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digital history blog for Jennifer Feldhaus

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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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Google Developers Day US – Theorizing from Data

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 24th March 2008

I was really impressed with the video “Google Developers Day US – Theorizing from Data” We’ve all had problems finding information with Google. Part of this is simply because the average person doesn’t know all of the techniques that were talked about towards the beginning of the video. I certainly didn’t, and I consider myself pretty comfortable with computers. While I found it helpful and I got the general gist of it, I also felt kind of dumb while watching it. I had to rewind a few parts because I was sitting there going “huh?”. I realized that there’s just so much that you don’t know about finding information.

Towards the end someone asked the question: How do you measure the difference between finding something and how satisfied people were with the results that they found. This is really interesting to me because it really is hard to measure, and if you can’t measure it how can you improve it?

“The main thing that we learned is that people only give feedback when they’re upset”

I laughed at this because it’s so true.

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wikipedia history pages

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 18th February 2008

I have to write a couple of lessons that deal with Jamestown and the Powhatan Indians for an elementary education class I’m taking. So I figured some related wikipedia pages would be fun to look through. for this post.

The page on the history of Virginia is actually pretty good as far as I can tell. It’s very detailed and sites specific sources. Under the discussion tab, I like idea of being able to rate the pages and discuss what could be added. There were only a few things under the discussion tab for the history of Virginia page. Most changes people wanted to see were pretty minor. The page on the Powhatan people is also fairly good.

Wikipedia is useful for things like finding initial sources, or learning a little about a topic before diving into it. It’s just important to remember that it is put together by people that aren’t necessarily scholars on the subject. As long as you look at it critically, I really don’t see a huge problem with it. ♥

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some random thoughts

Posted by jlfeldhaus on 20th January 2008

Wow, I’m impressed that some people have more than 2 blog posts already (I guess I can include myself in there as well).

And also, am I the only one that find RSS feeds a little creepy? Yes, they are very useful, and I am setting mine up to read other sites, but for blogs in general, the idea that people can see what I’m doing, and when I’m doing it, down to the second, kinda creeps me out a little.

Just a thought. ♥

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