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DH Box: Countdown to Launch

DH Box is nearly ready to launch! Our user experience testing is complete and we are putting the finishing touches on our front end interface. We have added more information to our documentation on our wiki including new pages for “What is DH Box” and “Launching DH Box” as well as pages for each of the tools in DH Box: IPython, MALLET, NLTK, Omeka, and RStudio.

Our team did a presentation on DH Box for the Academic Center for Excellence in Research and Teaching at Hunter College. It was exciting to show our project to faculty who may want to use it in classroom teaching and research. The audience included math professors, English professors, sociology professors, librarians, IT specialists, and adaptive technology specialists. We got a great range of questions. Some were very specific: “Can I upload a csv file with the information for all 25 students in my class or do I need to add a new user for each one?” Great idea – we’ll see what we can do! Some questions were more general such as “What tools do you plan to add in the future?” We will be adding more tools as the project develops, but we need to limit our selection to web based or command line tools that are open source.

Everyone was very interested in how using a virtual server can improve access to technology for students. Our team is excited about a new project at the University of Mary Washington called A Domain of One’s Own The project will provide all incoming freshmen with their own domain names and Web space. Students will have the freedom to create subdomains, install any LAMP-compatible software, setup databases and email addresses, and carve out their own space on the web that they own and control.

DH Box brings a powerful virtual computer to anyone with a web connection. Students do not need to own the most recent laptop computer or to attend a school with a big budget computer lab.  We are very exited about how our project may grow in the future to offer even more!