Collaboration -Emma Poff

From the beginning, our digital humanities committee has made an effort to talk amongst each other every Friday to get a sense of awareness of where we are with our projects. This communication has personally help me when I have tried to decide what I feel would be best for my users on the website. These Friday updates and planning have allowed me to ask questions as well as respond to some of the other committee members’ concerns about my project. In particular, working at one workshop with Macy was extremely helpful when discovering how my website would be navigated by my users. I hope by the end of this week to have more involvement with each member of the committee as they are finishing up their projects. I do wish I engaged a little bit more outside of Friday updates and planning or any other group meetings to talk one on one with different members in hopes to get more feedback. My goal this week is to try to present in front of someone who has yet to see my website in depth and so that I can get differing opinions. In addition to fellow students, working with librarians has helped me learn new digital tools as well as the steps it takes to make a website successful when presenting research. While I have enjoyed my time on Tuesdays and Thursdays working on gathering my research and putting together my website, working alongside my librarian partner, Kevin, has helped me express my concerns and oftentimes rant when I face small issues. Battling with CSS to finding new books for me to search through, Kevin has helped me take my project further than I originally imagined. 

Through multiple lunch discussions, I can see myself in the future working on a larger level with the digital humanities community. I see the importance and keeping the humanities alive through the use of digital tools and I like the benefits that come from making research available digitally. Digital humanities advocates for openness, diversity, collaboration, and experimentation, all of which take research further than mere research papers. At this time I do not know how I will be involved with the community in the future but I hope that I can use the tools I learned throughout the summer to contribute in some way. I think my website still has a lot of work but I believe it does help contribute to the DH community. Through my work as a fellow I am showing the importance in the digital humanities and keeping the people program alive by adding my work to the works of past fellows. By collaborating with others, I have learned how to take criticism. By listening to others critiques I am trying to better my website and make sure my research is accurate and presented in a way accessible to every user. 

Reflection 7- Erik Carneal

My project is heavily based around political science, which is my major. My project has been able to present typical political science project information in a way that incorporates many digital humanities aspects. Being able to create any sort of humanities based project online is one of the beauties of the digital humanities. In a non digital humanities setting, this project would have been probably presented in a much more physical and simple way. Especially with political science, papers and posters are very standard for the classroom type projects. While this is an efficient and useful way to get a point across, it limits the creative aspect that helps the viewer better understand said point. With my project, and many other digital humanities projects like it, that creative aspect is able to thrive in many forms. For example, my project uses timelines and interactive corpuses that are creative tools for learning. 

A key component to knowing how effective a creative tool is the use of a test partner. Collebarting about and testing different parts of your project is very useful in determining what creative aspects of the site are most pleasing to a viewer. Nothing helps your website grow like good criticism does. This collaborative aspect of the digital humanities is what allows the field to be so connected and to have mutual respect for others and their studies. Examples from this summer of this include our trip to Lafayette College and when students from the Bucknell University DSSF program came down to spend a day with us. In both of these settings, it was clear that everyone involved was open to and excited about the collaboration and the sharing of opinions. Everyone approached the collaboration with a pre-established respect for others in the digital humanities. From both of these examples, I have taken others ideas and applied them to my project based on their feedback. This allowed for my website to grow and to become more appealing to a viewer that does not know how to navigate the site. I also felt as though my insingth and opinions were valued by the other students, and they seemed very appreciative of that fact. I hope that these types of meetings and gatherings remain a common occurrence for the digital humanities as the field continues to grow.

 

Participating in the DH Community

I have engaged in the community of practice in DH this summer by collaborating, making my project accessible, as well as one of the goals of the project is accessibility of the information I am exploring, and using open sourced tools. I have participated in the collaboration side of Digital Humanities by engaging and giving feedback with other DH scholars, either at PCLA or at our weekly check in meetings. Working with the cohort and the DSSF committee has helped to shape my project and helped me grow it to what it has become. One way it has shaped my project is the suggesting of the “College Connections” page. It was suggested by a member of the cohort, I could not figure out how draw my project together when someone suggested a page that summed it up as a type of conclusion. This is exactly what it needed. This project would not be possible without their advice support, and guidance.

My project also engages with the value of accessibility by making sure that my website is accessible to everyone by having alternative image descriptions for screen readers and making sure the colors are high contrast. But also, a core part of it is about the accessibility to the buildings themselves, it is partly what inspired the project. There are many people who are interested in places that are locked and I wanted to learn more about these buildings but could not gain access to them.  By gaining access and posting pictures and the history of them I am helping others be able to see these places despite them not having physical access to them.

Lastly my project is based on open source tools, like TimelineJS and JuxataposeJS. My project would not be the same without those tools. I used TimelineJS to show the concrete dates of when things happened to the buildings and the transfer of ownership for them. I could have just written it out, but having the timeline adds to the interactivity on the site. And JuxtaposeJS helps to highlight the differences between the before and after by putting them side by side.

My project would not be what it is today without the help and support of the DSSF committee, the cohort, and the other Digital Humanists that I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with. I hope to continue to further the values of DH with this project and future endeavors.

Engaging in the DH Community

The emphasis on community in the Digital Humanities field is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes DH from the traditional humanities. From the very beginning of our fellowship, the importance of collaboration between other digital humanists has been emphasized as essential. Although we are all completing our own individual projects, sharing our process and reflecting as a group on the challenges of researching and creating a DH project has been a significant component of the fellowship. Being able to ask for and receive weekly feedback has been so important for the gradual improvement of my project. For example, with their feedback, I was able to fill in some of the information gaps I hadn’t realized that I left as well as reorganize pieces of my project which didn’t fully make sense to a viewer. Additionally, my project would not look nearly as polished if I was not able to go to others for help with the things which I lack prior experience in. For example, I had no experience with CSS before this summer, yet with the help of our librarian mentors I was able to make my desired changes like adjusting colors and resizing my header images. I really appreciate that, unlike the traditional humanities field, DH promotes and relies upon collaboration. Building a community in the past seven weeks with DSSF has definitely altered my perspective to look more favorably upon group work. Sharing knowledge can only improve a project, after all.

In addition to collaboration within the DSSF cohort, we’ve also had the opportunity to engage in our communities of practice through the PCLA Digital Scholarship Student Symposium at Lafayette College and spending the day presenting to the Bucknell DSSF fellows. Although I was unable to meet with the Bucknell Fellows (why would they schedule the LSAT for a Monday?), being able to view the vast array of DH projects created by other undergraduate students and discuss their research processes was a very cool component of the fellowship. It certainly demonstrated how diverse both the projects and digital humanists themselves can be.

In terms of how I see myself fitting into the larger DH community of practice, although I’m still very new, I feel as though the DH community is so open that it allows people to contribute at any stage. DSSF has allowed me not only to create my own project, but also to become informed and promote awareness of DH as a field. When people ask me what I’m doing this summer, they have almost all never heard of DH before. Being able to discuss DH in the context of my project as well as the projects of my DSSF cohort introduces others to the values of DH.

Community Help


Hi Everyone,

Today I will be talking about my community of practice during my time at the DSSF this summer 2019. As I know community is a very important, inherent part of Digital Humanities and DH without a community cannot survive. For me community is also important, especially because my project that I am working on is directed to the community of Gettysburg College and I want to connect with the community and strengthen the bonds of the community.

During the time of doing my project I was trying to engage with my community of practice, where I gained a lot knowledge and help me to develop my project and be closer to my goal. My main biggest help was R.C. Miessler, who was the assigned librarian for my project during DSSF. I was coming to R.C. all the times when I needed help and I got help every time. I was asking for help in technical support and how to start my project, R.C. showed me various possibilities of Augmented Reality platforms. Also, he supported in providing different devices so that I could develop my application on both iOS and Android and not be worried about lacking any resources. Moreover, he helped in getting a direction on my research of the history of Gettysburg College and R.C. pointed me to Special Collections, which was a perfect place for me to get plentiful resource for my project.

I met people in Special Collections and College Archives who were always willing to help me in my research. About the historical facts of Gettysburg College, Ron Couchman, the Special Collections Assistant, was the person who provided me with his knowledge of our College and he pointed me the historical works where I could find all the information about the College buildings. I was asking him any questions about the College and he could answer all my questions. It is very valuable for me to be able to talk with an alumni of our College, who was also a student as I am right now, and be able to look into his student life and now carry his past to the presence. I also got a very big help from College Archivist Amy Lucadamo who provided me information about the College buildings and also showed me to images of the buildings and pointed me to the resources where I could use them.

Also, during PCLA Digital Scholarship Student Symposium at Lafayette College I got also many helpful hints for my project that pointed me to a better solutions for my project. I was learning about other projects of so many students and I tried to learn what I could get from those projects and I also tried to provide them any help, but they almost finished their projects at that time. Also, the exchange with Bucknell University DSSFR was also fruitful in pointing me in a better direction and I once again tried to help them in their final step of their project.

For the technical support, I have got a big help from the Director of Education Technology, Eric Remy, who provided me computers with different operating systems, so that I would be able to develop my project on both iOS and Android. Furthermore, I also came to my computer science professor, Clifton Presser, who also provided me some helpful clues to start with AR.

I feel that in community of DH I am be the one always asking for help, but as I have worked on my project this summer, I am able and willing to provide help to DH community about the research of Gettysburg College history and also provide some technical support in starting with Augmented Reality development.

As being in a DSSF team, my cohorts have given me a lot of support and are always with me (we live in the same apartment) and I appreciate their help.

Thank You Everyone for Everything!

Have a good weekend,

JHA