If the first MOOC sex scandal breaks during the next two weeks…

1 08 2014

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If the first MOOC sex scandal breaks during the next two weeks, I’m going to be very upset because I won’t have any time to cover it. I leave on Sunday for the Doing Digital History Summer Institute at George Mason’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History in New Media. If this news makes you think I’ve lost my mind (again), please remember that I’m interested in helpful technologies that I can control, which means I want to see everything that’s out there and pick the ones that are most useful to me.

My interest in the digital humanities has always been primarily on the teaching side.  Indeed, I had to have a project going to get admitted into this NEH-funded institute in the first place.  Starting last semester, I began the groundwork for a digital project that my students could do. Indeed, having them work on it in a hybrid format this semester is the only way I could possibly keep my sanity with my about-to-be-increased courseload.

It’s going to be an online recreation of the mining town of Sopris, Colorado (following a town- and city-based approach to Colorado History pioneered by the organization formerly known as the Colorado Historical Society). My friends at the Bessemer Historical Society have astoundingly cool stuff like this, a map of the mine tunnels that is so much bigger and more impressive in person but still pretty cool when shrunk:

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What I hope to get in northern Virginia over the next two weeks are both the skills and the conceptual framework to get all of this stuff up in a format that people can use.

When I read the schedule and the reading list for the institute, I quickly realized that this would take up all my time, night and day, if wanted to do this right (and still get my syllabi done by the start of fall semester). Since the first thing we’re doing on Monday is (apparently) signing up with Reclaim Hosting, I might even migrate this blog to a new site like I should have done years ago and enter the world of WordPress plug-ins.

This doesn’t mean this blog will be going dead. I have two pieces out elsewhere that I think (cross my fingers) will be published. I’ll link from here if they indeed are. They also appear to be threatening to make the participants in the institute blog too. If I manage to write anything about DH that’s less embarrassing than this, I’ll link to it from here as well.

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