DH in the Classroom

Learning outcomes that ask students to use writing as an output form of reflection expresses a scholarship of there own for students to articulate their understanding of the material, as well as engages then in written text. Using blogs as the medium in which critical thought is conveyed, according to the site on Web Writing, regarding Writing as Curation. ( http://epress.trincoll.edu/webwriting/chapter/coco-torres/ ) It says, “By building knowledge in digital tools that visualize, organize, contextualize or otherwise curate our course content, students engage with potential audiences in new ways.” Unlike traditional essays and papers that project information toward the instructor only, blogs and digital mediums of thought are communicative towards the instructor, the other students, and often an even larger community of readers that may potentially be interested in the subject matter.

Digital humanities engages learning and development in a way that positions students as teachers, and curators of information, breaking the linear model of the sharing of knowledge. As we learn as students it is also our job to teach, and spread information as well, whether it is on a digital writing platform, or in a more oral form during presentations in the classroom, the spread of information allows students to further critically think about how to convey forms of thought.

Then later on it is discussed going beyond blogging, addressing the practical issues that effect student interaction, such as collaborative or individual work, and how trade offs will affect learning. A list of questions come into play, addressing that type of platforms that will be used and how it will affect workflow, as well as the effectiveness of assessing a different medium outside of traditional scholarship.

I’ve notice that certain types of undergrad classes have already used digital humanities as a stepping stone for learning. During my freshman year I found myself in a class that required students to post about novels we read on Tumblr. This meant creating a student identity on this digital platform as well as commenting weekly on a threat that would be available for the entire class to see, as well as our Professor, as well as regular Tumblr users. The exposure to an audience straightened up my writing and crafted my voice to sound professional when speaking addressing a piece of text. If allowed me as a writer to finally have an audience that existed. This is the same with blogging for certain classes as well. When Professors ask students to reiterate the information that we have ingested it makes us more aware of what we are learning about and why. For certain tasks with the same class that I had to use Tumblr for, we did engage in collaborative efforts and the blending of different voices, the sharing of information and the presentation of knowledge to others was effective.

But when I first started using Tumblr for class I felt like it was extremely unprofessional and to some extent invasive. I had a few Tumblr accounts and I definitely didn’t want my Professor to have an access to that, nor did I want to be exposed to my Professor’s person Tumblr. For me social media was a place of socialization, not of scholarship. At first I was extremely uncomfortable with posting comments, but I had to do it because it was for class. But as the semester moved along I began to understand that my Professor didn’t have any problem with personal accounts, and she wasn’t concerned with regulating or monitoring student opinions or voices online. It was a way for her to reach out to students on mediums that they were must conformable with in a scholarly way.

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1 thought on “DH in the Classroom”

  1. I had similar concerns as you did towards the end of your post when I created a wordpress blog for this course. I have a personal blog site so on purpose I created a separate account on wordpress for digital humanities coursework. But, for me, as a creative writer who delves into some territory that may be considered “inappropriate” or “unacceptable” in an academic realm, I very much try to separate those parts of my life.

    But, you have gotten me to think about how I can share this part of myself with students because they’re not really separate per say. My interests impact my pedagogy and what I do in the classroom so why am I so insistent that I separate that part of my identity? Ahhh, thanks for letting me think about this some more!

    Liked by 1 person

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