Sometimes in the twitterverse I find myself becoming depressed about my inability at a very small liberal arts college to implement some of the very cool digital history ideas I run across. Working off the definition of digital history from Princeton Digital History lab, historians make connections, find patterns, and make comparisons, which is precisely what I tell students I teach them to do, I decided to seek ways to begin stealthing digital history into my courses with the goal of assembling a sort of shadow digital history curriculum that would port across my courses.
My tentative outline is as follows, which translates into one topic for every two weeks, with the first and last weeks excepted.
Topic modeling – played with this one
Text mining –
Timelines – timetoast
Mapping – google
Curating – omeka
As you can see, I’m still searching for free, fairly easy tools to use in some areas, so tweet me solutions if you’ve got them!
I’ve been experimenting with some of these things on the fly.
So far one course is working (or rather not working as you can see here) in google maps
to annotate the events of Enrique’s Journey
in specific locales.
Working better is the class project for history in the city in which students are creating a timeline of events
that have occurred at public history sites in Philadelphia. I originally envisioned this as an ongoing project that could work for multiple classes, but I’m a little worried about timetoast. It seems to have no back up or export function, which is troublesome. It is also fairly limited in what you can do with it. However, it has the absolute easiest interface I could fine (although one student reacted negatively to the ONE line of HTML that pops up when you edit an entry).
I also began testing my blended pedagogy ideas, which have been approved for a full course next semester. The lesson using the course textbook website
in women’s history worked very well, mostly because this section covers content only. I created a lesson in our LMS that was far less successful. I liked that I could link to although graphs, video clips and websites, but wish the LMS allowed embedding. However, one of my colleagues told me she figured out to import her wordpress blog into the LMS so I’m hopefully that hack will allow for more seamless integration.