This week students in my STS class have each been asked to find a tool for representing humanistic research digitally. The tool will help them represent the knowledge they will gain from writing their final papers in a different medium–other than the text of an academic essay. The tool might help do this by representing insights graphically, or in a map, flowchart, or presentation of some sort.
The idea is that this companion piece to their final papers will be easily and quickly read, understood, and disseminated (most likely on the web). That way, everyone in class will be able to share their work more effectively. (Imagine how ponderous it’d be if all 15 people in the class had to just read everyone else’s paper!) In addition, this exercise will provide practice in representing ideas in a different way and, hopefully, it will be fun learning how to use a new tool in the process.
So, students, please post a comment that discusses the best one digital tool you found, and how it might help you represent the information in your final paper in a different way. You are also welcome to use tools that are apps for your iOS device or other devices. The tool does not need to be incredibly complex, but it should do a good job of representing information in a different way than an essay would. Remember that your final paper will ask you to compare and contrast readings from the course and apply some of the STS theories we’ve learned. Your comment should include 3 things:
1) A link to the tool you’ve found and its name.
2) A discussion of how that tool is used and how long it will take you to learn it. (Will it require you to know HTML or PHP? Does it use a simple GUI? Is is driven by a spreadsheet?) Make sure the tool isn’t too fancy, expensive, or complicated for you to reasonably use.
3) A discussion of how you think you might use it, and what kind of insights it would be most useful for representing. What are its strengths and how do you envision drawing on or working with those strengths? Are there any weaknesses you will need to be careful about?
As mentioned in class, please don’t just Google around blindly. Please find out about digital humanities tools by looking through the specific websites in this storify I’ve put together for you and/or by searching through the following hashtags on Twitter: #dh #digitalhumanities #transformdh #dhtools #digitalhistory #digitalhist #twitterstorians.
Comments are due by 5pm on 2/27. Have fun!