Almost to the Finish Line!

Our websites are due tomorrow and I am excited to turn my group’s site in! I think we have done a great job and I am super proud of how far we have come with this project. I have learned a ton about website building that I had no idea about at the beginning of the semester. I am really happy with how our website is looking and am pleased with how easy it is to navigate. I am looking forward to seeing what Dr. McClurken’s suggestions will be for how we can improve on the final version of our website.

Week 11 Update

I cannot believe it is already Week 11 and our websites are due next week! This semester has truly flown by. I am very proud of the work we have so far! The only thing we need to finish up now is our timeline. BoardDocs (the site used to store Board of Visitors meeting notes) has been really difficult for us to navigate! We are going to work hard on it together tomorrow so we can dig in and get some more date points for the TimeLineJS. I am most proud of our interviews, though! They give such a personal touch to our website and I think they will help visitors connect more to our topic and understand the impact of Farmer Hall’s renaming. This project has reminded me why I love oral history so much!

Week 10 Blog Post

This week, our blogging assignment is to write about what we see as the key change(s) for historians in an increasingly digital world. After reading articles by Cameron Blevins, Sheila A. Brennan, David Voelker I was able to learn more about digital history from different perspectives.

Blevins argues that digital history still has not begun to make its own academic arguments. He claims that digital historians mostly facilitate digital archiving projects as well as create tools to store history or educate others in a way that is accessible to all. Blevins highlights that most digital history comes in the forms of online exhibits or online collections.

Brennan emphasizes a need for digital historians to truly know their audience and cater their work to the public who will be interacting with their projects. She makes it clear that the priorities of digital humanities should always have the public at the top of their list.

Voelker explains how utilizing digital tools such as blogging can greatly improve engagement and reflection of students. He discusses how he uses a blog in his class and requires his students to interact with it and make thoughtful comments. In this way, Voelker argues that his students reflect on class content more and they also learn about how to speak and engage with others in a public, online community.

In an increasingly digital world, I think there will be a push for more academic historians to be included in digital history, and vice versa. I think we will see digital history becoming an even more respected and legitimized field in the coming years as more people discover that digital history helps us contemplate and understand the past even more.

My Digital Portfolios

I currently have two digital portfolios. My first is the website you are currently on right now, which I originally created for HIST 297. I decided to keep updating it with major projects from my history classes.

My second digital portfolio is a Google Sites blog for my Instructional Technologies class in the education program. This site is dedicated to posting all the work I do for this class in order to build an education-centered digital portfolio.

To be completely honest, I really do not like my Google Sites blog at all. I do not like Google Sites in general, especially how they look. I do not think it is very user-friendly or intuitive. I much prefer using my WordPress blog and wish this had been an option for my education digital portfolio. I do not foresee myself using either of these blogs after college. I could possibly see myself starting some type of teacher blog, but am hesitant about that. If I was to have a teaching website after college, I would consider using WordPress, but definitely not Google Sites.

Digital Portfolios & Digital Identity

ePortfolios Viewed:

Jeffrey W. McClurken, Matthew Binamira Sanders, Alyssa K. Brown

Articles Read:

“Who Owns the Digital You?” (Three Parts), “How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It)”

5 Lessons I Learned About Digital Identity:

  1. Even if you do not have a social media presence, you still have a digital footprint. Everything from your emails, to what you Google, to the places you online shop, to the YouTube videos you watch are tracked.
  2. “Free” services and information online are not really free at all. Websites exchange your personal information in exchange for ad sellers.
  3. There are tools available to help prevent your digital privacy. After reading “How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It),” I learned about some tools that can block ads on webpages. I installed AdblockPlus and it was super easy and one more step to being more secure.
  4. What you intentionally put on the web is important to recapturing your digital identity. The three ePortfolios I explored gave viewers a strong sense of who the individual is, what they do, and what is important to them. ePortfolios are a great way to market yourself and control your online image. As someone who does not love social media, I hesitate a bit at having an ePortfolio all about me that is out there for anyone to see. One thing I am still wondering is if this is something that is necessary to have for all professions. I am going to be a teacher and do not foresee myself having a website about myself and what I do, but who knows. I need to think about this more.
  5. There is still so much I do not understand! After reading about digital identity, I realized how little I really know about internet tracking and personal data collection. What I did learn was definitely scary, though! With how much we all use the internet, I wonder if it is worth worrying about a ton.

3/8 Update

It’s been a while since I posted an update for Digital History! I cannot believe we only have about a month until our websites are finalized! The semester is passing so quickly and I am feeling very ready for graduation. I am really happy with how my team’s progress is coming along. We have gotten four of our interviews done and are working on setting up meetings with our other interviewees. We recorded our first audio interview with Mr. Williams from the JFMC and it was awesome! I excited to have these interviews up on our site for everyone to listen to and read. The next steps we will take are adding our Trinkle and Farmer biographies to our site, finishing our interviews, creating our timeline, and taking pictures of Farmer sites on campus for our photo gallery. We still have a lot to do, which makes me nervous, but I know we can do it!

Wikipedia & Creative Commons Licenses

1) Look at the History and Discussion tabs of several Wikipedia history entries and write about what you see.

Reading the history section of Wikipedia pages and then the discussion page was fascinating. I never knew about the discussion tab, so getting see so many different people’s opinions on certain subjects was super cool! I explored the Wikipedia pages for Josephine Baker, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft, and Marc Chagall. On the Josephine Baker discussion page, users discussed topics such as Baker’s sexuality, her inclusion in the Jazz category, and her citizenship to name a few. People used this page to inquire further about Baker, but they also used the space as a place to debate about certain topics in her life. On the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft page, users pointed out technical adjustments like the need to include alt-text on all images as well as modifications to external links. This discussion page also included a debate on whether the page should be titled “theft” or “robbery” and what the difference is. One user also suggested changing the writing style of certain sections of the page to make it more concise. The Marc Chagall Wikipedia discussion page included one user complaining about why some of Chagall’s most famous artworks are not featured in the article. Another user included a link to an online collection of Chagall’s work. Other users debated what Chagall’s birth name was and what his nationality should be listed as.

2) Consider what Creative Commons License you might use for your own site. What role does copyright play in the resources you are working with this semester?

I think for our project on Farmer Hall, we should use a license that makes our content available for anyone to use, with citations of course. This is the first time I have ever read about Create Commons Licenses and copyright, so I am still trying to figure out what it all means. At the end of the day, I think our website should be a tool for anyone to use who wants to learn more about UMW and James Farmer. Since we will have primary sources, like interviews, on our website, it is important that we be credited if this information is published anywhere else. We will have to have a group discussion on this to figure things out!

Farmer Group Progress Update

So far, we are working really well as a team and have some good starting ideas that I discuss in the video below. The next steps we need to take are figuring out what tools we would like to use and making our initial DKC appointment.

One way that we are thinking about incorporating video into our project is by filming the interviews we conduct with members of the renaming committee and posting them on our website with permission from the interviewees.