It’s always around November, December that I get this feeling of finality. Of endings, of wrapping up. Part of it has to do with the time of year and January acting as a form of re-set. But it also takes shape in the form of courses. Assignments seem more stressful but there is also a sense of relief once they are done. One thing I am really going to miss at the end of this term is the Digital Public History course. I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now if it weren’t for the course. While it is an assignment I’ve also found it to be a really helpful way to work through concepts and ideas that I have had during the semester.
The digital public history classes have also given me a different understanding of potential. We are constantly learning about technologies and mediums that are relatively unexplored. There was always the feeling that you could make the technologies work for whatever purpose you wanted. I think that is why I had a hard time settling on a tool to use for my final project. Just about everything we covered displayed so much potential. I also think it is why I was initially drawn to Storymaps and why so many of my classmates have chosen to work with this tool. Storymaps is essentially a blank canvas for content but users do not have to worry about html or coding if they don’t want to. In the end you still end up with a product that looks polished and can very easily be educational.
I’m writing about the semester wrapping up because although I will no longer be taking a Digital Public History course I hope I do not lose sight of the things I have learned in it. I am hoping that in the courses I continue to take I will still be thinking of ways to apply that content to different digital technologies. There are also other technologies out there that I have yet to explore and I would like to continue staying up to date on developments and their potential applications. Despite my current struggles with Processing, I hope I continue to explore it as a tool. I feel I have only scratched the surface of what is possible with the platform. But the main thing I have learned from exploring Processing is that expanding your understanding of how it works is really quite easy. The Coding Train is an impeccable resource and I would be so lost without it.
There is really no reason for me to stop learning or stop thinking about these things. I just know that I have a tendency to focus on things that are immediately relevant. And I write this because I sincerely hope that I will not do that.
Mostly, I really hope I keep up with this blog. I may not post very frequently but even once a month I think would help to clear my head. There are times when after doing readings or after discussions I have so many extra thoughts bouncing around in my head. They are not always fully formed and I would like to explore that as well. For my sake I think it is also helpful to have this as an outlet.
Some topics I would like to continue exploring:
- The body in the museum/institution, how can public history help to ameliorate gaps in accessibility?
- Environmentally conscious heritage, is it even always ethical?
- Youtube as a platform for Public History, is it effective? can it reach a wider audience?
- Songs and collective memory, is there a way this can be manifested into a Public History project?
These are just a few ideas and I have no doubt that next semester will provide me with even more inspiration.
And here’s a song about moving on which is a nice way to look at endings:
(also because there’s a Fleetwood Mac song for every occasion)