Digital Humanities: Some Thoughts
Charlie Evans

Blue bar

Before we meet on Tuesday, May 12th at 10 am, please look at:

1) Digital Assignments: Using Web-Based Tools to Go Beyond Just Writing Papers (presentation from earlier this year on using student, digital-based assignments)

2) My Introduction to Digital History course (lot of linked material on different aspects of digital history)

3) In particular, check out my YouTube video on digital centers in Virginia (It's not the greatest video, but it does provide a bit of an overview to what has happened in our area since about 1995.)

4) My history home page, with links to all of my tech and history projects and blogs, , and my college home page, with links to all of my online and campus courses,

When you think of dgital humanities, I tend to look in two different directions:

a) applying digital tools to student work, for example, my digital timeline assignments

b) research focused, digital projects, for example, 1853 Richmond and Its Slave Market (Richmond) or the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (GMU)


If you look through the links and materials that I have given you above, you'll find a lot of examples of both of these.


Some cautionary thoughts:
1) there is a technology hurdle to be overcome, especially if you are going to undertake research-focused projects

2) and you will almost always have to overcome that hurdle by yourself, with a lot of obstruction from college IT

3) at the same time, there are now appearing numerus open-source software tools that enable you to undertake a project, for example, GMU's Omeka database software,or IBM's Many Eyes for data visualization

4) when you have students engage in digital projects, not only do you have to ensure proper writing, content and citation issues, you also have an aesthetic aspect to consider. A student can have geat material, but the design of the project could be terrible. So there are design considerations.

5) while students don't usually need a lot of hand-holding on a project, you are going to be giving them some help, and you will also be giving them design feedback, for example, green text on a black background doesn't work on a website

6) there are always important copyright issues to consider (1923)



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