It’s Official.

As of about noon today, I’m no longer a student at The College of Wooster – I’m now a proud graduate. As such, this website, because it was a chronicle of my Senior Independent Study project, will no longer be updated.

Feel free to look around the blog and the website, here.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Well, It’s all over.

First, I successfully presented my research last month at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, and again last Friday at The College of Wooster’s Senior Research Symposium. I presented my website as part of the digital I.S. session, and I received third prize in the Digital I.S. Competition during the Symposium. Oh yeah, I also successfully defended my I.S. a couple of weeks ago to officially complete my project.

The outpouring of support, excitement, and ‘buzz’ the project generated was tremendous. The emails, and comments people have made to me in person, also have been great. People have really latched on to the website and all seem to really appreciate it. The amount of media and discussion it has generated has been amazing too – there has already been one article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and another is forthcoming. I’m also set to be profiled for the College’s website, and interviewed by the Wooster Daily Record as well. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity that is now just starting to settle down a bit.

So, what’s up with the blog? What is going to happen to it?

Well, the blog will stay up as documentation about the process and progress that my project made throughout the year. But, it will not be active anymore, and will mainly be just left up as an archive of the process I went through.

Then, what’s up for me?

Well, I’m going to continue experimenting with digital public history projects and digital humanities. I’m also going to continue blogging, but not here. You can follow me on my Civil War blog, Interpreting the Civil War, and on my personal blog, I have tons of tidbits and such about Wooster history that for one reason or the other, never made it on the website. Hopefully, I’ll find an outlet for them on my personal blog.

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SAA Conference – Sacramento

For the rest of the week I will be attending the SAA annual conference in Sacramento, CA. I’m presenting a poster session on my website. Here is a copy of the poster for anyone who wants to see it here

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The Website is live!

Check it out here!

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Video Mania

Right now I’m in the middle of cutting the videos for half of my website. The Kauke Hall and Frick Hall videos are coming along, albeit slowly. I’m still getting used to imovie, but I am learning more and more each day about it, and I’m getting pretty good at it. In the future, I’m going to try and post a review of my thoughts on using imovie, and my suggestions, hints, and tricks for using it. I am also researching the next part of my website – The story of McGaw and Memorial Chapel.

In other news, I launched two other websites recently. One, my personal website, is going to be the place for all my digital work, resume, and random blogging thoughts.

Just this week, a friend and I also launched Interpreting the Civil War – Connecting the Civil War to the American Public at We plan on using this blog throughout the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War to share our thoughts on the Civil War, public history, and historic site interpretation.

Check it them out, and let me know what you think!

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End of Semester Update

Well, its the final week of the fall semester. Let’s recap what has happened. Instead of going the more traditional route for my I.S., I decided I wanted to create a digital public history project. The purpose of the website would be to host a walking tour of the College of Wooster’s most historic buildings. QR codes posted around the buildings will take visitors, via their smart phone, to my website where they can explore the history of the buildings and what those buildings represent. By this Friday, The Kauke Hall and Frick Hall portions of the website will be ready except for the multimedia content. Next semester, I will jump right in to the McGaw and Severance Art pages. Over the break I hope to finish several of the multimedia parts of the webpage, as well as fill out the rest of the website by finishing auxiliary pages and preparing it for launch.

I have several other goals for winter break as well. I hope to launch my own separate blog and website using WordPress outside of the voices page. I have been planning this for awhile and I hope to have it up and running by the end of the year. I want to be able to have an established website and blog that I can shift gears with after graduation in May. The blog I hope to create is going to focus on the civil war sesquicentennial, public history, and of course, digital history.

I’ll try to post updates about my project during the break, as well as when my personal website goes live.

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The McGregor Project at the College of Wooster

The College of Wooster recently received a grant from the McGregor Fund to create an undergraduate research center at the college. The two-year $250,000 dollar grant was awarded to the college to build upon one of Wooster’s core strengths – its Independent Study Program. The College of Wooster hopes to accomplish several initiatives with the grant. First and foremost, the College wants to better showcase the Independent Study program to the global academic community by having its students engage with scholars around the world throughout the I.S. process. In order to accomplish that goal, The College of Wooster is committed to bringing the I.S. program into the digital age.

To that end, the College of Wooster held a kickoff meeting for the first phases of the McGregor Project on 29 November 2010. The meeting’s purpose was twofold. First, it was to showcase current student and faculty work using digital research and presentation methods (where yours truly presented along with my adviser, Professor Holt) Second, the meeting was also held to start the process of creating digital abstracts for current senior’s Independent Study projects. The College will then create a digital abstracts database of the 60+ volunteers in the pilot group. Because the abstracts are going to be digital, students are strongly encouraged to use digital presentation tools as part of their abstracts. The three digital tools that are suggested for use this year are Prezi, WordPress, and iMovie. The College is starting small with a volunteer pilot group for now, but hopes in subsequent years to build up the project, with the goal being that eventually every senior would create a digital abstract as part of their independent study.

Highlights of the meeting included:

-Carolyn Newton, Provost of the College exclaiming, “We’re taking Independent Study into the digital age!”

-Professor Holt’s presentation on using digital tools for research and sharing it – The Bahian History Project

-My presentation on Twitter and WordPress as a way for students to be part of the larger scholarly conversation on their topic, and as a way to sell yourself (You can find the rough outline of my notes here). I tried to stress that part of using digital media was, “learning how to learn” digitally.

-Larry Stewart, Professor of English at the College going on for 4 decades, stressing that its OK not know what your doing –your not expected too. Have fun with digital media, but he also warned to ensure that in the end, your project, presentation, etc. actually benefits from using digital media tools.

-Instructional Technology and The Writing Center both their showing support as major players in the project. The actual guidelines for the project are posted on the IT’s website here.

I am really excited about this project, and was happy to present my experiences using digital media. In the past year, I have learned so much about digital media and digital humanities. I have made new friends and many professional contacts along the way that has made my jump into the digital media/humanities world a great experience. It is really exciting to see an institution embrace digital media whole-heartedly as part of a campus wide initiative by incorporating it as part of the senior capstone project. The administration, faculty, informational technology, writing center and many more all seem aboard for the College of Wooster’s ride into digital media and scholarship. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

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McGregor Project – Kickoff Meeting Presentation

So I am making a short presentation on my uses of digital Media in research and presentation at the McGregor Project kickoff meeting this afternoon. (for more on the project, check out the news release, here)  What I want to focus on how digital media allows everyone is being part of the larger scholarly debate on subjects in which they are interested  and working on. I am going to tweet the meeting as we go, and use this blog post as my bullet points for my presentation.

A Larger Conversation

Digital Tools are a way to engage in a much larger conversation and world than you can using just paper and pen. how do you present yourself professionally? More importantly, How do you want to present yourself? That is how I approach digital media.

Two types I am going to focus on are:

Twitter – How to become part of the larger conversation

WordPress (what this is) – blogging your way into the discussion

Progress and Process

Both of these tools allow you to see who else is working in your field, what they are reading, and what they are thinking. they are also tools that you can use to engage in that discussion. What are you thinking, reading, working on right now? blog it! tweet it!

It is digital peer review, a support group, or Collaboration (gasp!)

Remember, your an expert in your field! This is especially true with I.S. How many people know more about your exact topic? My public history examples.

After IS

This is a way to sell yourself. Let’s face it – digital abstracts, websites, and movies are way more fun to browse around in then a 60-page paper…This is a way to sell yourself!

Lastly, the “Come to Jesus” talk: Learning how to Learn – Digital Media

Digital media is here to stay. Companies, institutions, government agencies all use digital media. Why not you? Zotero/Wordpress example.

but, (everyone says this) What happens when something newer, cooler comes out/ what then? Get over it!

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Multimodal Components of my Website

So I have decided on using two main products/software to produce my multimodal compositions that are going to be part of my website. I have decided to use imovie to produce my videos of various faculty, staff, and students commenting on the buildings I am studying. Imovie was recommend to me by Instructional Technology as an easy, mostly drag and drop, movie editing software. I can easily upload the short video clips to YouTube and  make them available there as well them being embedded on my website.

The other application I am going to use is Prezi. I talked briefly about Prezi in my last post, here. I think its going to be a great way to produce some presentations to not only document the changes that have occurred to the College of Wooster’s campus, but also to make some interesting arguments about those changes. You can embed sound in the presentations, and it is also easily embedded on websites as well.

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Prezi – Frick Hall Then and Now

While researching my next building for my project, Frick Hall, I am across this short Prezi by Gwen Short, one of the science librarians here at the College of Wooster.

Although I won’t be incorporating Prezis into my website, Prezis are fun digital ways to present information, and they usually blow the standard dull PowerPoint out of the water. It is definitely cool to see others interesting in Wooster history presenting it digitally as well. Anyways, check it out, and think of Prezi next time you need to create a presentation – I think you and your audience with enjoy it much more than PowerPoint.

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