Teaching with Emerging Technology: the Centrality of the Collaborative Mode

Screenshot 2015-01-30 13.22.22Over the last 6 months I have been working with the latest instructional technologies and digital tools in my class, Humanities 100.  This course, brand new for the 2014-15 academic year is designed to teach students how to create a digital project with archival materials.  The goal of the course is to teach students the importance of the creation of a digital text; to think about the design of data that stems from that digital text; to make intelligent decisions about the presentation of that digital text on the web; to teach students how to mark up a text in TEI lite and beyond; to begin to think about how to add geo-spatial elements to the analysis; and also how that text can be mined to build up a database of people and places (at the least)  that can then be used to create a network analysis of the text. That is a lot to learn; and from my experience last semester I can say that some students wanted to stop at, say, transcription of the text, or mark-up.  Continue reading “Teaching with Emerging Technology: the Centrality of the Collaborative Mode”

First steps on a familiar path…

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First page of Martin Mack’s Shamokin Journal

Today I set out on a week-long trip that will take me to familiar places to meet lots of people doing new things with old stuff.  In many ways, I have been doing new things with old stuff for a while.  Working with manuscript materials all my academic career,  I have always wanted to find ways to make what had been stored away in acid free boxes on shelves in archives more accessible to the public.  And print publishing has not always been the answer.  For example, no-one was interested in publishing a parallel dual language text of the memoirs back in the 90s, and so I tried on-line publishing (see the Moravian Women’s Memoirs experiment that I started back in the days of HTML in the late 1990s).  More recently, I have been able to discuss and publish  the 18th century maps of the Susquehanna River I have found in archives in both print media (the Journal of Moravian History and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography) and also through some of the online work I have been doing with students on the river.  To accomplish the latter, we are in the process of building an “atlas” of the river that will include its historical and critical cartography (the subject of Steffany Meredyk’s Honors thesis, for example).

Continue reading “First steps on a familiar path…”