Point Presentation:

Howard Besser's Copyright Talk for Yale

NERCOMP: Curricular Innovation in Freshman Communication Within a Tablet-Mandated Environment

Speaker: Andreas Karatsolis, Assistant Professor of Information Design, Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar

Provide each student with a tablet pc – difficult to support
Wanted to move into a paperless campus
Used DyKnow

Andreas’ background – Rhetoric and Communication
-situated learning
-information design

Albany College of Pharmacy:

Principles of Communication course
All networked sections – but the use of tablets in classroom was determined by each instructor

Can tablet PCs force a process of crafting a series of information design decisions?
Assignments – Eval, Proposal, Paper

Tablets and reading – how tablets could be used to improve how students read; help students know what texts do

Writing an abstract
5 necessary components – outline field, justify a piece of research
showed example of abstract – you can annotate it in class to show where 5 elements are, how they function
Students work less with content than mechanics of what an abstract is supposed to do.

Use DyKnow panels that are submitted.
Learning how to read texts in a more interactive way in class

Tablets and writing – help students on invention and revising
Peer Reviewing
Editing and Evaluation

Use tablets in class to break proposals down into component charts = structured thinking and strategizing.
Peer reviews aren’t very useful unless you give them very specific instructions of what one should look for and do
Use stylus to make connections between text they are reading and rubric they are using to guide them through the review process.

Tablets => messier, but more productive review process. Students are more engaged.

Tablets and visuals
Help students understand the relationship between text and visuals ad produce rhetorically meaningful visuals
Analyzing images

Tablet PCs can allow for greater engagement with information design.

Curricular Design

Get buy-in from faculty
Start backwards at the outcome level
Map out content outcomes to specific sessions
Map out learning outcomes to specific assignments
Align outcomes to assignments and assessments

NERCOMP: Challenges and Lessons Learned with TabletPCs: Incorporating Pen Technologies into Traditional Pedagogies

Yale University recreated a traditional pedagogical model in a way that used TabletPCs to maximize student participation. We realized that classroom management software along with the interactivity of the TabletPC could provide an opportunity, as the professor put it "to send all of the students to the blackboard at the same time." We recently took some the lessons learned from our first attempt at a laptop classroom and used them during the creation of a newer Collaborative Learning classroom in the Library. This presentation will cover the considerations and decisions made as we transition from pilot to production including: dissemination and storage of laptops, why pen-based machines, furniture, imaging and deployment, learning curves for professor and students, and, most importantly, ongoing support.

Themba Flowers' PowerPoint:

Tablet PCs

NERCOMP: Enhancing Field-based Classes Through the Use of Tablet PCs for Pen-based Data Collection

Meg Stewart, Academic Computing Services Consultant for GIS, Vassar College
Keri VanCamp, Ecological Preserve Field Station Manager, Vassar College

(Get PPP to post on the blog)

-Got a grant from Hewlitt Packard - got 21 tablets 2004
-Enhanced GIS program
-Teaching with GIS
-with money from the grant - they got GIS software
-Spring 2008 - they purchased new tablets.
-got grant from HP in 2008 to make a video to show students how to use the tablets.
-students worked in pairs - one has tablet, the other has GIS
-can digitize - using pen to mark land use. Pen integrated seamlessly with "ArcMap(?)"
-have aerial photo as base and can annotate - diagram sediment distribution.
-did mobile mapping workshop for faculty.


-understand a geomorphological concept - meandering stream.
-have students use an emerging tech.
-TC1100 - early tablet that they used with a GPS receiver.
-collecting wave points every few seconds.
-mapping change in course of stream.
-advantage of tablets - mobility and power; interactivity with GPS; stylus is vastly more efficient.


-have students participate in long-term ecological research during a series of lab assignments.
-study invasive plant species
-problems with traditional methodology - eyeballing inconsistencies among researchers
-inability to verify findings
-plant id is time consuming

Tablets could obviate these problems - photogrid!
-data collection more consistent among users
-a photographic record of plot is stored
-could use custom field guide for site using web browser.
-easier plant id
-point id is simpler
-participating in long-term research was useful

-speed problems
-using 10 tablets - collating data from all
-battery life - poor

Still it is a useful tool.

-enhanced scope of Ecology projects
-allows for increased complexity of projects
-could use excel in the field to record data.

-ease of use
-ability to combine data sets of various users.
-stored info for long-term project
-involvement in actual research = boon for students.

Field Archeology:

-actual experience of in-field research informing choice of major, investment in field of study.
-cataloguing everything from the site that they found in their field session.
-could do complete record of excavation - could take records from each tablet and collate.
-more like apprenticeship in real life sit., than theoretical/abstract.

Evaluating student outcomes.
-understand student confidence level with tech.
-learning outcomes
-increase or decrease in student skill level (with tablets)

Faculty wanted to see decrease in transcription errors

Used Likert scale

Students needed demo
Longer battery life
Good for dift. learning styles
Like using an emerging technology

Faculty liked two scales of visualization

Link to Vassar NERCOMP Presentation