April 25th, 2012 Written by

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

April 19th, 2012 Written by

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

April 9th, 2012 Written by

“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'” (  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” (  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

April 7th, 2012 Written by

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!


April 4th, 2012 Written by

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.

Buildings Progress

March 28th, 2012 Written by

Not too much drastic changes this week. We have a meeting with DTLT tomorrow that Kay, Cam, and Kayle will attend concerning the interactive map, the color scheme of the site, and other minor technical questions. We are in the process of gathering our own photographs of the campus buildings to provide that “before” and “after” point of view.  We also hope to get most of the drafts uploaded by early next week.  And there’s one kind of cool update but I’m going to wait and save that for our group presentation tomorrow morning! 🙂

Buildings Progress!

March 20th, 2012 Written by

I made a LOT of progress today!! ALL of the residence halls are now posted to the site!! 🙂 And most of them have pictures as well!! I did struggle with finding pictures of all of the halls in the UMW Library Digital Archives Collection. However, I found many on the UMW Residence Life page as well as other UMW Blogs. We also will be taking our own pictures to add to the site.  I also uploaded a few posts in the “Other Buildings of Significance” category and another picture to the Monroe Hall post (it’s kind of a funny picture).

For the rest of the week, Kay should be uploading a “Contributors” page as well as looking for information to add to the “History of the College” tab.  We are going to set up a meeting with Tim Owens for next week (hopefully) to discuss uploading our map and changing the color scheme of the blog theme.  And as more histories are written up and submitted to our Google Docs, the more will be uploaded to the site! 🙂


Digital Portfolio

March 19th, 2012 Written by

In my digital portfolio I felt that I was comfortable with the resume because 1) I have conferred with Career Services when I  wrote my resume for internships last year, and 2) I had uploaded a digital resume last semester for another class. I did make sure to update/delete information. I also felt comfortable uploading other digital work and mentioning my 485. I also  created a blog tab which I have only posted a welcome post because I am not sure exactly what I want to/should blog about.

The part of my portfolio that I am very unsure about is the homepage’s about me section. I tried to model it after the sites we viewed in class. I’m not sure if the information is appropriate or if it reads well. I also was unsure of types of photos to use, or whether to use them at all. For example, I wrote about my experience at UMW as a student athletic trainer. I do not have any pictures of me performing athletic training duties. So I posted a picture of one of the teams that I worked with when they won the CAC tournament. I linked that picture to its source on the UMW website. But I was unsure if that was the right picture to use.


UMW Buildings Progress

March 16th, 2012 Written by

I am pretty happy with how our site is turning out. We have made some good progress with finding photographs to upload as well as completing and uploading the buildings’ histories.  I think Dr. Bryan Alexander made some good suggestions to us  as well as to all of the other groups.  It was really nice that he took the time to sit through our presentations and give feedback. For the weekend and following week, Kay and I will continue to upload posts to our site with photos and histories. Kayle, Cassie, and Cam are uploading their awesome research write-ups to Google Docs so we can post them on the website. For now, we are progressing very well! And we will set up a meeting with Tim Owens to discuss our awesome map and how to upload it to the UMW Blogs site.

Digital Identity

March 12th, 2012 Written by

Last semester I took an English class, Writing Through Media, and I learned a lot about creating different types of media and  posting online.  Our final project included a digital identity which we created and also edited with some CSS code.  The message that I got out of the Writing Through Media class was that a digital identity is almost like an online resume. It shows the online world a small glimpse of who you are.  So for that class I had to post my resume online as well as projects which I completed for the class. We could also include other work from other classes. So I linked to one of my previous UMW Blogs on the Wright Brothers for my History of American Technology and Culture class.

Dr. McClurken’s digital identity essentially follows with what I discuss above but is a much more complex site. The site gives viewers an insight to his professional life.  He posts about his book, his class blogs, online presence, formal presentations, his c.v., and finally blog posts which he continues to write.

From Dr. McClurken’s site I learned:

–Your online professional identity should be well-organized and not too wordy.  The utilization of links provides extra depth to the site so that he does not have too much information in one place.

–You want to upload information that future employers and others in the professional world would be interested in.

–You must be aware that anything that you publish will be available to the entire online community.  So be careful with what you post and if you can, provide all source material and references.

Digital Tattoo

I learned a lot from the blog on this site.  One post, “What’s your online identity worth?”, reports: “Chow-White told Shaw that, ‘Some of them don’t know the consequences of sharing everything, especially as their digital footprint or digital identity will be walking into the room with them on job applications’” (  This applies not only to a digital identity site that one might create but to everything posted online. This means Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and all other social media sites.  I have heard stories of people who were not offered jobs because of inappropriate photographs or posts on social media sites.  Once it is out there, it is out there for anyone to see.

In my Writing Through Media class, my professor warned us that when obtaining a domain name, we had to be careful in what we chose for several reasons. Many people use their full name as their domain name which can be a problem if the subscription of the domain name expires and is not renewed.  For example, an inappropriate site could use your expired domain name and it would appear in a Google search of your name, which then could send the wrong message to future employers, etc. The post, “Easy Tips for Maintaining a Positive Online Identity”, suggests, “For starters, get into the habit of performing a Google search on yourself every month. It might sound a bit egotistical at first glance, but it’s the best way to know what information is circulating on the web. If there are photos or comments you’d like removed, contact the web site administrator immediately and ask for them to be taken down” (  This is a very smart suggestion, especially to college students who are or soon will be applying for (permanent) jobs.

In her article, “Build a Digital Footprint You can be Proud of”, Rachel Zupek claims, “Luckily, one of the easiest ways to get rid of your digital dirt is to create  digital material of the good kind. Tatum suggests developing your own positive content by creating articles, starting a blog or posting to forums.  As long as you can smother any negative information about you, you should be OK in an initial employer search” (  This should provide some hope to people out there who have “questionable” content on their social media sites. If it looks like they are taking proactive steps to better their online usage, that will look more positive to future employers who most likely will conduct online background checks on job candidates.

The bottom line is to be careful about what you post online.  If there is any question as to whether or not to post something, do not post it.