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Last week, we finished our first full semester in working and testing several virtual machine options and tools for this project.  The IMS203 class Scholarship in the Digital Age: Introduction to the Digital Humanities has helped us in exploring/testing/identifying the possibilities -as well as some limitations- with this cloud-based hosting option.  At first, each student deployed a VM that allowed him/her to run some basic command line instructions; later in the semester, four groups worked collaboratively to plan, develop and create a digital scholarship project using an upgraded VM with Omeka and some plugins.  Below is a screenshot of one of the latest templates:

Scholars Dashboard template

Major activities during the spring semester included:

  • upgraded the VM images from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04, which seems to fix an annoying mod_rewrite error in Omeka.
  • upgraded the Omeka VM to 2 CPU and 4 GB of memory, this helped a lot with the IMS203 group final assignment.
  • added MediaWiki to the pre-installed software options, which is also required for the Omeka Scripto plugin.
  • added OJS to the pre-installed software options, one of the next steps in OJS will be to modify/skip some of the many steps in the workflow.
  • added a web-based command line tool that students can use for running and testing command line instructions.
  • tested and deployed (many times) the different VM templates under non-admin accounts.

This project is now entering its final 4-5 moths and our next steps will include three major activities: producing a series of video tutorials for self-help, testing the different VM templates and tutorials with key stakeholders, and developing a project website for publicity and promotion.  And as part of our current and upcoming promotion/demo activities, earlier this month we did a mini demo of the project at the 2016 UC THATCamp and later this summer, we’ll have a poster presentation at the 2016 IFLA Conference.

 

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