From the unusual room set up to the cutting edge content, the morning session at the American Historical Association conference entitled “Digital Humanities: A Hands-On Workshop” was a unique opportunity for attendees to explore how new technology can enhance the study of history.
Designed as a digital poster session and facilitated by Director of Educational Projects Kelly Schrum, participants were able (and encouraged) to wander through the room and interact with presenters. The large crowd did just that, and were treated to a plethora of new information and ideas about how to use technology in both their scholarly work and their teaching. In addition to academics, the session also attracted teachers, museum administrators, archivists, and other history-related professionals.
The attendees were treated to presentations from several CHNM staff members and affiliated scholars. CHNM Director Dan Cohen presented on the state of scholarly publishing and how new digital methods and venues might alter that landscape. In particular, Cohen discussed PressForward, an effort to aggregate the best scholarship from blogs, institutional sites, and other outlets. Fred Gibbs, Director of Digital Scholarship, spoke about text mining by dispelling myths and soothing fears about its complexity, showing simple but powerful tools for searching and reformatting data for historical research. Patrick Murray-John, Assistant Research Professor, discussed content management systems, including Omeka, and provided tips on building online research projects.
On the teaching front, Jennifer Rosenfeld, Outreach Director for Teachinghistory.org, and Research Associate Debra Kathman, demonstrated history education features and resources designed to enhance teaching at all levels. Research Associate Rwany Sibaja discussed digital storytelling, explaining how to incorporate online tools into teaching and student projects.
Jeffrey McClurken from the University of Mary Washington presented tools for teaching with social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the benefits of blogging as a class assignment.
Dan Cohen, Digital Storytelling
Fred Gibbs, Text Mining
Patrick Murry-John, Content Management Systems
Jennifer Rosenfeld, Teachinghistory.org
Rwany Sibaja, Digital Storytelling
Jeff McClurken, Teaching with Social Media