Coding exercise

I’d like to introduce my students to coding–not because I’ll expect them to build something from scratch (unless they want to) but basically to demystify how pages are constructed and structured. I could imagine an activity in which they go through the CSS and HTML lesson on Codeacademy as a weekend assignment. During the next class period we would then discuss their experience; perhaps we could also have a web services staff member on hand and then, using Firebug, look at the coding of digital history sites (again to explain and demystify).

Text mining

There will be no sizable body of digitized material for the project that I’m thinking about, so not sure at first blush if text mining will come in. I found myself generally less drawn to the web services and software we learned about yesterday, probably because my work has yet to include a large, digitized corpus that could undergo analysis of that kind. Looking forward to continuing to explore those tools, though, and learning more about the ways other scholars have used them!

Non-textual sources

Our tour of tools and conversation about sound on Thursday inspired me to think especially about course curriculum and ways that I could build assignments around digital projects. I teach an oral history course every year and Audacity or GarageBand would be great for a podcast assignment. I like that that kind of exercise would allow students to learn the tool and also think about interpretation/presentation of the oral history that doesn’t rely on its textual complement, the transcript.

I’m thinking more about using Scalar and Omeka for my own work. I’ve used Omeka for classes and know that it rocks in that way, but I’ve never thought about how I might use it to present a digital portfolio (or does it even make sense for that?) and/or to organize or present my own research (well, I use Zotero). Scalar is especially interesting based on the range of relationships it can visualize in a given body of work. There aren’t any immediate projects in my docket that would be great for Scalar but I’m most definitely going to continue to explore.