It’s 3:15 am on a foggy night in the 757, a place I had called “home”, until I graduated high school and fled the state to be a Buckeye (Yes, I’m talking about these Buckeyes), before eventually returning to my humble beginnings and Virginia Wesleyan College. Jury’s still out on this choice I’ve made, but I’m certain to make the most of it, and am making an attempt at documenting one of my courses for the Fall semester through this medium: Digital History.
Now, having signed up for this class, I made the general assumption that class material would pertain to how technology has shaped the course of our history. Through the past two weeks, I have noticed that this class does indeed meet that assumption, just not in the manner in which I thought it would. The way in which we as a class come to understand history from a digital perspective and how technology has shaped history is by understanding exactly what each tool and piece of technology is and how it has worked to create an effective impact on society as we know it. From IMing, to Twitter, and to lesser known tools such as Google Ngram, each tool works as a piece to the puzzle or mosaic that is digital history.
Up through our fourth class, we have discussed the working definition for digital history, had several small presentations regarding numerous digital tools that lie at our disposal, the purpose of digitization, and what audiences we must appeal to (human and inhuman) when working digitally. We have discussed a project that we shall be tasked with later in the semester regarding digitizing the College’s yearbooks, and with the help of one of our very own librarians, come to understand some of the things we must keep in mind when we classify certain images or try to place/search for them digitally. To this point, there’s been plenty of clarity as to what is asked of us, yet in some cases there were spared details as to how to go about completing said tasks. I believe there is a fine line between the lack of explanation allowing for creativity, and the lack of explanation challenging the students to discern for themselves what’s the correct course of action for the sufficient completion of a task. Will this question be answered? Will I settle in and thrive as a transfer student, or will I be cast away by the home environment I once left behind many months ago? All this and more, next week.
Source: Initial Review