Session Idea: History game logic… specifically based on primary source documents

Learning about history doesn’t necessarily need a game to make it interesting. But if you were to think about an electronic game for middle or high school students that is based on primary source documents, can we identify an underlying logic that could apply to primary sources in general?

Disclosure: I’m not a gamer! So when I say underlying logic I’m thinking about the structure or objective of the game: uncover clues to get to a destination; problem solve in order to achieve a new level; research or add data in order to change an outcome; all the other things I have no idea about. I’m looking for the broad experience of a group to play with this idea.

Session Idea: Online access and education

This idea is similar to the one in Siobhan’s previous post, although I’d like to focus on increasing access and use through education (elementary school through graduate research). Before instructors can build new assignments and rubrics around DH resources, they need to know that these resources exist. How can archivists and digital humanities people do a better job of interacting with various aspects of the education community? Should we skip the instructors and go straight to the students (Facebook ads? Subliminal messages on Jersey Shore?)? Or are there specific programs that archives and digital humanities projects are using to reach out to educators (Weekly educators’ newsletters? Special events for educators?)? And what kind of IT infrastructure has to be in place for these outreach projects to work?


Session Idea: DH in the Classroom: Evaluating Student Work

How do you set up DH assignments in the classroom and evaluate them fairly and effectively? I’m interested in hearing from other professors about their answers to these questions. Do you give students examples and guidelines for writing blog posts? How do you develop and find these? How do you grade posts and comments? How do you decide on grading for DH group work? While grading can seem like a pedestrian concern,  evaluation criteria reflect the goals of DH assignments, communicate to students our reasons for requiring them, and provide us with one important way of assessing their use. I would be grateful for a conversation on the issue.

Session Idea: Supporting Student New Media Publications

One of my summer projects was to survey over 150 student media outlets (newspapers, journals, magazines, radio and television stations) in order to draft a series of “Best Practices” recommendations. In my research I was struck by the relative scarcity of student designed and operated “new media” outlets. The vast majority of college media outlets either feature bare-bones web presences, or contract with pricey external firms like College Media Network or Radiolicious.

Ryan Sholin has insisted that in a post-print and post-network television age, “Reporters need to do more than write. The new world calls for a new skillset.”¹  This new skillset must include new media and transmedia literacy (meaning not only reading, but also writing/designing/coding).

At the same time, one of the very greatest virtues of student media is its autonomy, its separation from classrooms and departments. Student media’s autonomy is what allows it, at its best, to be a laboratory for media innovation.

The question I’m interested in pursuing, I suppose, is how institutions (be they universties or otherwise) can support and facilitate new media innovation without owning it within a classroom space.

¹ Ryan Sholin, “10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head.” Invisible Inkling. June 2007.

Session Proposal: Working With Students Who Have Low Technology Skills

I will propose a session on how to work with technology in the classroom when dealing with students who have low tech skills, which is a big concern of mine heading into fall 2011. How do you handle students who don’t even know how to use even the most basic word processing fundamentals? What kind of websites or apps aide you in helping students? A big question I am concerned about is how this differs from the university to state school to community college level. What can we do as educators to prepare our students for a work force that will require them to know how to use computers?