Infographics

This week (11/25-11/27) we made our own infographics. For those of you who have never heard of or used an infographic before, OxfordDictionaries.com provides a good definition of what exactly they are. This websites defines an infographic as  “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.”

Our group decided to make an infographic about pumpkin pie. Since Thanksgiving was just two days away it seemed fitting! We wanted to provide a visual timeline about the history of pumpkin pie.

Here is a link to our infographic: pumpkin pie infographic

I had never made an infographic before, and honestly wouldn’t have even known where to start. Luckily, I had two computer wizes in my group who were able to show me what internet tools to use and how it should be properly created. Infographics are not only (hopefully) easily readable but intriguing ways to relay information.

History of Digital History and Its Future

This week (11-18/11-20) we discussed digital history and its future (mainly crowd sourcing). As the discussion leader I decided I wanted the class to start talking about the disadvantages and advantages of our schools database system. We touched on subjects such as the limitability of our existing databases, the advantages to it being private, and the different types of experiences we get while doing our research. We also asked the questions “Do you think students should have access to all databases from all universities?” and ” Do you think all private databases should be open to the public and not just to those who pay like students, professors, universities?” The answers were definitely mixed. Some students believed that the more access we have to databases the more polluted the material becomes. Other believed this would make our research rich and more abundant.

I do believe that all databases should be open, if not to the public, at least to all university students. As students, we have access to merely dust sized piece of materials and information that is out there. Our research would benefit tremendously if we were able to access all the material that was out there published on our topic. I do understand some peer’ concerns that it would be too hectic to sort through it all, but if you had the proper knowledge and tools, it would be become as second hand as searching something on google.

History of Digital History and Its Future

This week (11-18/11-20) we discussed digital history and its future (mainly crowd sourcing). As the discussion leader I decided I wanted the class to start talking about the disadvantages and advantages of our schools database system. We touched on subjects such as the limitability of our existing databases, the advantages to it being private, and the different types of experiences we get while doing our research. We also asked the questions “Do you think students should have access to all databases from all universities?” and ” Do you think all private databases should be open to the public and not just to those who pay like students, professors, universities?” The answers were definitely mixed. Some students believed that the more access we have to databases the more polluted the material becomes. Other believed this would make our research rich and more abundant.

I do believe that all databases should be open, if not to the public, at least to all university students. As students, we have access to merely dust sized piece of materials and information that is out there. Our research would benefit tremendously if we were able to access all the material that was out there published on our topic. I do understand some peer’ concerns that it would be too hectic to sort through it all, but if you had the proper knowledge and tools, it would be become as second hand as searching something on google.

Digital Identity

Last week classes (11-11-14/11-13-14) consisted of discussing our digital identities. But what does your digital identity actually consist of and how does it affect you? Well, to explore the answer to this question you could always google yourself.  Now we could all make a joke about the sexual innuendos of phrase like “googling yourself” but in all seriousness your digital identity, including what appears on Google, can be life altering. We discussed this topic in great detail, the first week on my digital studies 101 class. We talked about how what you publish online can follow you for the rest of your life and affect many outcomes. When I was asked why I should care about my digital identity this is the answer I gave:

“The job market is shrinking before our eyes. It used to be that a person just needed to be high school graduate to get a well paying job. Now it seems like you have to have a degree from a prestigious college, with a minor or concentration in a specialized field, an inside connection to your place of interest, and be attending a graduate school to even get considered for decent positions these days. What will not help our already slimming chances of finding our dream job or any job for that matter, is inappropriate images or content appearing on Google when an employer searches our name. I know that my father, being a business owner, searches applicants on Google before doing anything else, to judge whether they are a good candidate for his company. Now, since most employers look you up on Google before actually conducting an interview, your “digital identity” or what appears on Google can be crucial.

If they search your name and find photos of you smoking weed, drinking, partying, or doing other unsuitable activities, it doesn’t matter how delightful you think you can be during your interview, they pretty much already have their minds made up. Your digital identity holds significant weight on a social media based society that is becoming evermore engrossed in the web based world.”

Personally I try to keep my social media somewhat “pg” just because I do have employers and professors following me on one or more forms of social media. As I brought up in class, it has been drilled into our heads from an early age that what we post online affects us greatly. Because of this type of upbringing I feel as though I have always monitored my online image, which I am very thankful for.  When I google myself I find my old gymnastics scores, my pinterest boards filled with future wedding ideas and yummy recipes. I also find my facebook which is private unless I add you, my twitter account which is mainly used for school, and some old school projects which I am very proud to display.

Overall I think my digital identity is somewhat more tamed than my actual personality is in reality. So for me, unlike so may others, I think my digital identity is actually a positive aspect of my appearance.

Digital identities can affect you in so many ways. Now, more than ever, people need to be wary of what they post online.

 

Digital Identity

Last week classes (11-11-14/11-13-14) consisted of discussing our digital identities. But what does your digital identity actually consist of and how does it affect you? Well, to explore the answer to this question you could always google yourself.  Now we could all make a joke about the sexual innuendos of phrase like “googling yourself” but in all seriousness your digital identity, including what appears on Google, can be life altering. We discussed this topic in great detail, the first week on my digital studies 101 class. We talked about how what you publish online can follow you for the rest of your life and affect many outcomes. When I was asked why I should care about my digital identity this is the answer I gave:

“The job market is shrinking before our eyes. It used to be that a person just needed to be high school graduate to get a well paying job. Now it seems like you have to have a degree from a prestigious college, with a minor or concentration in a specialized field, an inside connection to your place of interest, and be attending a graduate school to even get considered for decent positions these days. What will not help our already slimming chances of finding our dream job or any job for that matter, is inappropriate images or content appearing on Google when an employer searches our name. I know that my father, being a business owner, searches applicants on Google before doing anything else, to judge whether they are a good candidate for his company. Now, since most employers look you up on Google before actually conducting an interview, your “digital identity” or what appears on Google can be crucial.

If they search your name and find photos of you smoking weed, drinking, partying, or doing other unsuitable activities, it doesn’t matter how delightful you think you can be during your interview, they pretty much already have their minds made up. Your digital identity holds significant weight on a social media based society that is becoming evermore engrossed in the web based world.”

Personally I try to keep my social media somewhat “pg” just because I do have employers and professors following me on one or more forms of social media. As I brought up in class, it has been drilled into our heads from an early age that what we post online affects us greatly. Because of this type of upbringing I feel as though I have always monitored my online image, which I am very thankful for.  When I google myself I find my old gymnastics scores, my pinterest boards filled with future wedding ideas and yummy recipes. I also find my facebook which is private unless I add you, my twitter account which is mainly used for school, and some old school projects which I am very proud to display.

Overall I think my digital identity is somewhat more tamed than my actual personality is in reality. So for me, unlike so may others, I think my digital identity is actually a positive aspect of my appearance.

Digital identities can affect you in so many ways. Now, more than ever, people need to be wary of what they post online.

 

Live Tweeting An Historical Event

Reflection:

This was a simultaneously fun and highly informational project. We were asked to choose an historical event and individually tweet about the event, either from that time period pretending twitter existed back then, or to tweet like the event was happening present day. I chose to tweet about Christopher Columbus’s journey to the New World, as if it was taking place during modern day.

This project was a lot of fun, especially because we were allowed to use any hashtags we wanted, which allowed me to put a comedic twist on the whole thing. I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did from this project. I figured that I would spend about an hour researching the timeline of his journey and then spend about an hour tweeting about it, and boy was I wrong. It was very difficult to find scholarly sources that included a dated timeline of the events. After an hour or two of research I finally stumbled across an annotated bibliography of all Christopher Columbus related material. I used that to my advantage and found three solid sources that included timelines. The next difficulty I faced was that most of the timelines, until the moment he left for his voyage, did not use specific dates when describing the difficulties he had to overcome before setting sail. Most of the sources were very detailed once Columbus actual set sail, but before then they used general dates instead of specific days, which left me with a lot of gaps in the timeline.

I tweet from the perspective of Christopher Columbus himself, as if he was making his journey present day and using twitter to cataloug the events instead of a journal. I also was originally going to focus more on Columbus’s actual interactions with the Taino people, but decided going back and forth between two twitters (one for Columbus and one for the Taino people) would be to difficult to organize.

Like I stated previously, I really did not expect to learn as much as I did. To tweet efficiently about an event you really have to know everything there is to know about it. If you want to be satirical, or use any type of creativity you have to know the event inside and out before you try to put your own type of twist on it. I learned a great deal about Christopher Columbus and his journey, but most his journey before he set sail.

I decided to pick this specific topic mostly because I knew it was very well researched and something everyone knew a little about. It also helped that when I looked up the date this project was due, I noticed it was a couple days after columbus day on the calendar.

 

The sources I used were:

 

FordHam University. Medieval Sourcebook: Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.asp (accessed October 15, 2014).

 

McNeese, Tim, and William H. Goetzmann. Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of the Americas, Explorers of New Lands. New York, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006.

 

Pelta, Kathy. Discovering Christopher Columbus: How History is Invented. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publications Company, 1991.

 

Where I organized all my tweets was here:

https://storify.com/ebostaph/christopher-columbus-s-discovery-of-the-new-world

 

Also if you would like to go view the tweets on twitter the name I used was @oceanblu1492

Early Forms of Communication

Our first group project of the semester was highly entertaining and enlightening. We were asked to gather into groups and somehow convey a message using early forms of communication such as, hieroglyphics, cave painting, light signals, smoke signals, drumming, or many other options.  My group started off wanting to do something with smoke signals but we quickly had our hopes crushed when we realized there was just no way we would be allowed to set open flame in the new multi-million dollar convergence center. So, our next best option was to try to convey a message using hieroglyphics and other earlier forms of writing such as Phoenician. We turned our message into a gif that our classmates would have to decipher.  We had four or five different slide of the same message written in these different forms of early communication. I would have to say the hieroglyphics were the easiest to base guesses off of, because the pictures were simplistic. When the group was coming up with our message I was left with the task of blindly guessing what I thought it was. I was in layman’s terms, their “guinea pig.” I was brought into the room after they put together the message and was asked to guess what it was. I initially was trying to turn the hieroglyphics into a metaphorical and complex message. After being told several times to be as basic and uncreative as possible and after several frustrated face palms from my fellow group member I guessed correctly. For me, this taught me that even though when I view a picture I see something complicated and possibly symbolic that is not always the case. Sometime the Egyptians or Phoenicians really did just want to relay a simplistic message. But how would I know that without the original creators there? The answer is I never will. So here is a link to our gif that we created:

http://www.jackhylan.net/infoage/uncategorized/translate-this-message/

 

Can you guess what it means?

Well, well, well.  What to choose? What to choose?

In my history of information age class, Dr. McClurken asked all of his students what assignments they would like to participate in throughout the period of this semester. Like I stated in my previous post, we came up with an abundance of potential projects for our class to work on. These projects involved using the green room, iMovie, various databases, and other fancy technologies that I love playing with. Now, with an abundance of creative and thrilling assignments placed in front of me, I am tasked with the problem of selecting only three assignments I would like to carry out this semester. Dr. McClurken asked that we only select our top three choices in hopes of soon finishing the syllabus and coming to an agreement as to what the class wants to work on as a whole.

Dr. McClurken had several technology professors come in and show us just a small preview of the wide variety of technologies available to us to utilize during these projects. After meeting with some of the most notorious tech wizes on the UMW campus, I think I have narrowed down my top three choices:

1.  “Create a documentary for a chosen topic.” Now, if you had given me this choice a year ago I probably would have scoffed and moved on. But after taking Dr. McClurken’s history of technology class, my opinions have changed significantly. At the time he required us to produce a documentary, ten minutes in length, about a chosen piece of technology. At first I dreaded nothing more than starting this project, but it actually turned out to be one of the most (if not the most) fun project I had ever worked on. I loved doing all the editing, manipulation, sound effects, and picture effects. I actually considered dropping out of UMW to attend film school to pursue film editing, until I realized I could never make myself leave Mary Washington. So I would love to re-do this type of project. Now that I have more experience and the school has better equipment, I cant imagine how much more fun this would be.

2. “Recreate an old film trailer using new innovative technology (i.e Michael Bay trailer for “Gone With the Wind”).” I really think this could be one of the more fun projects we do during the semester. We get to experiment with new equipment and learn new techniques of film editing, but at the same time get to make a kick ass but satirical movie trailer, that people can gawk at. (By the way- can I say “kick ass” on a graded assignment?)

3.  “Live Tweet historical events in comparison to how media outlets were used in the time that the event was happening or occurring, like the Titanic.” Nothing sounds more amazing to me, than live tweeting the titanic or other historical events. The only thing I would be wary of is being respectful. This can be a really funny and sarcastic project we work on, but we do have to maintain some level respect. For example: When we are tweeting about the titanic sinking we probably shouldn’t hash tag the #ALSIceBucketChallenge (Too soon?).

I can not wait to see what our class’s final decision is, and I hope at least one of my choices is included. Till next time…

 

History of the Information Age

Hello Everyone!

So this semester I will be taking part in my first 400 level history class. At first I was a little nervous to sign up for this course seeing as  I have no technological skills what so ever, but so far it has been pretty awesome. The course is called History of the Information Age, which is kind of an ominous title. We spent the first two classes discussing what we thought constituted the “technological age.” Everyone seemed to have a different opinion on what exactly technology is and thus what was the start of the technological age?

I signed up for this class initially because I am starting my journey into the Digital Studies minor.  It also didn’t hurt that this class was hosted in the new convergence center at Mary Washington. I may or may not have had a very strong urge to sign up for a class that gave me the opportunity to play with all the new equipment.  And after the first week of classes I’m now seeing that this course was the perfect choice!

We spent last class period coming up with an array of possible project ideas that we could carry out throughout the semester. Some of the ideas included recreating an old film trailer using new innovative technologies (i.e Michael Bay trailer for “Gone With the Wind”), cave painting charades, creating documentaries on various technologies, using the green screen to recreate scenarios, and many other great ideas. I honestly do not have much of a preference which of these projects we carry out as long as we get to learn and use a much of the new offered technologies in the convergence center as we can. I desperately want to learn how to use the green room, and the new editing equipment, and anything else the building has to offer.

I can’t wait to get started and see what Dr. McClurken chooses for our projects! I will keep updating this blog as our class progresses through the semester. Hopefully I will be able to publish some of our work on here and you too can experience the greatness of the new Information and Technology Convergence Center on the Mary Washington campus!