Mission accomplished!

I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I know I didn’t reply much – the workflow of my week was always such that homework for this class was always on the weekend, and by the time I got around to reading the blog, I really felt like I had nothing insightful to say because everyone else responded so brilliantly. (Good job!)

I will say, however, that the most useful posts were the ones about our digital start-up proposals, but for reasons other than the interesting ideas shared. More importantly, I took comfort in knowing that other people were struggling just as much as I was, and that I wasn’t the only one feeling uncertain or extremely challenged by this class. It gave me the reassurance I needed to keep going, and to not feel inadequate when I struggled.

Thank you all so much for your candor. It was more helpful than you probably realized

Locking Down Linguistics

This class has been the most challenging class that I have taken in my education career, and I was a math minor. I think the reason it strikes so far off with me is because it is so far out of my norm of studies. For year, I have studied English and Linguistics because those are the subjects I teach. When thinking about this proposal, my only hope is to tie it to something I know.
Earlier in the year, while doing research for this course, I found this map that showed different dying languages in an interactive way. It allowed visitors to click on these links and hear sample of the lost language. This really hit my love for linguistics and it really made me think. During my undergrad, I was shown a video called American Tongues. I remember it in great detail because I realized of large our country really is. This thought combined with the map helped me to discover my Start-up Project.
For my Digital Humanities project, I would like to create an interactive map that will all for the collection of the American English language. I would love to think big picture, but for the sake of keeping the project under control, I will only consider the United States. In the interactive map, I would like to identify the locations, histories, and legacy of the different dialects that exist in this country. I would like the map to contain a message read by people around the United States that will showcase the difference in accents and dialects.
Why? I don’t think this will just benefit linguists. We will be creating an electronic history of the languages and dialects spoken within this country. As time goes on, languages are dying away, especially and civilization spreads to inhabit more areas. We have already lost so many languages and dialects, the program could allow for the storage of dialects regardless of how our history moves forward.
So, for my proposal I need to think about expense, function ability, and creation. I think that the project would be relatively cheap. The difficult part would be getting people all around the United States to participate and to make sure the project is completed and not leaving out any accents or dialects. The creation of the map seems relatively easy. Not for me, but for people who understand how to make an interactive map.
The project supports the history of our country and it allows for easier study of dialect. As a twenty two year old, I saw that video and it fascinated me to a point where I remember its title five years later. I think this website could do a lot to help the study of language acquisition, historical impact, and could create a modernized version of a twenty seven year old video.

The War of 1812

Sorry for the late post, however I am completely lost on this project. I have no idea on what to do or where to start. This is by far the hardest thing I have had to do yet in my graduate career. Coming up with your own project is great idea, and I love it. But to find something that hasn’t been done is really hard to do. So this is what I have.

My plan for my project is similar to another classmates. I am focusing on the War of 1812 and local history such as Fort Meigs and Put in Bay. I will be creating a digital map where tourists can click on the destination they want to visit and see information about that battle field or monument from the war. I know that the Civil War has trail maps and tourists can follow these maps to different sites in the area. Tourists simply pick up a brochure and the map is provided with driving directions. This is similar for the War of 1812, but all digital so that tourists can access this on their phone, tablet, or computer. As a history teacher who loves to travel, we need more historical tools, that we can use in the palm of our hand or at our fingertips. This meets the requirement of examining history, and impacting society with digital culture with their access to interactive, digital maps.

This is all I have so far…

History Education and Virtual Reality

My project would be a combination of History education and virtual reality.   With the release of the Oculus Rift and Gear VR and soon to be released PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, virtual reality is a real possibility.  While the gaming industry is the first to embrace this technology, many diverse companies are coming on board; including the medical industry and the military, spending millions on the creation of simulation learning technologies.  I believe the same can be done with history education.  I plan to partner with historians, artist, archivists, and game designers to recreate virtual open world history set pieces. Within these open worlds, users would be able to experience living open worlds with Non-playable Characters or NPC’s, populating these set pieces with period clothing and coded to a way that they act like their real world counterparts.  Imagine stepping back thousands of years experiencing the sights and sounds of the Roman Senate in a fully interactive environment, in which students could ask NPC’s questions and learn about the world around them.  This concept is not limited to History though; I could see many other subjects coming on board as well.  Imagine seeing one of Shakespeare’s plays being performed in front of you with a full period virtual make-over or having kids experience a virtual construction site see how math impacts the building of structures.  I’m not the only one thinking about implementing this new type of technology either, there have been many tech blogs predicting such technology such as  http://techcrunch.com/2016/01/23/when-virtual-reality-meets-education/.  In addition, there are a number of grants available to start-up companies willing to experiment with Virtual Reality, especially those that impact education. Some of these grants come from https://delta.ncsu.edu/deltawire/delta-grants-make-vr-reality/  and http://uploadvr.com/these-are-the-companies-enabling-vr-content-creators-2?.

I realize what I present is a lofty goal and with the $40,000 limit I will likely have to cut material.  That is why I have decided to focus on the creating a prototype build to present my base concept and gain investor support. After I have a base concept to work off of and investor support I will feel more comfortable going forward with the full vison of my project.  My prototype concept will focus on an indoor virtual environment because there would be less coding than trying to produce an outdoor environment.  In addition, I would only program around ten NPC’s with a limited number of dialog options to begin with to cut down time coding artificial intelligences.  I would most likely pick the Roman Senate like I mentioned before because of its relatively small indoor quarter’s it provides.  This would also allow me to focus on key figures and history and not require much interruption on the historians part because of the vast availability of Roman Senate meeting documents.  In addition, the close environment and basic geography associated with that of the Roman Senate would make the recreating of the 3D space much easier on artists.  Ultimately I would want to work up to a fully interactive Rome that users could explore and learn at their leisure however that could take months to years and millions of dollars of investment.

Interactive Research Map or How I Learned to Come Up With a DH Project off the Top of My Head

My DH project was borne out of a meeting with Dr. Schocket, during which I had few ideas and pulled this one out of thin air. For my project, I will be proposing a prototype for a much larger project that I feel could greatly benefit the historical research community. Essentially, my project will create an interactive map which will feature numerous research institutions and archives from around the United States. Whenever a user hovers over one the many dots that will appear on the map, it gives information about what primary source collections are contained at that particular institution. I believe this will give scholars a much-needed boost when it comes to pinpointing where they need to travel for research.

Continue reading “Interactive Research Map or How I Learned to Come Up With a DH Project off the Top of My Head”

Young Adult Cloud

I am so bad at creating things. Beyond my love for writing, I hate having to create anything. I am the epitome of a Pinterest fail. So, with that in mind, it’s probably pretty obvious that this assignment has been the most difficult for me this semester. When considering the purpose of Digital Humanities and what type of DH project I would create if I were given a grant, I kept thinking about what would be useful for me as a teacher and for my students. As I’ve alluded to in other posts throughout the semester, I do not have a traditional pedagogy for literacy skills in my English 12 classes. I do not teach whole-class novels and I do not teach the classics. Instead, I teach reading skills and students apply them and are assessed on them by reading books independently at a pace that’s appropriate for them individually and of books of interest to them. These books are mainly Young Adult and I use book talks as a way to generate excitement for titles and my extensive knowledge of the Young Adult genre to match books to students. Having seniors, I’ve often wondered about how students will select their own books next year in “the real world” without my book talks and guidance. I’ve created such independent readers and thinkers, but how easily will they be able to identify what interests them in the vast seas of a bookstore or a library? These questions are the driving force for my Digital Humanities project. Continue reading “Young Adult Cloud”