Final Project

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For our final project, we decided to focus on online databases and primary/secondary sources and how with the creation of online databases, access to both primary and secondary sources have increased.

We chose to interview Dr. Poska, American Studies/History and Gender Studies professor at UMW, in order to get her opinion on using online databases during her own research. I got in contact with Dr. Poska to arrange the interview, and Amy, Carla and I all met to sit in the interview. I had previously sent Dr. Poska the questions I wanted to ask, and even though some of our questions were no longer relevant as we had changed our topic slightly, I felt like we still got good information and clips to use for our documentary; Dr. Poska had lots of personal experience with researching with and without online databases. (We also got information that was interesting to hear, even if it didn’t fit into what we needed)

After we had completed the interview, we all got together to put the documentary together. Amy was in charge of actually making the documentary, Carla recorded voice-overs, and we all searched for music and decided on the order of the presentation of our information.


Privacy and Online Monitoring

After reading deSouza’s article, one quote in particular stuck out to me.

“Millennials, especially the younger Millennial generation, have grown up in an age without privacy. They’ve grown up in a post-9/11 era.”

At first, I immediately thought about all the things my parents told me about not giving away my information online, being careful about who I talked to, and disagreed completely with that statement. Then I sat and thought about it, talked about it with friends and I realized that it was kind of true. Yes, we’re careful about who we friend or talk to online, we don’t go and meet online strangers in real life, we check our Facebook profiles to make sure we’re not giving away too much personal information, but we (or at least I) don’t think twice about different companies or government agencies monitoring our behavior online. When I talk about this issue with my friends, we’re pretty much all in agreement that we don’t care about our information being monitored. We’ve grown up in a world where we’re told that in order to protect us (or further technology in order to protect us) we need to take certain precautions. We’re willing to take off our shoes and throw out any liquids that are bigger than 3 oz at airports, so of course we don’t see any issue with companies knowing everything we search. A friend of mine even brought up the fact that as kids, we weren’t given the same freedoms our parents were. My dad tells stories of him and his friends going out into the woods and being there until dark, and no one’s parents worried, but as a kid I was expected to stay on the block so my parents could come outside and be able to see me. Even from a young age, we’re trained to give up some privacy in order to keep us safe.

Future Technologies


Our group discussed an extension of integrating products, specifically for Apple products. They would have a small chip implanted in your brain that would be connected to your phone and laptop, and you would be able to control the functions through thinking some sort of command. Although there are plenty of ways that could go wrong, we thought that people would definitely sign up for that. All those Apple followers….

Titanic Radio Broadcast

For our radio broadcast, we decided to (obviously) do a Titanic-based broadcast. We decided it would be cool to do an after-the-event interview with both a crew member and a upper-class citizen to show the disparity between what each class would have experienced.

Katie was our interviewer, and talked to Carla, who was Madeleine Astor (upper class passenger whose husband was John Astor), and myself, who was Violet Jessop (crew member, stewardess). Both were real people and survivors.
We researched the backgrounds of both members, while Katie wrote out the questions she was going to ask. We used the questions to guide our research, and then pretty much went right into recording. Amy took over the recording and editing of the broadcast (thanks!).
We used Audacity, adding some white noise to roughen the sound and make it sound more like it was a 1920s/30s radio broadcast.

Bell Telephone Advertisement



This is the advertisement that our group created to show Bell Telephone Company’s first use of telephones.

Cave Paintings Recreated

For our assignment, my group decided to recreate cave paintings from around the world. I picked to recreate a painting made in the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, that dates back 6,000 years, making it the oldest cave painting found to date in North America.

In studying this cave painting to recreate it, I was almost surprised by now non-complex it was. I guess in looking at the other paintings that our group was doing, I was expecting to find some deep symbolism (like the hand prints) or be really impressed by the level of detail (like the Lascaux caves), but mine was just exactly what it looked like. But then as I thought about it some more, I realized that just because it was simple doesn’t mean it didn’t lack meaning or made it a lesser form of communication. It was just a straightforward message, like a “I’ll be there at 5″ text. It was meant to serve one single purpose – good hunting grounds – and it did that, quite clearly.

Assignment Percentages – Table 4

1) Timeline – 9%


2) Cave paintings – 5%

groups- all try to convey the same story – maybe work on different parts

3) Radio broadcast/news report – 8%


4) Live Tweeting events – 5%

group – all be different people to give a broader map and more information

5) Propaganda – 8%


6) Choose your own – 15%

depends on which project

Downey Chapter 4

  • Development of Digital Computer - Private sector saw opportunity in computing due to enhanced communication between groups; computing opened new viable market for electronics; military/government could use advanced computing in defense operations
  • Constructing Cyberspace - creating global connections without geographical barriers
  • Replacement of Human Labor - shift from human computers to digital computers; relationship between human and machine improved over time


Three Assignments

  1. Live Tweeting historical events – After hearing from Tim about the timeline and mapping tools, I was even more excited about this idea. Just coming up with Live Tweets would be boring – unless we put them somewhere. The timeline would be a really smooth and easy-to-arrange way to get the tweets in order, but I think the mapping tool would be even better because you could have different tweets from different areas that might have been influenced/impacted by the historical event.
  2. Now that I heard about the timeline/maps tools and also the MediaHub where all our videos can go, I think that developing a radio broadcast and/or news anchor interview would be really awesome. First of all, you could use the green screen for some of that which is awesome, but you could also post those videos on your map, along with other information.
  3. I also still really love the idea of a propaganda campaign…that could use just about any technology resource we have, depending on what we want to do….posters, articles in newspapers, videos, etc. This assignment can really be open ended and up to the group/class about which direction we want to take.

History of the Information Age

I decided to take this class for a couple reasons. One, I’d heard wonderful things about Dr. McClurken’s classes (…yes, I’m shamelessly brown-nosing…). Two, I know nothing about the information age. I guess more specifically the history of it, because some of our topics and subjects I’ve been exposed to since birth. My third reason is a petty, dumb one – my father is a huge history buff who also happens to be obsessed with technology, so if by the end of the semester I’m able to beat him in a game of information age trivia, my life would be complete.

Topics I’m Interested In

- telegraph/telephone

- advertising

- rise of mass media

- women and computing

- “truth” and identity in the digital age

Assignments I’m Interested In

- My obsession with Live Tweeting historical events never ends.

- I loved the Artificial Intelligence idea, about creating your own AI and making advertisements for it

-  the finger painting as cave painting assignment is right up my elementary education alley

- developing a propaganda campaign