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Tips for a Personal Website

Building your personal website can seem like the most daunting task in the process of building your web presence. But it doesn’t have to be! There are a number of sites and services, many of them free, that provide a framework and templates that let you quickly and painlessly build a personal site.

So, why build a personal website? For one, résumés are boring. No pictures, no videos, no flare, and very little personality. On a website, you can link to work samples and presentations (from your beautiful new Slideshare profile), you can easily link to your LinkedIn profile, and you can 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 hand (or even email) 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. Remember, 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.

Convinced? You’d better be. Below, I’ve listed some tools to easily make your new personal website. Needless to say, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start.


Sites.miis.edu          sites-dot-miis-logo-c

As a MIIS student, you are able to create your own site on the sites.miis.edu domain. To set yours up and get started, go to sites.miis.edu, and click on “Create a Site” in the upper-right of the page. Once you’ve got your site registered, the content management system (or CMS) that you’ll use to build your site is WordPress, so I’ll direct you to that section for more information on using that platform.

***Note*** If you decide to use sites.miis.edu, know that your domain will expire six months after you graduate (or otherwise discontinue) from MIIS. At that point, you’d have the option of either moving your site to a new domain (which isn’t as complicated as it sounds) or letting your website disappear into virtual nothingness.

MiddCreate             middlebury-logo

Another option for MIIS students is to create your site at your own domain by using MiddCreate. MiddCreate allows you to create your own subdomain (for example: amycollier.middcreate.net) for free and install open source web tools on it, such as WordPress, Known, Omeka, Drupal, MediaWiki, etc. This gives you the flexibility to create as many sites as you want on whatever content management system you like, as well as have full creative control over its appearance. MiddCreate is hosted through Reclaim Hosting, a company that started out of the University of Mary Washington.

***Note*** If you decide to use MiddCreate, you will lose access to your domain six months after you graduate (or otherwise discontinue) from MIIS. You then have the option to 1) pay Reclaim Hosting $45/year to keep everything, 2) download your entire site to store on your computer, or 3) move everything over to another hosting provider.

WordPress                Wordpress-logo-hoz-rgb

WordPress is a great content management system that is as simple or sophisticated as you need it to be. It is also one of the most widely used website platforms on the MIIS campus and in the DLC, meaning that there are a lot of people who can offer a great deal of assistance with WordPress sites. To get started, you just signup, choose a theme (this does a lot of the design legwork for you) and fill it with your content.

WordPress sites created through sites.miis.edu are limited in the themes they can use, but you will have access to some plugins and can edit the PHP code behind your site to a degree.

Installing WordPress on your MiddCreate domain will give you full functionality (just like if you were to use WordPress.org). This means you can upload and install any theme or plugin, edit the PHP code, and have access to your site’s files.

If you create your own WordPress.com account, your site will be hosted for free on WordPress.com and you won’t have to worry about purchasing a domain or losing access. However, this means that your site URL will by default include “wordpress.com” and you won’t be able to upload any custom themes, plugins, or modify the PHP code.

About.me                  

About.me offers a simple, one-page personal website, that serves more as a landing page to redirect viewers to other pages, such as your LinkedIn profile. You could build this as a starter page while you’re working on a more comprehensive personal site, or you could use it in addition to your personal site in order to drive traffic and provide yet another relevant Google search result.

Wix                             Wix.com_Logo

Wix is another popular content management system, and it has a free version. Like WordPress, Wix offers myriad pre-made templates that you can use and fill with your personalized content. If you want to get more adventurous and customize your size further, the themes do offer some flexibility. One great feature that Wix offers is being able to control how your site is viewed on different devices; you can optimize your site for mobile devices vs. desktops. A downside to using the free version is that your site will have a small advertisement.

Weebly                      

Weebly is similar to Wix; you choose from pre-made themes and fill them with your content. Weebly is advertised as more e-commerce friendly, and the interface is more beginner-friendly. Weebly also offers a mobile app that allows you to edit your site. The site offers free options, but many of the more advanced features requires a subscription.


Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources that provide strategies for building a website. Enjoy!

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Envsioning Middlebury Post-lecture Community Conversation with Dr. Gardner Campbell

SIGN-UPS for this event may be FULL. If  you do not see an open sign-up below and you would like to attend, please add your name to the EVENT WAITLIST and we will see what we can do to accommodate.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Approximately 1:45pm (immediately following scheduled 12:15pm lecture and Q&A in V499)
Digital Learning Commons Design Space
001 McGowan Building | 420 Calle Principal

Following the lecture, Institute faculty and staff are invited to continue the conversation with a discussion hosted by the DLC to consider the implications of Gardner Campbell’s vision for the future of digital pedagogy and learning at the Institute. A light lunch will be served.

Seating is limited, please sign up below to participate:

Attend Community Conversation with Dr. Gardner Campbell

Date: May 6, 2016

Sign up below...

What Name
What Name
Fri, May 6 | ~1:45 - 3:00pm | Location: DLC Design Space #1: Nukhet K.
#2: Galen A.
#3: Andrea O.
#4: Amy M.
#5: Fernando D.
#6: Sarah S.
#7: P M.
#8: Adele N.
#9: Gael M.
#10: Gabriel G.
#11: Renee J.
#12: Sabino M.
#13: Amy S.
#14: Barry O.
#15: Evelyn H.
#16: Robert R.
#17: Orion L.
#18: Annie M.
#19: Melissa S.
#20: Jan B.
#21: Patricia S.
#22: Muchadei Z.
#23: Maren G.
#24: Jeff D.
#25: Jen M.
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Intercultural Digital Storytelling Showcase May 4, 6-8pm

The art of story has been around for centuries because it’s a fundamental way we make meaning as humans. It’s the way we reflect, share, and learn both individually and collectively. Digital tools have made this process easier and more accessible, adding dimensions to the storytelling process and avenues through which to share locally and globally.

The six #IDSP16 Fellows invite you to share in their experiences around the world through a screening of their digital stories in a community showcase on May 4th, 2016 from 6-8pm at the DLC Design Space. This interactive evening will offer a glimpse into storytelling and the fellowship process where reflection, immersion, inductive research, peer mentorship and digital media merge into story. Come celebrate with us, experience some amazing stories, and interact with your peers. Light snacks will be served.

The1 Intrcultural Digital Storytelling Project, also known as #IDSP, was designed for students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) involved in immersive learning activities affiliated with their academic experiences. The IDSP Fellowship experience was designed to around 5 key competencies: immersive learning, inductive research, peer mentorship, reflection, and digital media.  The year-long timeline supports fellows in by guiding them through the development of these skills.

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Tips for Slideshare

Slideshare is a visual platform that allows you to upload files and presentations. Once uploaded to your Slideshare profile, you can share these files on your LinkedIn profile, your blog or personal website, or anywhere else you see fit. The site is owned by LinkedIn and so it syncs particularly well with that service. Below are some tips for making the most of your Slideshare profile.

  • Start with what you have. Look through the presentations, papers, and reports that you’ve already written, whether for academic or professional purposes. Filter through these and find the ones your proud of, and decide which ones will be relevant to your professional identity. Polish them as needed (for instance, remove the typical academic heading with your name, your professor’s name, and the due date) and upload them to your Slideshare account. These presentations are now searchable with your name, and can be easily shared on other web platforms.
  • As you make new content, remember that Slideshare is a visual platform. So, stay away from text heavy presentations. Create content with your Slideshare audience in mind, making the content clear, interesting, and concise for a viewer clicking through slides. Also, make sure to have an interesting cover slide that will draw people in.
  • On each file you upload, make sure it ends with a way to contact you. Even better, add a “call to action.”

Finally, as is the case with all the platforms I’ve recommended, remember to be consistent. Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or bi-monthly, determine how often you’re going to create content, and stick to it. This will help drive your profile up in search results, and will ensure that your profile consistently has the latest and most up-to-date content.

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Tips for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is widely used in the professional world, with 94% of recruiters reporting that they use the site to vet candidates. So, it’s very important to have as part of your professional identity.

For professionals and job-seekers building web presence, LinkedIn is an absolute must. The site is widely used in the professional community, and provides a medium for you to make your credentials and skills easily searchable. However, it’s not enough to have a LinkedIn profile; follow these steps to make sure your profile is an asset to your web presence, rather than a disservice to it.

Custom URL

First things first, you’re going to want to customize your LinkedIn profile URL if you haven’t done so already. To do so:

  1. Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
  2. You’ll see a URL link under your profile photo like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Move your cursor over the link and click the Settings icon next to it.
    • Note: “Update your public profile settings” will show up if you don’t have a public profile. Learn how to enable your public profile.
  3. Under the Your public profile URL section on the right, click the Edit icon next to your URL.
  4. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  5. Click Save.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87/customizing-your-public-profile-url?lang=en

Photo

Your LinkedIn profile photo should be a high-quality headshot of you in professional attire. Smile! Also, choose a picture where you’re making eye contact with the camera. It may seem trivial or silly, but this will help future employers get a sense of your personality, and feel a connection. This is enormously helpful, as employers search for someone with good fit for their organization. Also, as you’re taking the photo, remember that LinkedIn will crop it to a square.

Headline

Your headline, which will display beside your photo in search results, is your 120 character hook to draw potential employers and connections to your profile. The default on LinkedIn is for your headline to be your current employment. Personalizing it will add a personal touch, and it will differentiate your profile. According to LinkedIn, your headline should say what you are, who you help, how you help them, and give proof of your credibility. LinkedIn also warns of the four deadliest headline sins: having a cheesy headline, a confusing one, a boring one, or a desperate one.

Still looking for inspiration? Here’s a template to get you started:

I am a [subject matter expertise] who
[does what] for [client, company audience, project]. The proof is
[experience, education, GPA].

Summary

Your LinkedIn summary is a 2,000 character opportunity to introduce yourself. Other elements on your LinkedIn profile are fairly rigid and straightforward; your summary is an opportunity to show some personality!

So, now that you know why you should write a summary, here are some tips for writing an effective one:

  • Tell people what they can expect from you; describe what you do for someone unfamiliar with your job, and tell the world why you’re credible in that role.
  • Fill it out! Use all 2,000 characters if you can.
  • Break it up with headers, sub-headers, and graphics.
  • Include your contact info at the end. Some people also add some personal interests or hobbies at the end.

Got writers’ block? Here are some template ideas to get those creative juices flowing.

Experience & Education

This is the more straight-forward part of your LinkedIn profile. Use these sections as a dynamic, fleshed-out résumé. Keep your career goals in mind while you work on these sections, and tailor your profile accordingly; if you’re an aspiring translation freelancer, you may decide to not include your former career as a concessions stand attendant.

As you work on these sections, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to link to the company or institution.
  • Use prose, not bullet points.
  • Keep entries to a 2-3 sentence summary.
  • Start with an overview.
  • Front load your achievements. Is there a project or major win you can brag about?
  • Describe how you brought value to your team

Media

Once you have the aforementioned basic elements of a LinkedIn profile, you can snazzify and supplement your profile by adding media, such as PDFs, videos, and images. You can add these generally, or associate them with a particular position.

(If you want to extensively integrate media with your LinkedIn profile, I highly recommend setting up a SlideShare profile that you can connect.)

Groups/Following

Now that you have a gorgeous and dynamic LinkedIn profile, you need to use it! Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry or background (for instance, the MIIS Alumni LinkedIn group), and post periodically in these groups so that professionals in your industry begin to see your posts. Also, consider following companies and organizations in your field, especially if you’re interested in working for them.

More!

There are many more ways to improve and better use your LinkedIn profile. For instance, you can create a localized profile in another language, add a video, and search/apply for jobs.

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UPDATE: Qualtrics On-line Survey Tool Single Sign On Activated

UPDATE April 21, 2016: Users can now use their Middlebury login info to log in to the Qualtrics web survey platfrom. MIIS users should use their username@middlebury.edu to login and NOT username@miis.edu.

For MIIS users with pre-existing Qualtrics accounts, you may need to follow these steps to migrate your account:

  1. Login to Qualtrics at https://middlebury.qualtrics.com
  2. Use your username@middlebury.edu and password (the same used for e-mail and other web services) not your @miis.edu alias
  3. You may be directed to a Qualtrics account migration page. Enter your username@miis.edu and password in the designated fields and then click “Migrate Account.”Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.14.21 PM
  4. You should then be directed to your Qualtrics dashboard and see any surveys that you developed with your @miis.edu account.

August 2015:

Earlier this week, Bill Koulopoulos, Director of Academic Technology at the College, announced:

“…as of July 2015, Middlebury has adopted Qualtrics as its enterprise on-line survey platform. Qualtrics is currently considered the industry-leading provider of online survey software. It is already being used by members of Middlebury as well as in other educational institutions for administrative, academic and research purposes. For example, Amherst, Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, Pomona, and Wesleyan are among peer institutions that offer site wide access to Qualtrics. It offers powerful features, such as 90 different question types, the ability to add multimedia to surveys and panel management that set it apart from KeySurvey, our current software. Finally, the switch resulted in significant savings for the College.

Our previous survey platform, KeySurvey, will be available until the end of September and users are strongly encouraged to export their surveys and data before September 30th.”

For information about Qualtrics at Middlebury, go to http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Qualtrics.

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Tips for Google+

it’s important to do what you can to impact what results people see when they search for you. That’s why it can be important to consider maintaining a Google+ profile. Moreover, if and when you have a virtual interview via Google Hangout, your profile will be visible, and you want it to complement your awesome interview.

Pretty much everyone uses Google, and Google prioritizes its own pages in its search results. So, make sure you have a Google+ profile, and a complete one. You may be like me and countless others that set up a Google+ account, worked on it for an hour, and didn’t go back for years. However, employers finding an out-of-date or incomplete profile will do an incredible disservice to your web presence. This will likely be one of the first results Google lists, so make sure it provides a good first impression. You don’t have to make this your primary profile or website, but make sure that you link to these from your Google+ profile; make it easy for those searching for you to find the information you want them to find.

Tips for Using Google+

Below are some wise tips I’ve gathered from the four corners of the world-wide web. Enjoy.

  • Use a headshot for your profile picture
    • Many users choose to use a picture of their dog, car, or their very blurry pixelated face as a profile picture. Using a professional looking headshot (à la LinkedIn) will set you apart and set a professional tone for your profile. Keep in mind that Google will crop this into a circle, so be sure to adjust your photo so it frames your face well.
  • Use a high-quality cover photo
    • Your profile picture, while important, doesn’t take up a great deal of real estate on your profile. The cover photo, however, spans across the entire upper page. So, be sure to use a professional picture (not too busy or distracting) that is high-quality enough that it won’t pixelate. Google recommends using 2120 x 1192 as the dimensions.
  • Accessibility settings
    • Decide how much information you want people to get from your profile, and whether people will be able to contact you through it. Adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
  • Fill out your profile story
    • Leverage your story on your profile to help you introduce yourself on your terms. Be sure to use keywords and links relevant to your field; Google will index this information, which will help improve your search-ability. Consider using the same text as your LinkedIn summary.
  • Share content
    • When you post relevant content (articles, blog posts, etc.) to your profile, it simultaneously demonstrates to searchers that your profile is up to date and that you are informed in your field. Some people even think that as you post more, Google will index your material quicker.

Sources:

  1. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/personal-google-plus-account/
  2. https://authoritylabs.com/blog/8-tips-help-improve-google-profile/
  3. http://www.blogtyrant.com/google-plus-tips/
  4. https://designschool.canva.com/blog/google-tips-quickly-boost-results/
MIIS Happening

MIIS Happening 2.0 is April 28th

“A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art, usually asperformance art. Happenings occur anywhere and are often multi-disciplinary, with anonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience. Key elements of happenings are planned but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation. This new media art aspect to happenings eliminates the boundary between the artwork and its viewer.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happening

What is MIIS Happening?

A two hour Pecha Kucha-inspired event featuring short 6 minute and 40 second (20 slides x 20 seconds) talks, by MIIS students, staff, and faculty. The program will be generated through a massively open invitation for contributions by MIIS community members from all walks of campus. We’re seeking 20×20’s to inspire, engage and entertain a diverse audience, promote cross-disciplinary sharing, put a dent in programmatic silos, stir up some serendipity, celebrate creativity, and generally mix things up for a couple of hours. Talks may be inspired by storytelling or any number of themes, such as: change, place, culture, immersion, identity, adaptation, systems, ecologies, climate, language, among others. MIIS Happening! is two hours of participatory, fly-by-the-seat of your-pants intellectual exchange and exploration of unexpected connections among fields and schools of thought across the campus! MIIS Happening! is for everyone being shaped by and shaping MIIS.

April 16, 2015 Happening Archives

How can I get involved?

We are seeking 20×20 presentations from across the MIIS community. To get involved:

1. Drop in to an info session to learn more!

  • Info session #1, Wednesday, April 6, 1:00-2:00pm, Pacific Room, MG210
  • Info session #2, Tuesday, April 12, 12:00-1:00pm, Pacific Room, MG210

Can’t make it to the info sessions? Check out the Presenter toolkit to learn more.

2. Choose to participate as a presenter! (Sign up here)

3. Come to the Design & Feedback Clinic for help with your Pecha Kucha!

Feedback Clinic #1

 

Design & Feedback Clinic #1, Wednesday, April 20,1:00-2:00pm, DLC Design Space (Sign up below)

 

 

Feedback Clinic #2 (1)

 

Design & Feedback Clinic #2, Tuesday, April 26,12:00-1:00pm, DLC Design Space (Sign up below)

PARTICIPATE IN A PECHA KUCHA DESIGN CLINIC

Current Sign-up Sheets

No sheets available at this time.

4. Come to the happening to see what’s happening, either as a spectator, supporter, spontaneous participator, or presenter!

  • MIIS Happening—the main event, Thursday, April 28, 12:00-2:00pm, Holland Center!

 

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Teaching & Learning with Canvas – Coffee & Conversation

After last semester’s pilot, a collaborative proposal for the adoption of Canvas LMS, crafted and submitted by the Curricular Technology Team (a cross-departmental and -institutional advisory group which the DLC is a member of) was completed and posted to the Middlebury Canvas Pilot project website. This proposal was submitted in January for review by senior leadership. For more information on the pilot, click here.

As we look ahead to the potential adoption of the platform, join us on Friday, April 29, 9-10AM for coffee with pilot faculty to debrief on teaching and learning with Canvas:

Participation is open to the MIIS community – this is an opportunity for you to join the Canvas conversation and benefit from lessons learned as we look forward.

Useful Links

 

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DLC & CACS Hangout Conversation – Beyond the Horizon: The Hybrid Experience

Digital Learning Commons and the Center for Advising & Career Services are co-sponsoring a viewing and discussion in conjunction with the New Media Consortium Beyond the Horizon: The Hybrid Experience event.

When: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 10:00 – 11:30am
Where: DLC Design Space
RSVP: Sign-Up to attend below

Event Description
Creating a hybrid experience in educational settings is a growing trend that has been highlighted in multiple editions of the NMC Horizon Report. Hybrid learning, also referred to as blended learning, is the integration of both online and face-to-face modalities to create a cohesive learning experience with flexibility and support for learners. In this online event, panelists will explore how the hybrid approach is fostering independent learning and collaboration, as well as cultivating more channels of communication among students and instructors. Panelists will reveal how the integration of online tools also provides instructors with the ability to track student success and engagement, rearranging face-to-face instruction around more active, hands-on activities.

Panelists

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New Media Consortium Beyond the Horizon "The Hybrid Experience" Hangout: 10 – 11:30am | Weds, April 20 | DLC Design Space

Date: April 20, 2016

Sign up below...

What Name
What Name
NMC Hybrid Experience Webinar: Weds 4/20 10-11:30AM #1: Jen H.
#2: Scott W.
#3: Winnie H.
#4: Grace O.
#5: Moyara R.
#6: Evelyn H.
#7: Lyuba Z.
#8: Canri C.
#9: Katya G.
#10: ashley g.
#11: Edy R.
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