Archive for April, 2012

Done!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I meant to post this earlier in the week but I was a little out of it from my minor elbow surgery. I am pleased with our finished website (and once the corrections have been made it will really be the final product).  I thought our topic was fascinating and it was fun to learn so much about UMW and the history behind the white columns of the buildings.  Throughout the course of the semester we all stepped outside of our comfort zone in order to take on new forms of technology.  I became more familiar with UMWBlogs than I had been, and I also learned a lot about Google Maps.  We definitely learned a lot about digital history and working together to produce a polished product.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to become more hands on with digital history and also to learn the deeper history of the school I love so much.

And it is also exciting that our site may be picked up by the University! 🙂

Update from Creativity Symposium

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

At the end of the symposium, Dr. Ferrell called Cammy and I over to talk to Assistant Dean of the BLS Program, Michael Howard, about our site. He looked it up on his iPad (or tablet) and I believed he bookmarked it!!! We were pretty excited about this because this could be the first step towards achieving official connection to the university! 🙂

I think that everyone did very well at the symposium and I’m really glad that we had this opportunity to practice it before the History Symposium.

Readings for April 10

Monday, April 9th, 2012

“The Wikiblitz: A Wikipedia Editing Assignment in a First Year Undergraduate Class” (Spring 2012 version) by Shawn Graham

I agree with Graham’s point about using Wikipedia as a teaching tool, because in other classes here at UMW, I have contributed to class wikis which have encouraged class discussions both online and in the classroom.   Graham also discusses “doing” history is an “unnatural act”.  He claims, the students explored the idea that we never observe the past directly; we must build models to fit what we “know” into a system of explanation. In digital work, these models are explicitly written in computer code. Understanding how the code forces a particular worldview on the user is a key portion of becoming a ‘digital historian'” (http://writinghistory.trincoll.edu/crowdsourcing/graham-2012-spring/).  We have already discussed the legitimacy of digital history and the problems with the information not being the original historical source. However, that is a major reason that Wikipedia is not always a credible (academic) source.

“Strange Facts in the History Classroom: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Wiki(pedia)” by Christopher Miller

Miller discusses the problems that the academic world faced with the unreliability of Wikipedia as a source.  He said that he decided to go a different route with Wikipedia which I find very interesting. He had assigned his students a Wikipedia article each week and they had to analyze it.  They found that these articles were not well-written and had inaccuracies.   Miller remarks, “However, many students also concluded that they had nagging doubts about trusting the content of a Wikipedia article. Interestingly, the reason for their doubt was their sense that they lacked enough knowledge to be able to challenge or verify the information themselves. After a semester of discussion, the result was a sincere, self-conscious awareness of the limitations on certainty in human (and historical) knowledge” (http://www.historians.org/Perspectives/issues/2007/0705/0705vie1.cfm).  Our class went through a similar assignment when we had to pick two topics and look up the discussion history which showed the record of edits on the page.  I think that it is a useful tool for people to share information online, however, it should not ever be used as a scholarly source.  If anything, take the information from Wikipedia and find it in a reputable source, if it is correct in the first place.

 

 

Mini update

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Ok so I went back and uploaded all of the pictures from the Digital Archives, and this time I uploaded them through the media library which I had forgot to do the first time I uploaded them-it made it a LOT easier!! So now we are continuing to upload histories as we receive them and will continue to upload photos as well!

Update!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Our group decided to take off the RSS feed from the homepage (this will draw more attention to our map) and make the homepage look less busy.  In addition, we also decided to convert all of the posts to pages in order to give the site a cleaner look and make it look less like a traditional blog. So I completed all of the residence halls, other buildings, and a few of the academic buildings. The pages now appear in drop-down menus under the three category headings. I had to delete some of the pictures from the archives in order to switch the posts to pages but I can easily re-upload the pictures and links on their respective pages. That just might not get done by Thursday morning.  Over the next week or so, in addition to continuing to upload pages, Kay and I will be creating citations for all of the photos which we have posted.


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