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To DH, or not to DH: that is the question.

I do hereby accept DH into my life, for better or worse or really for the future of humanity. At this point and time I define the Digital Humanities as a field of study that includes a collaborative approach to research, knowledge, and access to information by way of technology. I also believe Digital Humanities uses media as a tool to heightened the learning experience. It incorporates the concept of information sharing allowing for true interdisciplinarity and with this our wealth of knowledge can grow beyond the traditional limitations posed by simple text, compartmentalizing our studies. DH expands our abilities for research by allowing for data mining, text extraction and basically quantitative text analysis. One example was discussed in Mathew Wilkens’ chapter on canons and methods etc. we can see how previous research on American literature left out how we can track the frequency of use of American authors in a bibliography within international locations or how we can trace the beginning of American Regionalism before we had originally thought.

While I do think this is all great for research I can’t help but be more excited over how this interactive technology can enhance the learning experience for young people, and how it may be used to stretch our lacking school resources and create a more affordable and sustainable system.

Furthermore, earlier in the week I had been snooping around online to gain better understanding of the type of projects connected to the Digital Humanities and I came across a scholar named Bryan Alexander who is using gaming, digital story telling and open education resources as a support to his teaching. He says he’s “trying to remodel the future of higher education,” which is apparently similar to the majority of DH-er’s in our readings. I see some of these techniques easily translating to our younger learners and may even be able to revolutionize how educators may effectively reach youth with learning incapacities/delays or the average student who lacks sustained attention. The more we use digital resources in curriculum the more we will need to have digital humanities research, to see the efficiency of these media or digitized tools. Alexander, more specifically spoke of how he used an interactive video game to teach students the American experience of Vietnam, I thought this was fascinating. This type of learning where decision-making power is given to a student based on history and political events could make a huge difference in one student’s understanding compared to another who may have kept with the traditional text version. Heck this could do a lot for me in my policy class; I can learn to make decisions as a neo-conservative one-minute and a neo-liberal the next and gain a better understanding for why each makes the decisions they do with regards to education and self interest. If only someone would create this as an interactive game! Okay so I’m venting, oh politics it will be the demise of humanity or the humanities depending how you see it.

Lastly, I want to pose a question, what type of DH projects have come out of, or are currently being worked on within the program at GC?

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