Posts in Category: news

High-five! A Gigundo Week of Ginormous Discovery


Let’s just pause a moment and recap what I accomplished this week:

1. set up a new website domain (you’re reading it!)
2. learned smarter ways to search for images on-line (Googlerama)
3. played with Zotero
4. elevated my Twitter game
5. wrestled with Omeka, furrowed my brows at Scalar and Drupal
6. thought about the lack of oral history in architecture
7. was not made to feel better about copyright issues
8. impressed myself with Thinglink and had ridiculous fun with Animoto (my husband, who teaches a woodshop-safety class at our university, requested something that would attract and hold the attention of freshman students)
9. had big fun annotating film clips on YouTube (even if they’re not as immediately pretty as other tools)
10. got dizzy over the thrill of Google Map Engine Light
11. totally rectified an 18th-century map of Philadelphia
12. spent a few hours making a very spiffy StoryMap for my architect
13. crashed and burned with the new install for Omeka

Overall, many more successes than failures–and even the latter have value for defining limits and maybe encouraging re-thinking about the learning (or trial-and-error process) overall.  While I am delighted that I can look back at having learned so much in really such a short amount of time, my work through the weekend did reveal some points of weakness.  First, not everything has really sunk in, and I am reminded how important it is to practice new skills over and over to make sure they are really truly learned, even after an initial success.  Second, as I tried to  build a little project to display my new skills, I found there were aspects of the project that weren’t yet served by my little skill set, or that there were still things that I just don’t know how to do, even if I can imagine them or have seen them working in some other online source.

I am starting week two trying to balance these two main impressions: 1. delight that I know so much cool stuff, and 2. anxiety that I won’t know everything I really need soon enough!

Bonus reflection available at Postcards from Sabbatical-land by clicking here

Thinglink: awkward name, cool tool



These are two quickly-made examples of annotated slides in Thinglink. In the ongoing issue of what digital tools mean for the humanities, I think Thinklink lands on the “show off” side of things–I don’t currently see this as a means for research, but as a way to repackage content for classes in a way that I think would be really engaging for students, this looks like it has lots of potential.

Ugly Duckling

duckI was really really really looking forward to getting my project started today, especially with all the promises that Omeka was super-easy and awesome-intuitive.  Not true!  Maybe after having easy experiences setting up several sites on WordPress in the last years, I expected Omeka to be a souped-up version of what I already know, but more powerful, cooler, maybe even prettier.  Instead it felt clunky, and even by reading the step-by-step instructions, which helped me get a few things set up, I still just don’t have a clear sense of how everything fits together.  Also, it seems that the kinds of things I was counting on to make my project happen are not super-easy or available; or maybe that’s still just yet to be revealed. I ended the day with a sort of half-baked digital draft of something no one would want to look at, let alone use.

Overall, my experience this afternoon reflected those of my first time baking a pie, which was not that long ago.  I am pretty accomplished in the kitchen, but for some reason the skills for fruit pies elude me, and ultimately I think: why bother, when cake is better anyhow?  I’m not willing yet to throw out Omeka like I did with that sad blueberry pie, but I am willing to right now just claim the prize for Ugliest Ducklingest with hopes that this serious case of the uglies will resolve itself into something much more elegant, useful and beautiful in the (hopefully near) future.

image source: click here