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Intro Project Ideas

I’d like to build a tool that would help students learn historical and cultural references in order to strengthen humanities undergrad liberal arts education. Many Freshman don’t know the most basic references of historical figures, myths, objects, monuments, literary references, cultural moments, etc. I see this as an interactive platform, perhaps in a blog/vlog form or in a technology format that I’m not yet versed in and/or that I might design and build.

One of the models for this idea is the 2010 BBC’s Radio 4 series, a “History of the World in 100 Objects” and the 2017-18 MoMA exhibition titled “Is Fashion Modern?” of the 100 most influential fashion items.

I see this tool being of use and value, through this example: I was teaching Media Studies 101 one day and the subject of Iago came up. The class stared at me blankly—no one knew who Iago was, shockingly. So rather than “lecture” them on Shakespeare I asked them to name any other antagonist or “villain” they knew. Silence. So I took it down another notch and asked them to identify an “evil” character or a “nemesis”. Still nothing. Enter the tool I’m envisioning which could be accessed and searched at that moment to bring up Iago, and then other references. Iago could be made to “ping” Shakespeare, Othello, the year/s Othello was written, actors who’ve portrayed Iago on stage and on film, and additional cross references.

I’m interested in learning and exploring Twine for this project idea, and recently, Omeka was recommended to me for it also.

These are my initial thoughts and conceptions, and I look forward to exploring them toward building this.

2 thoughts on “Intro Project Ideas”

  1. Thanks for posting your preliminary project brief, Carolyn, and for showing us your initial Moments & Things site. We’re glad you’re thinking on the pedagogical goals and uses for this tool, and suggest that you continue to refine the distinction between your project and using Wikipedia in the classroom. We also wonder if there’s a way to bring students’ own experiences into the development of this project, and consider how to meet your pedagogical goals in a way that allows you to co-create with your students and acknowledge their cultural/media knowledge? — Luke and Maura

    1. Thank you, Luke and Maura, for this supportive feedback and your helpful comments. Yes, I’d definitely like to bring students’ experiences in and co-create with their cultural/media knowledge. I’m also connecting with this week’s readings (those due today, Feb. 26) to my project ALOT, particularly the concept of “student as producer” (Harbison and Waltzer) to which I would also add “teacher as producer” and/or “teacher + student as co-producers” in developing my Humanities references blog/vlog. I found a parallel to this concept in Rosen and Smale, and am resonating with the phrase “critical digital pedagogy” for my project, as the yet-to-be-determined Top 10/25/50 initial references list will require polling, discussion and discernment in choosing. I look forward to putting a “student-based selection committee” together for these picks.

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