Utilizing the Digital Humanities in the Urban Classroom

December 10, 2009 by

In the last two years I have incorporated a variety of concepts and ideas into my urban classroom in Cleveland in a unique manner. Traditional historical scholarship, historical thinking, 2.0 digi-mocracy, social networking sites, primary source investigation, diy styled methodology, dialectics, and engaged historical learning are amongst the tools utilized.   I have recently written about a past project that involved students constructing a historical narrative of the Little Rock Nine and posting it on a myspace page here: jeffersonsnewspaper.org/2009/experimenting-with-historical-thinking-and-web-2-0-the-little-rock-nine/

I have also created two websites with the help of the Erin at the Center for Public History and the Digital Humanities. Check those out here: Street Law and Global Issues.

I’d like to present a few of my projects and engage a variety of folks to generate both a realistic and visionary discussion on the usefulness of the above in an urban school setting.

One Response to Utilizing the Digital Humanities in the Urban Classroom

  1. Erin Bell on December 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I really like the way you’ve used online commenting on your sites as a way to kick off in-class discussions. I imagine that writing for a public audience helps (or at least encourages) the students to think about how to present their arguments effectively. I would also think that having students write and read about one another’s opinions/ideas in advance might make for a more civil and thoughtful debate in class.

    My big question right now is whether you have noticed any difference in rhetoric, writing style, or attitude after switching from using MySpace as a class hub to a more freestanding open web blog platform? I would guess that in the MySpace environment, being a social network full of all kinds of distractions (friends, music, ads, games…), you might more often see students “acting out” (whether acting out against authority/expectations or acting out their own social identities). In contrast, I think your blog-based course sites appear to be more serious in their presentation and maybe give the students the feeling that their comments might be read by anyone anywhere. And so, they are writing for a “real” public, but also one that is somehow once removed from their real life social circles.

    Anyway, sounds like a great session. Looking forward to it.

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