About Mike Blum

Mike is the Academic Technologist for the Humanities at the College

Study Abroad Technology Tips Part One, Preparing for Your Trip

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Here’s the first installment of technology tips for leading study abroad courses. For this first post in the series on study abroad technology tips, we’ll begin with before you leave for your trip. Imagine that it’s about two weeks before your trip, and you know that you need to get ready for documenting your adventures […]

Seven Life Hacks for Blackboard Grade Center

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Okay, so there was just another post by Rachel Kleinsorge about Blackboard Grade Center, but guess what? It’s the end of the semester and grades are on everyone’s minds. I’ve been talking faculty members through setting up their shiny new Grade Centers when they first set up their Blackboard sites now for many years, and […]

Me and My Google: Why I Can’t Walk Away from This Unhealthy Relationship

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Okay, so first off, let me just say I love Google. In fact, part of my anger at Google stems from the fact that Google does so many awesome things. It tells me all the things I want to hear, it brings me flowers or chocolates (well, at least it shows me where I can […]

More on Web-Friendly Mapping: Google Maps vs. Google Sheets

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In my last post I discussed some of the new features and cool possibilities of Google Maps for the humanities at the College. After writing that post, I’ve been obsessing just a bit on the various Web-friendly ways to present map data to an academic community, and I’ve struck on another interesting option in case Google Maps […]

Project Ideas for Google Maps and the Humanities

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Google Maps’s newest iteration attempts to combine qualitative and quantitative data into easy to build and manipulate maps. While faculty and students in the sciences and social sciences have been using quantitative data sets in teaching and research for a long time, the impulse to use interactive maps has not quite caught on with too […]

What Can You Do with a 3D Printer in the College Classroom?

Lenin's bust took 5 hours to build

My son is graduating from the theater program at William & Mary this year with a focus on theater tech. That means he spent most of his four years of college building props, designing sets, and generally learning to master all the dangerous tools and techniques they use to make the wonderfully elaborate sets for […]

Why I Want My Kid to Study at William & Mary and Why I’m Eager for the New COLL Curriculum

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  Okay, so that’s a strange, non-tech title for an article on an academic technology website, but the College’s new COLL curriculum has been much on my mind lately as I and my colleagues in Academic Information Systems work to come up with creative solutions to help our faculty members implement many of their plans […]

WordPress vs Tumblr: Not All Blogging Software Is Created Equal

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I was helping a faculty member set up a WordPress website for his course and we were having a little conceptual trouble converting what he wanted to be able to do into an actual working site. He wanted a specific look and feel to his site, but he also wanted certain functionality that just wasn’t […]

iPads in the Classroom: Using Reflector to Project Displays

Projecting technology has come a long way since candle slide projectors. Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

One increasingly common question I get these days is from faculty members who want to use their iPads in the classroom or do a video capture from their iPad or iPhone. While there have been a few W&M faculty members who have successfully used their iPads in class over the past few years, these uses […]

Devil in the Details

A screen capture of the Divvy app for iPhone.

The devil’s in the details when it comes to technology tools. Sometimes the difference between technology that doesn’t work at all and tools that work great can be really small.