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digital history blog for Jennifer Feldhaus

Archive for April, 2008

Reflection

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 23rd April 2008

I chose the historical marker group because, for me, it was the project that had the clearest vision for a beginning, middle, and end. I knew right away what I was getting myself into, maybe not how much work I was going to have to do, but I knew at least what I would be doing. I do not regret my decision at all. I learned so much from this project, not only more about Fredericksburg than I ever cared to know, but how to present that information in a way that anyone could read it on the web and understand its significance.

Honestly, I did not meet all of the deadlines that our group contract specified as far as research, nor was I the only one. In the beginning, it was hard for all of us to judge exactly how long the research aspect of the project was going to take, and for my part, I did underestimate how much time it was going to take to get everything suitable to put onto the website. That being said, I did complete all of my research on the twelve markers assigned to me in enough time as to not effect the members of the group that were assigned to edit the contents and bibliographies of those pages. My late marker posts did not set back work that was to be completed by other members of the group.  Though I did not make every deadline, I made sure my group members were aware of why I did not make the deadline, and I also informed them when things were going to be posted.

Early on, we decided that myself and one other group member would handle more of the technology because we were more comfortable with that aspect. I started by making the image header for the website. Later, I formatted the text on the welcome page, added links to it, and broke parts of it into the separate ‘acknowledgments page’, and ‘other digital history projects’ pages to make it look less like a research paper and more like a website. I added, formatted, and organized the categories found on the left side bar and figured out how to make the search bar work for only our site contents. I also added links to the timeline and formatted the ‘About us’ page and edited the photo of us on that page.

As a group we did have problems with different work ethics and some group members did contribute more to the overall project than others. Other than that, I feel like the majority of us were good at communicating with each other. We had frequent email relays when there were problems or questions, and all of us were willing to have group meetings, sometimes once a week, in order to get things accomplished.

I’m extremely proud of our group as a whole and I think it turned out better than I ever expected. We put a lot of work into this project and I think that it really shows when anyone looks at our website.

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Done?

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 21st April 2008

So I’m officially at the point where I just need to back away and let it go. If I don’t, I’ll be making changes to the site and my marker posts all night. I’m so proud of my group and our site.

By the way, I wish I could post our groups string of emails just from today. I think I have one thread that’s 9 or 10 emails long. I’m curious about how other groups are doing as far as finishing up for tomorrow.  Maybe I really don’t want to know.

It has been a very long semester.

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Marker: presentation outline for creativity day

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 16th April 2008

Presentation

  1. Why our project is significant/what we’ve done with the markers (Amy-first 3, Whitney- last 2)
    1. What Digital history was about
    2. Our objective with this project
    3. Format- online presentation of the markers
    1. Only site/book that provides categorization and further research on each of the markers
    2. Provide those interested with more places to look for information
  1. What the markers actually are (who/what) (Elle)
    1. Picture
    2. explain who puts them up- Department of historic resources
  2. organization of our website (Shannon-first 4, Jennifer-last 3)
    1. navigation- organization of categories/tags/tag cloud
    2. links-who we are linking to and (pull up pages that link to us)
    3. show about us page
    4. timeline
    1. research- 70 markers, each of us researched form 10-15 markers
    2. photos- where we got them, some are common pictures found on websites, and some where actually taken by Amy and Elle. They went to several sites and took pictures.
    3. further reference- interested in finding out more about the subjects or anything related you can use these resources
  1. show marker pages/sample page (all)
    1. each person shows an example of their best page,
    2. explanation includes brief discussion of

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article discussion for tuesday

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 7th April 2008

Blogging for your students by David Voelker

 a result, I have noticed that their comments are more thoughtful and substantial than they usually are in walled-off online discussions

I completely agree with this. I’ve used blackboard as a discussion board for classes before and it’s a completely different atmosphere. It’s hard to care about what you’re actually posting when only the other people in your class are going to read it. Especially because they care equally about the contents, which, in most cases, is not at all.

 On our website for historical markers we have a statistics bar that tells you how many unique visitors you have for the site. Our site has been up for only a week and we already have 200+ visitors. I think a lot harder about what I’m actually saying when I know people outside of the same 20 people that are in all of my classes are going to read it.

 The main point of this article is that blogging is good because enables us to better interact with each other. Interaction leads to better learning. It presents basic information for someone that has never blogged, or had their students blog before.

 James Farmer, founder of Edublogs, recently enjoined educators…

I can’t be the only on that was really distracted by that…

Doing History in the Digital Age by Barbara Weinstein

 The part where she was describing how she found a citation for a book using Google in 5 seconds for a friend reminds me of a few conversations I’ve had with my grandparents. They always seem to be in awe when it takes me 10 seconds to find map directions, or restaurant phone numbers, or store hours of operation. I always want to tell them that it really isn’t magic. Sometimes I show them, and they still think it’s weird that the computer can be used for more than playing endless games of Solitare and freecell.  I guess that’s the difference when you grow up attached to a computer.

I have never really stepped back and considered how much my work process has changed over the last two decades.

 This made me think about how my work process will change in the NEXT two decades…

 but it does have the potential to leave us all feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what’s available out there.

It is really scary to think about how much stuff is really out there, it’s also very exciting. 

would mean that fewer readers would ever hold a particular issue in their hands and browse it in a way that would lead them to read articles beyond their most immediate interests

 That’s what random searches on wikipedia are for. On a more serious note, I don’t agree that reading articles online doesn’t allow you to broaden your interests.  I think I’m as likely to read an article from a journal that I don’t care about as I am to read an article on the internet that I don’t care about. Holding it in my hands doesn’t change that.  And sometimes you really have no clue what you’re looking for before you find it. This is when I’m more likely to read something that I wasn’t initially looking for, not when I have a clear idea about what I want.

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