This semester I began blogging about “doing small digital history.” I’m back now to share the results
The good: we produced a pretty slick looking timeline and the final “examination” made for a pretty tasty website.
The bad: students were pretty resistant to the tech. We had a fairly steep learning curve attempting to use google docs spreadsheet to collaborate. Because Verite Timelinejs only allows for 200 entries I won’t be able to add on to this project for much longer (we have 100 entries). We also had to hack a field for event source as the template only includes a field for image source.
The final lesson: without consistent tech access it was almost impossible to do this well. Because several students lacked laptops this meant booking into a classroom equipped with out of date laptops for part of the semester.
The timeline: As I blogged about earlier, I really scored when Michael Cuomo stepped up to take the major responsibility for picking our software, setting up the apps, and the weebly website. Some students were better than others at following our hacks to include sources information in the timeline (a must for scholarly work BTW @verite). Similarly some students were more diligent about finding really good events to put on the timeline.
Prohibition narratives: This worked OK only because I turned the student submissions into webpages. We did not have sufficient time to show them how to make a web page (although it is super easy).