About this blog

Welcome to Techademia, a site where the Academic Computing Consultants at Vassar College write about technology and teaching.

This blog will be about our teaching and your teaching. We envision this site as a place where we hope to do a little teaching, about things that may be too new or obscure to have caught your notice. At the same time, these writings will  focus on teaching at the college level, while highlighting ways in which technology can enhance— or even revolutionize— that teaching.

Every faculty member that I’ve met at Vassar is wholly committed to his or her teaching. Many tell me that they’re really interested in one technology or another that might help their students to understand their course materials better. But they’re also really, really busy and can rarely find the time to take workshops or tinker around with new devices or programs.

We hope that his blog will provide a way for you to fit a little bit of this learning into your busy schedule. We aim to generate new postings each week, on various topics related to teaching with technology. Those topics will range from descriptions of very specific gadgets to discussions of pedagogical approaches. Some will be specific to Vassar, while others will be more generic.

The primary contributors will be the four members of Vassar’s Academic Computing Services (ACS) group. (If you’d like to know more about us, see the authors’ profiles, at the top of the page.) We may have occasional guest contributors as well, and we invite anyone in the Vassar community to comment on what they read.

Looking forward to some interesting discussions,



Recent Posts

Technology Workshops Spring 2024

qgis logo over a mapIntroduction to QGIS 

Tuesday, January 30th, 3:10 – 4:40 pm, Ely Hall Rm 114 (GIS Lab)

QGIS is a Free and Open Source (FOSS) Geographic Information System (GIS) program. GIS software enables you to produce maps and other graphic displays of geographic information for analysis and presentation. In this workshop, you will learn to find and obtain data for a mapping project, edit the data, make a printable map layout, and run geospatial analysis tools. This workshop is suitable for beginners to GIS and those who have had experience with commercial products like Esri’s ArcGIS. Led by Neil Curri of ACS. Please register to attend at https://forms.gle/fPiBiKXYtmehYPNL8

Stay Organized & Save Time with Zotero Citation ManagerLetter Z in a hexagon - Zotero Logo

Friday, February 2nd, 1:00 – 1:45 pm, Main Library Computer Classroom, Rm 160

Overwhelmed by unorganized PDFs? Want to save time formatting your bibliography? Zotero is a free citation manager for organizing references, storing pdfs, and formatting in-text citations and bibliographies. During this workshop, you will learn how to create a Zotero library, organize and share references, generate bibliographies, and format in-text citations and reference lists in Word and Google Docs. Led by Social Science Librarian Elizabeth Salmon

Computers provided however if possible, please bring a laptop to the session.

Register Online: https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11829830

vassar library bookshelvesIntro to the Vassar College Libraries Digital Library: Research and Classroom Use

February 7 and 9, 2024, 4-5PM, via Zoom

The Digital Library includes photos, audiovisual materials, manuscripts, and much more!  Did you know it now also provides access to Finding Aids, Vassar Scholarship, and a Herbarium? Join us for a tour of the system followed by a Q&A. The tour will include tips on how to find what you need for your research, incorporate use of the DL in the classroom, and how to submit your work to the Vassar Scholarship repository. Led by Nicole Scalessa of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services. 

Register Online: 

2/7/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885218

2/9/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885223 

Intro to Audio Recording and Campus Resources

Wednesday, February 14, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Main Library Electronic Classroom

Audio Nook Workstation overhead anglePlanning to record voice or music and you have never done it before? Interested in podcasting? Perhaps you have an interview you need to edit and share? We’ll review free and cross-platform tools and review resources for audio production. We’ll conclude by visiting the audio nook and the studio in the basement of Chicago Hall. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services.

Introduction to Python for Data Sciencepython logo
February 21, 3:30 – 5:00 PM, Sci Viz Lab

Python has become more and more popular for data maintenance, wrangling, visualization, and analysis. Do you want to see what all the fuss is about? This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of Python coding and will introduce some common data-focused packages. This workshop is suitable for novice coders as well as those with coding or scripting experience in other statistical software such as R or Stata. Computers available, however, if possible, please bring a laptop to the session.

Sponsored by Data Science and Society, Led by Simon Hoellerbauer of DSS

Register Online: https://forms.gle/E4aEpfoceJ6UudU66 

Intro to Omeka

March 20 & 22, 4:00-5:00PM  via Zoom

omeka logoOmeka is a free, open-source content management system for online digital collections that allows users to publish and exhibit scholarly collections and cultural heritage objects. The Vassar College Digital Scholarship Services Collaboration (DiSSCo) provides a web hosting resource called vassarspaces.net. This service, a Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) product, provides the flexibility for anyone in our academic community to build websites on a variety of platforms, including Omeka. Led by Nicole Scalessa of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services.

Register Online: 

3/20/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885125 

3/22/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885127 

Intro to Scalar

March 25 & 29, 5:00-6:00PM via Zoom

scalar logoScalar is an open source, web-based publishing software from the University of Southern California’s Alliance for Networking Visual Culture that allows you to create networked, multi-media online publications.This workshop will begin with the basics of installation along with creating accounts, projects, and content path. It will also cover the management and inclusion of media, such as images and video. Led by Nicole Scalessa of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services. 

Register Online: 

3/25/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885084 

3/29/2024 https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11885101 

Introduction to Git and Github
March 22, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Sci Viz Lab

github logoTired of naming files final_draft_v12_comments_corrected_v10.docx? Git is a commonly used version control system that solves this exact problem and is especially helpful when collaborating with others. GitHub is one of the most popular home for Git-based projects on the internet. This workshop will introduce you to Git and GitHub. You will practice making commits, pushing, and pulling, but alone and in collaboration with others. Please bring a laptop to the session.

Sponsored by Data Science and Society

Register Online: https://forms.gle/RnY7fasfPD6XKNt89

Cleaning Messy Data with OpenRefine

Wednesday, March 27th, 3:00 – 3:45 pm, Main Library Computer Classroom, Rm 160

 Want to spend less time cleaning and prepping your data? Doing the same tasks over and over in Excel? OpenRefine is a free, open source tool designed specifically for cleaning and organizing tabular data, with easy to use features for fixing errors and standardizing data. During this workshop, participants will learn how to upload data to OpenRefine, explore data, and conduct simple data transformations to produce a clean dataset ready for analysis.

Register Online: https://libcal.vassar.edu/event/11832459

Introduction to R for Data Science
April 12, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Sci Viz Lab

R is a statistical programming environment commonly used in academia for creating data visualizations and doing statistical analyses in a more regimented manner. This workshop provides a basic overview of using R and RStudio (a common interactive development environment) for statistical analysis (please note that this workshop does not cover statistical concepts).This workshop is suitable for novice coders as well as those with coding or scripting experience in other statistical software such as SPSS or Stata. Computers available, however, if possible, please bring a laptop to the session.

Sponsored by Data Science and Society

Register Online: https://forms.gle/3PoetbRc5G16QeNv5

Campus Resources for Building Websites 

Wednesday, April 17, 3:30 – 4:30 pm on Zoom 

crane building a web page free image from pixabayNeed a website? We will review the options you have available to you as a member of the Vassar Community. We’ll also cover our new resource : vassarspaces.net – where we empower users to become sys admins and install their own apps (WordPress, Scalar, Omeka and more!). Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services and Nicole Scalessa of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services. 

Register: https://vassar.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvdOqtqzspEt09z3XWM8VdxIVUF1G3bbv3


Poster Design for Academia

Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 – 4:30 Library Electronic Classroom, Main Library

illustrator environment pencil imacNeed a poster for an academic conference? Want to print a giant poster for your event? Come to this hands-on workshop, learn basic design and how to use Illustrator, Powerpoint or Google Slides to make a poster. Led by Baynard Bailey of Academic Computing Services. Please rsvp to babailey@vassar.edu (suggested but not required).

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