January 19, 2015 by rjordan10
After finishing up the readings and articles assigned for this week, there was one section in particular that stood out to me, even after I had finished all of the readings. The first essay in Part 3 of the book Writing History in the Digital Age, written by Thomas Harbison and Luke Waltzer, called, Toward Teaching the Introductory History Course, Digitally, seemed especially relevant for several reasons.
One reason was that the article show how often the use of digital history (like the use of class blogs, etc.) is being utilized in history classes; even lower-level history classes, like the one mentioned in the essay. In the essay, Harbison even mentions how the history class he is writing about will probably be the last history class most of his students in the class take. (pg. 100) Another reason I thought this section of the book was relevant was because it shows how, due to the fact the most students at the university and graduate school level have some grasp of technology, it is easy for a history (or any type of class, for that matter,) to have a class blog where students can post, whether it is an advanced level class (like at the graduate level) or a lower level class (a freshmen introductory class.)
Two other interesting things that I highlighted from this section of the book was when the authors of the essay wrote about a WordPress plug-in on the class blog they were talking about, that allowed students to track their work over their college careers, as well as the ability to set up a profile picture for the class blog (pg. 102.) Obviously, for a small, specialized class, putting up a profile picture of yourself is not that important, since probably most students already know each other, but for a bigger class, having students take the time to do this could actually be a really good idea, so that for things like class discussions, they would be able to “put a name to a face.”