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Week 5

So this week has been interesting with the lack of classes and slipping all over campus but it has still been full of work.  This week we all had to turn in our contracts and as I am sure every other group felt we were anxious to turn in the final contract with dates that come up faster than we expected. As I look over the schedule and realize the amount of work the rest of the semester offers I get nervous but know that the Images group (and all the others) can accomplish it. We are in teams for a reason and with all of the outside “tools” we listed I am pretty sure the task will be easier. One of the goals my group had this week was to pick 50 pictures apiece that we would focus on and find information about. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the 1000+ pictures and discovering how Mary Washington 100 years ago is not that different from today, we still value traditions here and as this week has proved, play in the snow and create memories that will last us a lifetime.  While I found the women in dresses for date night very classy and interesting that women smoked in the dorms I noticed similarities. Hope everyone has enjoyed the snow and have not slipped infront of all the Nest employees like myself 🙂

so far so good…

After the digital workshops this semester I have become a little overwhelmed but also excited with all of the tools. I feel that our group (Images) has decided to tackle every tool possible and we will accomplish everything with the help of dtlt. I think the group has decided- from listening to Patrick yesterday that we will try to tackle omeka but we will organize pictures and information before posting online. I think with our contacts through the head of alumni relations, Cynthia Synder, talking to Professors (ie. Professor Crawley) and alumni of Mary Washington, and also the librarians who have developed the current archive website we will be able to develop a website fit for alumni. 

I think some useful tools we have discussed would involve using omeka’s fullest potential, alumni (from my point of view) do not want to just see a picture with a little blurb of ex. Student 1 sitting on ball circle in the spring, they want to know the year, place, the person, what tradition students were celebrating, what date night entailed, etc. So the editing tools in omeka would be helpful especially the use of exhibits and collections, so even if we cannot tackle all of the photos we can create a system where alumni can view all graduation pictures on one page or a page of traditions/events in a central location. The goal is to create a simple way for alumni to look back on their time at Mary Washington College/University of Mary Washington and be proud of the memories they made through photos that they can show, children, grandchildren, friends, etc.

So far we have throughly put to use our google doc in taking class notes and an easy way to communicate with one another, I personally get more excited when I see that the doc was updated over a new e-mail, but that is just me! We have also met to discuss our contract and how we want to map out the campus through Dr. Hanna’s classes help. I have helped with contacting the head of the alumni, but I feel that we should talk to alumni on campus and I saw that with the previous alumni groups work. They interviewed alumni throughout the years and many are on campus, (Dr. McClurken, Dean Rucker, sports coaches, and even spouses of professors) that we could connect with and ask their opinions on how they want to view their memories and make connections through them. Mary Washington has many traditions and memories that will continue for years to come so we should connect the past with the present and make alumni digitized!

Tools!!!

Emily Chang certainly provides us with more tools than I ever thought was possible and will definitely have to keep checking-in with her site and its new changes and updates.

For our group I thought a few tools would be useful and again think I will go back and check to see if we find anything new that can help. I really enjoyed Wildfire and how it could build awareness for all of the alumni photos. We want to gather more information and through wildfire I feel as if we could reach alumni wherever they are today and through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and even in creating our own site it would be pretty efficient.

Another tool, which maybe out there but I thought was interesting, MagCover. I know there is an established alumni magazine but with this tool we could create our own cover and have it be a whos who deal, with a different photo on the front and gather information about photos this way.

I also enjoyed survey.io it was a quick and effective tool with the example survey itself only taking a few minutes. Our group wants to gather information and publish the photos but also is interested in finding out what the alumni want, these are their photos, their memories and how would they like it displayed. I feel with a simple survey we could have alot of those questions answered!

Emily Chang is a great tool in itself (herself) and I think with her ever-changing technology we could incorporate the past with the present and all of the groups can become internet savy 😉

Creativity with digital tools

In the past week and a half I feel that we have learned about more tools on the internet than I ever thought possible and we have only made a minor dent in what is out there. I am still figuring out all of the kinks but believe some of the tools will help shape the projects for the semester. For the Mary Washington images group, I think we will definitly be able to use a blog to further our project-using the plugins and widgets, such as Next Gen Gallery to better organize our hundreds of photos. I think it will also be helpful to use the countdown, for not only ourselves but also for alumni we may contact so they know when we plan on launching the site/the process we have come up with organizing their photos.

I think many of the features google offers will be helpful for our group, as noted today in class we used our google document to tell eachother what tools we thought would work best for our group, when to meet with eachother,  and some early pros/cons of different sites.  Caryn has also created a google calendar for us to keep up with meetings and important dates-I feel that we are using google to a great extent and that in combination with blogs will help our group.

Another idea would be to use omeka, while we are a little unsure of everything it entails, it offers a great site for viewers and a way to organize it that would be easily accessible to alumni.  🙂

After viewing the websites for this week I discovered a few things I think should be included on websites and things that stood out to me as not efficient for an images group.  The first website, I enjoyed the chronological order (helpful for our group) but did not enjoy the colors and thought it was too wordy. I want something quick and efficient. The second website, I liked the quick search box and pictures, also the individual words with headings underneath-making it pretty well organized. I disliked the red background, as in the reading it said to avoid red and I agree. The third website, which pertains to the images group, needs a revamp, the pictures need to be better organized and I was thinking we could try to incorporate a slideshow, organize by year/event/tradition? The fourth website, I chose off omeka was the Images of Africa page. I liked how it was broken down into categories and all on one side(left), I found the notes on the images to be helpful and the black & white photos really stood out to me-special and  classic!

Why Digital History?

Hey everyone 🙂

My name is Megan Whiteaker, I am a junior, history major and excited to get the semester underway.  I will hopefully be graduating in December and even more hopefully have a job when I graduate before I decide to continue onto higher education.  I decided to take this class for a few different reasons: it is a new class and not another seminar where we read a book, maybe discuss it, and write papers. This class appealed to me as one that would challenge myself, since I tell pretty much anyone I am not the technology-savy girl I wish I was, and would learn not only about the school and surrounding area, but about technology, and surviving the era of technology that is constantly changing. I am in the group that is studying Mary Washington photos and am excited about where it will take me. Not only will I be able to look at pictures from the past but also be able to connect with alumni through Cynthia Snyder and make history come alive with alumni rememberance of the Mary Washington they knew and loved!!

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