Making it Happen

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Published in: |on April 30th, 2008 |Comments Off on Making it Happen

Article Assignment

I found the articles that I chose to read quite interesting and made me really think about digital history and how it not only affects students, but teachers.

       In her article, Doing History in the Digital Age, Barbara Weinstien discusses her journey through teaching in parallel to technology and how it has evolved. In the beginning, she scowled upon technology and felt that pictures and powerpoints took away from the professionalism of a decent history lecture. Yet, eventually she began to incorporate such visuals inot her lectures with the positive influences that the digital world had on her. When it comes to lectures, I do not mind either or. Sometimes proffessors can use powerpoint way too much and then I lose focus and what is important. And sometimes there can be a professor that is so dull that I just need the pictures. There are sBarabara came to love email as well as google scholar. She discussed how wonderful it was to have primary sources at the click of a mouse. However, I also understood an issue that she noticed. Even though the interent is able to open our communication and our options- the interent can negativly focus us also. Ms. Weinstein became an editor for a magazine and discussed editing online. She also discussed the issues of newpapers and magazines being online. Readers begin to scope and just read one specific article, instead of having the hard copy in hand and skimming all articles and features. This is something I even find myself doing. In my thea435 class, we are asked to read the New York Times and Washington Post style and arts sections and bring topics for discussion. When reading the actual hardcopy, I am able to scope the newspaper and get a better grip on all the articles. However, online I find myself being extermely scoped and focused and scoped on one article- which can at times hinder class discussion. I was impressed that I was able to synthesize this article to some classes other than digital history.

Experimental History in the Class Room by Martha Hodes was also really interesting and unique. Reminding me of Dr. McClurken and our class- she was willing to take risks and experiment with assignements and discussions. In the article she discussed her class that was focused on experimental history (reading and writing it). She said the intergration of film, pictures, and important websites were extremely helpful for her course. The students were also required to write a research paper that could be written experimentally. She wrote that one of her students wrote a screenplay on Margaret Fuller. It is fascinating how history can be so creative and the class seemed awesome!

The blog site, The Age of Lincoln, is really interesting and quite unique. It is a blog site devoted to giving credit to sources that helped the creation of the book. The site gives brief info on the actual book, author, and publisher, but is devoted mainly to notes and sources. I have never seen a site like this before. The notes and sources section navigates by chapter. The author then goes through each source and note and discusses what was helpful and informative woth each source. It is an extremely dedicated and thoughful way to give credit to sources and other authors.

Published in: |on April 7th, 2008 |Comments Off on Article Assignment


So this weekend I have been cleaning up the slide show, transcribing Monroe’s 3rd letter in the volume and getting text ready to put up under the James Monroe family section of the website. Andrea and I met Friday to start uploading to Omeka. As we are uploading there seems to be a problem with the batches. I am getting a little confused so I guess the next step is going to the IT folks unless the group can figure it out. I am getting extremely frustrated. I thought I knew a lot about computers taking computer science and being pretty savy with technology. But obviously I am quite amateur at all this. I am also, like Kelly , getting annoyed with pushing things back. I want this to get done. I am eager to get it finished and for some reason I feel like it is not getting up on its feet which is making me very nervous. I really want to finish this. I feel that we are behind and not with it. I try and keep things together and sometimes I just get a little nervous it will not be done. The websites look great and I am doing all I  can to get this project up- but- I am losing patience with it.

When I started this course, I was so looking forward to doing the Monroe project. I was and still am considering him as a section of my senior 435 thesis- but I did not expect the project to be what it is. I do not know- I thought it would take a more historical aspect. I am so enjoying transcribing. I wish we could have time to do more- it is a lot of fun. The scanning was also fun – but as time approaches I just feel uneasy.

Published in: |on March 30th, 2008 |3 Comments »

More of the website done

Hey all,

I have also started adding info on the monroe and his family page: check it out!

Published in: |on March 20th, 2008 |2 Comments »

James Monroe Website

Thanks to all the questions and comments of the class this morning, the website header has been appropriately changed. Also, I have done to about page. Take a look and let me see what you think..

Thanks all!

Published in: |on March 20th, 2008 |Comments Off on James Monroe Website

Movie Maker and Website

So, I created a draft of the slide show on movie maker. It seems to be going smoothly I just need to figure out more appropriate music other than ode to joy though. I also created the website for the JMP through umwblogs. There seemed to be a dispute over where our website should be- but all has been resolved.

I am also quite nervous about the umwblogs as being the structure of the website. I do not want it to look like a blog and I just want to make sure that it does not look like one. I know that we can utilize the page format and that is something I will take advantage of- I am still trying to get the structure down.

Next Wednesday we are planning to meet with Dan Preston to talk about transcriptions and the format of everything. I am looking forward to transcribing letters. We have each chosen one letter to transcribe. I just like doing this because even though I do enjoy technology- I just like to go back to basics.

Right now, I am just continuing to get this website up and looking as professional as possible .

Published in: |on March 20th, 2008 |1 Comment »

The JMP Website

Other than the breakdown, there has been a lot of things I have been thinking about regarding our website. I created a “website” on wordpress. We have to transport it to UMW which is understandable. I am not sure that wordpress is the best choice anymore. OMEKA is good for artifacts, but for an interactive website I am not sure what to use at the moment. I have continued to research and have come up with a few ideas but I am not sure which is best. Any Ideas? I came up with: There is weebly which looks pretty similar to wordpress but that are more options, wordpress, omeka- but I feel like we need something more.

Any Ideas?

Published in: |on March 13th, 2008 |Comments Off on The JMP Website

Breakdown for the JMP website…

It seems that the group is not on task one hundred percent. I think we all want something different out of the website and I think it would be appropriate to start a break down on the blog. In class today, we were all talking about the website and I just feel like we are going around in circles because we are all worried what each of us thing. I am a get in there and get your hands dirty type of person. I do not like tip toeing around and I really want to get the ball rolling….

The Website:

The about Page: James Monroe Biography-  Birth, schooling, politics, family, france,death. Also the movie maker slideshow

France: Synopsis of his dealings and interactions with France

Scanning: Scanned documents

Timeline: Link

Bibliography: also include an about the creators section.

Published in: |on March 11th, 2008 |2 Comments »

WIKI Pages

So I have looked at a few wikipedia pages that regard historical figures. I feel like history has a lot to do with major events etc…but I love studying the people more. So the first site I looked at was a Queen Victoria Wikipedia page. I was really interested to take a look at the dicussion page! In the pop culture section, an editor pointed out that everything seems to trivial and there is not a lot of biograpghical info on Queen Victoria. I thought that was an excellent point. There are so many sources out there on Queen Victoria (believe me I have lots!) and it was nice for someone to mention that! There were also mega debates over her name. Whether she should be called monarch, queen, Alexandra Victoria. These seem to be really insignificant when scanning the discussions, but when I think about it- these details are crucial! We have to think carefully about every word we are to publish on a website…maybe something to think about. The history tab was also something important to take a look at. The most recent was a proposal to change her name….that debate has been taking so long that there are no new changes since Feb. 3
I also took a look at the Battle of Bull Run. In the discussion tabs there was also a dispute of names and nicknames of the battle and proposals of new names. There was also a section of clarification for the purpose of the battle and questions over the strategic moves of the battle. When looking at the history section of the wiki page- there is a lot of DRAMA! Someone cussed an editor out and then the wiki page reffered it back to the previous so the profanity was taken  out… Um it is just a battle! 🙂
A final history page I looked at was the wiki page of James Monroe. In the discussion section there was a variation of pros and cons. Some said there were not enough citations and people were confused of where sources came from. This is an extremely important factor that both the offical JMP website and our own website needs to take into consideration. I really want our group to keep a running list of sources just so it is not so overwhelming at the end. Others were picky over little words like secretary of state. This is another example of how specific the web content needs to be. The history page reviewed different proposals for change. The last update was Feb 8.

I think it is extremely important to look at the discussion pages and I have never thought to look at them before. People are constantly updating and challenging over the content of the wiki pages. Also, the continuous editing and updating is quite interesting. I think that looking at the pages make me realize that content is really really important. I do not want anyone challening the info we put on our sites…so we need to be mindful of that!

Published in: |on February 18th, 2008 |2 Comments »

A Fear of Blogging and A Fear of this Project

Hello all,

how long has it been…like 3 weeks!? Well to be honest, blogging has been on my mind for a while. I am actually quite nervous what to write and what to write about. So I am just going to start writing about the project.

This project has made me do a double take. First of all, we went from 1 to 2 websites…I do not think that is a huge deal. But that is more work to do and more sources of technology to figure out. Why did I even choose this project as my first pick!? Well, I liked the idea of James Monroe because I have studied him in the past- also I love looking at historic documents. I really got into that in my 299 class. I am actually doing the same for European Diplomatic history this semester. My research essay is taking a look at Queen Victoria and the peaceful diplomacy she attempted to keep between countries with the marriage of different monarchies. It is a great research essay. This project however, is giving me nightmares!

Our group at the moment is really taking to use google docs. Everything we do to communicate with eachother is through google docs and email. I wish we could just actually meet more. I feel like we get so much more done when we are in class for fifteen minutes than we do when we are trying to do it over the internet and when we are seperate. I am not blaming anyone- I am just saying it would be more time efficient in my opinion. As a double major in theatre and history- it is fair to say I am a lot more in the theatre realm than the history one. I play such a large part in the theatre department. I am the marketing and communications assitant for the department, currently in main stage show, and taking an intense 400 level course where we are to create a digital story after our 2 week trip to New York during spring break. Yes, I would love to be a curator of a museum and be surrounded by thousands of archives and artifacts- but this is not my passion. I find it hard to juggle both history and theatre…If I am not in Monroe…My head is in theatre. (Except when I am doing history homework).

This project is stressing me out. I think about it a lot…but I feel helpless in what I can bring to the table. I am great with digital media(my brother and I always made movies and did the youtube and windows media player thing)…but uploading documents and creating a structure for a website is making me nervous. The JMP group seems to be talking about everything but we are not starting yet. It is making me nervous. I really want to go on Omeka and start creating one of the websites..but because this is a group project it is taking time to get the websites on their feet. I do not want everyone to think that our group project is a disaster…but I have had a lot of these nerves and feelings for a long time and that is why I did not want to blog. Yea, i want to discuss the tools and the research…but I needed to get this off my chest.

Published in: |on February 17th, 2008 |3 Comments »