The readings we talked about on our last day of class mainly focused on digital citizenship and things such as age of consent to be online. These readings made me primarily think about my internet footsteps. One thing that immediately pops into my head are the ads on Facebook that pop up. They have a lot of information to use just by your online info. It can be a little frightening. Just the other day one popped up trying to sell me a shirt that was a combo of being a Harry Potter fan and being born in October?! That’s creepy to me. It makes you wonder, how much of our digital presence is being monitored? I’m afraid the answer is all of it. These readings have made me consider rethinking what all I do online. I think now and in the future we must be more cautious of what we put out there. The data about us online can affect future jobs or any number of things in a negative way.
The next reading that really made me think is “What if Social-Media becomes 16-plus?” This article explores restrictions on the internet involving age. This one really made me think. We want children to be protected and safe, but also informed. Children also have a right to privacy as well. At one point the author talks about how some young adults may desire privacy to look into things such as abuse or sexual health. I would love for them to have access to this information, but it’s very complicated to just pick and choose. At first I kind of decided that it should be up to the parents. If you desire to monitor your kid’s activity online that’s up to you. But that won’t protect all of them. I wish there was a better way to check age on websites besides just clicking on over 18, but I cannot think of one. Plus that doesn’t take into account all the items online that don’t ask this question but should. Even Facebook can be inappropriate at times. Then you have to consider that most young teens are most likely better with technology and could just hide what they are really doing from their less adept parents. You could frequently check your child’s digital history and still know nothing. When I first started this article I had firm ideas about ages and the internet. By the time I was done I was completely at a loss for a solution to this issue.
All of these articles actually made me think deeper. They also made me realize that I have not been thinking critically about issues such as this. Like my online presence. I always thought I was careful on social media. These readings have made me realize that I might want to be more responsible in my activities online. Especially if it could come back to haunt me.
The process of creating a website is difficult. I knew it would be when I first started this course, but I had no idea how hard. I for one am not great with technology. I do not enjoy social media as much as my peers. I would much rather read some fiction then get online and browse Facebook or post my personal thoughts or information online. That being said, the tools we have used have been fairly simple to use. I think the struggles mainly came from combining history and technology. Having to use these new tools to display history is where it gets tough. I created the timeline for our project and it was a labor of love. Trying to give enough information without making it bland can be tough. Then you have to actually know how to publish it to the web and fix the formatting, and other little problems. Such as having that classroom background a few slides in. Took me a while to understand that issue.
Another problem that arose was sticking to the contract. It can be difficult to develop a contract when it feels like you just started on your website. Our contract was good but it was more of a living thing then we originally were able to foresee. The division of work remained the same but the direction we went with the website had to be rethought a little. It was difficult to focus on a timeframe of twenty years when wanting to show the entire history. We tried to put more of an emphasis on those years, but it was hard. I gave it a shot on the timeline, but you can’t exactly tell that the 60s and the 70s was the focus. One of my other problems was underestimating how long it would take to scan the images and build a workable timeline. I loved working on the timeline, and honestly the pictures were kind of fun too but it was all time consuming. This led me to spend less time on the reference page and on my final page on dance in the festival. That one was also a problem because I could not think of a good way to display the information I wanted.
I am definitely glad I had this class before taking more classes in the history department though. The department is definitely moving towards using more technology like timeline js and thing map. I have actually been able to use these tools, get feedback and gain a new appreciation of digitizing history. I am not perfect at these things, but I am learning. Before building this website I did not understand technology nearly as much. Now I can actually say I know how to build a website! I can use this information to help me graduate and in real world situations. I plan on being a librarian, so this is the kind of stuff that can really help me in that career. Plus I feel like I have a leg up on other Historians in school. I have had a class on digitizing history. It has already come in handy in other classes. My Historians craft class was made much simpler by understanding timeline js. This class is a way of bringing history into the future.
I have always had a problem with learning foreign languages. Especially when it comes to the grammar. Memorization is not that hard if I put my mind to it, but learning the grammar is a struggle. Last semester I took German 1, and I passed it. Not because I was good at it, but because the class was set up in such a way that it was fairly easy to breeze through. This semester not so much.
At the beginning of this semester I started German 2. It was without a doubt harder. She expected us to take quizzes every few weeks on the grammar and the vocab. For the first quiz I only studied for a day or two, and surprise surprise, I failed it. I think I made a 64. Ouch. But, this failure taught me that I could not just cruise through this class to pass. I had to actually work at it this time around. Something I wish I had realized last semester so I would not have started so behind this semester. But, it’s too late for that. After the horrible failure of that first quiz I started to work much harder. I tried to listen better in class, take better notes, and participate and ask questions. I started to study the grammar every night for at least a couple of hours, and I slowly started to understand it better. I work as a waitress, so during the slow times at work I started to study my vocabulary. By the time the next quiz rolled around I had a strong grasp of the vocabulary and I at least vaguely understood the grammar. Like I said, it is my weakness. Yet, I came to class as prepared as I could be and I passed the quiz with an 86. Not the best grade in the world. But for me, in this class that I hate because I am not good at, that was a 110. My failure taught me that I had to work harder and stop coasting. It taught me that just because I was not naturally good at something did not mean that I could not learn it. Its been rough having this class, but I have learned some German, and I have learned from the class over all. Our failures are valuable. They teach us in a way that success without failure never could. Without failure to compare it to, success would not taste as good. Just like happiness. Without sadness being happy would mean less.
So this meeting was difficult. I personally found it hard to communicate because we have the history background, and they have the computer knowledge. We basically decided on a game prototype for both groups. We need to give them our research so that they can do their games. I am excited to see what they will do, but nervous as well. I am worried that one of our groups will have a hard time taking on what they intend to and being respectful of the history. The team in question had proposed at first to do a dance tutorial. But when we saw them friday they were on a completely different path then that and when I mentioned it they seemed to think it was my idea, but it was theirs. So I do feel like we have a challenge ahead. They now want to create a body to walk through an exhibit like situation. I do not mind this idea but they wanted to make the body take on characters that would be on our roll call list. I do not think this is a good idea. It will end up offensive considering that their body walking through does not look that much like a human. I have tried voicing these concerns, so hopefully they have taken them to heart and the end result will be a nice mesh of our ideas and project.
So for this blog we had to read two chapters in our online textbook, read these two web pages, and pick two digital archive websites to look at. Chapter 3 in the textbook had some interesting information in it. I had not yet considered the economics behind starting digital archives. I think this is because we have received our website for free (thanks UNCA!) But I do understand when the chapter talks about the work involved in digitization. Their is a lot to do, even if it is a small archive. Just putting the data in is hard, but you also have to consider things such as your audience and the websites set up and ease of use. This was reiterated when I reviewed two of the websites listed. I looked into Criminal Intent and Famous Trials. When I played around with Famous Trials I was impressed. I loved the set up of this site. It has a great home page that is not too busy, and it was super easy to use. Their was a wealth of info that was easy to access. But the Criminal Intent website I did not like. Its format and purpose was quiet confusing to me. I did not understand how to use it after a few minutes and I gave up. I would be upset if my digital archive was set up like this. It needs to be easier to use. If I had to create a digital archive I would want it to be fairly straight forward and easy to use. This way it would not only be useful to digital history types, but to all sorts of scholars.
One issue to consider with digitization is data. You can either digitize everything, or pick and choose, which is hard to do. That has been one of our problems with the MDFF project. We still need to lessen what all we digitize because we just do not have the time to digitize everything that we would like. You want to have good strong information, but you also don’t want to overwhelm with the more mundane bits or the website will be less appealing to an audience. One thing chapter 3 discusses is the cost of digitizing as a negative when digitizing. Unfortunately this is hard for me to comprehend because I have been provided all of my tools free of charge. But I do appreciate that this comes into play. I did find it amusing that their was a section devoted to outsourcing the work. I understand now how some of these bigger archives get things digitized, they get help. It can be tedious doing what we are doing, and sometimes overwhelming. So much information and you are in charge of picking and choosing what is needed most. It is fun and rewarding, but it does feel like a big responsibility.
Digital archives can be a rich source for finding information, but they can also have problems. Not everything is necessarily digitized on every subject. But what is there can be more accessible. Like the readings say, you don’t have to travel to obtain the information you need, as long as it is digitized and as long as you can find it. Which is a problem as well, but that is a problem no matter if the info is digitized or not.
Well this week we had a reading about a 13-year-old girls life, and another about the six key digital identities. The reading about the preteen was a bit disturbing honestly. It made me sad to think that that’s what kids that age are doing now. At that age I had MySpace, but it wasnt a huge deal. You fiddled with it when you were bored and alone. It wasint something you worried about constantly. It was something to pass the time and that was about it. I played with my friends. We actually interacted in person and didnt rely on the web for the majority of our social interactions. I enjoy technology to a certain extent, but it’s getting ridiculous. Many people would be very upset if they couldnt check their digital world daily, and that is sad.
The other reading was a look into the six digital identities that Bonnie Stewart has noted. I fully believe each person can have more than one of these, and Bonnie says herself that they can. I’m not exactly sure which I would fall into. This word press site of mine is the most interaction I have online. I have a Facebook but I probably spend ten minutes or less on it a day. Some days I don’t even look at it. But I keep it so that I can keep in touch with people. I also keep it because it can be funny. It is a form of entertainment, but right now I dont have a lot of spare time that needs filled with that kind of entertainment. I usually have a book on me or one downloaded on my kindle app for my phone. To me facebook and other online things such as twitter and snapchat can be a waste of time. I like that I have twitter for history purposes, but I think I will leave it at that. Too much time spent on the internet can’t be that good for you. We need to live in the real world as well. Its like tv, its fun, entertaining and can be informative, but it’s not good for you all the time.
My post probably didnt go into the six digital identities very much. I got on my soapbox for a minute, but im gonna leave it at that.
For the past couple of weeks we have been working on our contracts for our projects. We meet up as a group with Dr. Pearson on Friday last week. I’m glad we did! Our group was fairly vague in our original contract, but Dr. Pearson gave us some valuable feedback and helped us to realize that we needed to make our contracts more concrete. We needed to divide the labor and narrow down our projects focus. So that’s what we have been doing. I think we have a better picture of what we want our site to include. The contract has actually helped us to develop our ideas for our project, and to set some guide lines. I don’t know about every body elses team, but our team has realized we need to have our research finished by Spring Break. I hope our finished contract gets a good approval from Dr. Pearson, fingers crossed. This version is much more sound me thinks.
This week I am a little confused as to how to blog. I went to a couple of Wikipedia History pages and I think I found the history and discussion tabs. That being said, it was still hard to understand the assignment. Some of the history pages had a few interesting posts on the talk tab. For example, I looked up the sinking of the Titanic. One of the posts in the talk tab is about a fire on the Titanic. Their is a theory that a fire on the Titanic contributed to the sinking. I had never heard of this before so it was actually quite fascinating. The history tab is something else. I guess it is some sort of record of all the edits and work put into the page. I am not great with technology, so this part of the assignment was less than thrilling for me. It was kind of neat seeing how often people have worked on it. Just in January of this year their was around 35 entries of when work was done on this website. I think it shows all the times people posted on the talk tab as well, but im not sure. Needless to say this assignment was actually pretty interesting if you went to the right history sites.
I’m not sure how to share my timeline, so I hope this works. The main thing I had a problem with was doing a google map. I’m not positive that I did exactly what was needed in this assignment. That being said it was fun using timeline, I look forward to dealing with it more, especially now that I know the basics.
Today was the last day of meeting with our computer programming groups until after Spring break. So far we are all getting along and doing a good job of bouncing ideas off of each other. We are considering doing a dancing tutorial game. So far we have yet to divide up work or nail down our specific topic, but we are getting there. We have discussed focusing on Bascom Lamar and today Catherine mentioned focusing on women involved in the festival. This idea is very fascinating to me and I would like to look into it and see if it’s a viable idea. We have settled on meeting as a group on Tuesdays at 8:15 am. We will also take individual time to research. I will probably do most of my research on Mondays and Thursdays. We are still discussing going to Mars Hill, but we are not positive if we need to. I believe our computer groups do want to take a field trip, so this is something we need to think on more.
Wednesdays class was very exciting. I really enjoyed looking into all the digital tools at our disposal. Some of them I am eager to use, and others not so much. For example I don’t think we will use Story Map JS. It doesnt seem relevant to our particular project. I also dont see us using Time Mapper. But I love the idea of using Timeline JS, Juxtapose JS and Thing Link. We could use Timeline JS to make a timeline of Bascom Lamar and add a google map of his birth place or where he went ballad catching. I am also stoked to attatch videos or use sound cloud. Plus you can use Juxtapose JS on Timeline so thats awesome. I would also love to use Thing Link, that was the most interesting tool to me. Especially if we can use Thing Link on Timeline JS. That would be my ideal use of Thing Link. I am looking forward to using all of the above on our website.