3 Blogs I Followed (forgot to post!!!)

–       The first blog I decided to follow was called We The Teachers this blog was absolutely awesome. This blog had many helpful ideas and interesting stories posted to it frequently. There were always very cool, “what happened in history today” type posts along with many other posts that were dealing with lesson plan ideas, project ideas and other helpful resources to help any prospective teacher or just anyone surfing the website for some neat history facts.

–       The second blog I followed was The Smithsonian Collection. This blog was very active and had an abundance of useful primary source documents and pictures that were amazing. This blog was very fun to follow because of some of its comic relief posts, for example they featured a post on no shave November and had written about historical figures in the past with the nicest beards and had pictures to show you. This blog also had posts featuring how to contribute to museums for example by digital records and other fun facts about how artifacts made their way into some museums, some even by pulling them out of the dumpsters!

–       The third blog I chose to follow was Gaming The Past. This blog was not as active as the last two but still pretty interesting. This blog offered several reviews on education apps that can be used by teachers and also it offered information on how history and iPads can work together. There are also several posts surrounding the idea of simulation games where you can create a society and build and watch the society grow, or fall. This blog can be very useful for a teacher who is looking to spice up their classroom environment with some fun and new games to grab the attention of their students. 

Final Post

            This class has taught and showed me so many different ways to find and create history using technology and the Internet. It has opened my eyes to many new resources of information that are available to us. I feel like the boot camps were extremely helpful for showcasing new and fun ways that introduced most of us to digital history. Our final project has also taught me a lot. It has taught me how about the difficulties of working with such a large team and how it can be hard to coordinate certain tasks to certain individuals. Also how you cannot rely on your university to supply you with the necessary resources, like access to omeka!! There is not much that I would change for this course except maybe making sure the university can accommodate our needs in completing the project.

            To do history digitally means something completely different to me now. Before this class I may have just passed off digital history as something as simple as history on the Internet. But this is not even close to the truth. Digital history is a special and unique form of history that is both new and collaborative. Digital history allows for the user to take part and control the history; rather than the people providing the platform controlling it, it is now the people of the platform that control the history. Doing this it encourages people to contribute and make their own history, so in a way it is like individualizing history. This new way of learning and creating history is only at the beginning and will continue to grow and become more widely recognized and has the potential to change history for the better!!

final blog

Going into the class I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  When I saw “Digital History” I assumed we would be going over advances in technology through the years (or something of that sort).  I’m really glad it didn’t turn out to be that!  I really enjoyed the class.  I liked the bootcamps and learning about sites like HistoryPin.  Going to the Special Collections and looking at all the old sports photos and records was really cool.  I’m glad we chose to focus on the football team and their history especially since the football team is currently making history with their success now!  Being a web technology and applications minor I found in interesting when we discussed user experience.  I knew you wanted your site fairly simple to navigate but I never really thought about organizing the set up a history/library site.  I think for my blog posts I could have put a little more effort and didn’t rush through them as much.

Final Post

Being a history major with an it minor this class provided me with many fundamentals in both areas.  I learned what is currently being used in the field and how to operate one.  I experienced the feel of a professional setting by collaborating with my peers on a project.  The benefit of knowing what others are doing out there allows me to take something to what lies ahead in my career.   

If I were to alter the course in any way I would try have spent more time in Photoshop.  That is a personal choice because I feel that my skills are lacking due to inexperience.  Also the inability to access Omeka hindered our class but that is not your fault and shows what can happen. 

For the subject of digital history this class is greatly beneficial because the subject is at such an infancy.  I had to petition to have the class count for my minor.  I feel this class satisfies my minor requirements and needs to be mandatory for history majors.  Digital history is growing at a rapid pace.  With history lying in print the ability and need to preserve and digitize records is essential in todays society.

The best thing I took from class was the hands on ability to digitize photos.  Graduating in a matter of days I am very grateful to have experience with digitizing photos.  Distinguishing between TIFF and JPG, resizing the photo, and saving your results may be small and insignificant but to some but they are necessary.  Also the amount of material to work with was exceptional.

I thoroughly enjoyed this class and thank everyone for a pleasant experience.            


Final Blog Post

To me, learning about digital history is of critical importance. We are living in an age where technology is beginning to dominate all aspects of life, from Ipads in schools, to new historical visualizations that allow us to analyze a historical event in a different way. To me, Doing history digitally entails adapting these new technological advancements, and applying them to the field of history. An example would be making a 3D timeline of the 1920’s in order to make it more understandable and user friendly. Throughout the many bootcamp and blog assignments I learned how to use theses technological advancements to my advantage.

As a secondary education major, I know how important it is going to be to possess these skills so that I can apply them in the classroom effectively. To be honest, when I first selected this class my advisor was not 100 percent sure what it entailed, which made me nervous. Despite my nervousness I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Through the Omeka project, I learned so much about West Chester’s football history, such as where the mascot came from and how the marching band and cheerleading started.

Professor Smucker was a great instructor, she was so knowledgeable on the subject that she was able to convert the subject matter into material that was easier to understand. The only thing I would change about the class would be to find a more reliable site then Omeka, with better user support. I now follow interesting history blogs, which is not normally what I would have done in the past. I am also an avid twitter user, through the using twitter for historians bootcamp I learned that you can even use twitter to find other historians through hashtags. With the digital era that we live in, and technology taking over the classroom, it is important that upcoming teachers learn how to integrate it into the classroom. 

Final blog post

As I sit here, simultaneously blissful about the snow day and distraught over the anxiety of finals week, I reminisce about last semester when I was choosing my Fall classes. “Digital history” was a suggested course for my Web Technologies minor, and would also count towards my History credit. I was hasty to secure a spot for myself in the class without really reflecting on what I’d be getting myself into. Upon consideration, I assumed the class would be the chronological timeline of technology; which, I guess wouldn’t have been the most BORING topic, but it sure would have been nothing to write home about.

Fortunately to my surprise, the course turned out to be so much more. It was not a predictable, mundane history course explaining how computers were made, but instead an innovative retrospective on how the internet and digital media can shape how we see and record history, which we were able to experience first-hand. The course helped to strengthen my perspective on unity that society creates through technology like the world wide web. The integration of the blog was really neat. I felt very comfortable to type whatever I wanted without being restricted by formality. My creativity strives in that kind of casualness and for some students that’s how they’d prefer to write – so I appreciate the blog posts being handled so open-mindedly. The bootcamps were an interesting opportunity to share topics that we feel knowledgeable about, or learn about something that may be unfamiliar. Wiki Commons and Flikr will be my go-to source for copyright-free material in the future.

I believe it’s very important to familiarize yourself with the digital era if you’re a historian. There has never been a more predominant time than now where technology serves as a medium for information. Taking this class will definitely open your eyes to the many different possibilities and advantages that technology and the internet has to offer people.

Historical Visualizations

Visualizations are a helpful for understanding things at a deeper level. When it comes to history, you can read about topics but not really understand the complete picture or full significance of the material. I thought this World War II visualization would be a perfect way to show what I mean. For all the time we all spend learning about this war and its significance, we intake so many facts, names, dates, locations, etc… It is almost impossible to take in all of that information and process it and relate it all to each other, or at least very difficult. While I studied this war in high school, I understood that there were casualties on both side of the war, military lives and civilian lives. What gets lost in the translation between reading the numbers and showing the numbers can be explained with visualizations. For instance this one. This visualization, although very simple, sends a very clear message. While we mostly learn about the deaths of military lives and the large numbers that are involved, sometimes we overlook the devastation done to the civilians of those countries. The one unbelievable thing that this visualization shows is the fact that over half of the casualties lost during this war were allied civilians. Another crazy fact that this shows is that after all of the fighting that occurred, the allies suffered 3 times as many casualties as the axis powers. Visualizations really send the point home.