Schedule

 


September
| October | November | December
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August

Tues., 8/29 – Introduction to the Course

Class Prep

  • Review the course web site, including requirements & assignments. Come with questions!

In-class Workshop: We’ll complete the student technology survey and begin searching for domain names.

After Class

  1. Purchase hosting at Reclaim Hosting. Use promo code reclaim4edu for 10% off the $30 fee for a year of hosting. Keep ALL administrative emails from Reclaim Hosting! Please think carefully about the domain name you choose.
  2. Set up a Google Account if you don’t already have one.

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Thurs., 8/31 – Doing History in the Digital Age

How historians view the world and the types of digital projects do they do.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop:
We’ll explore a digital history project together —  Cornell’s “1911 Triangle Factory Fire” Project at http://trianglefire.ilr.cornell.edu/.

 


September

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Tues., 9/5 – Getting Started

Install and set up your course portfolios

Class Prep

  • You must have purchased your domain and hosting prior to class. You must have access to all Admin emails from Reclaim Hosting during class.
  • Read: Introduction to HTML, W3Schools

In-class Workshop: We’ll install and set up your sites; review basic HTML & WordPress; experiment with posts, pages, plugins & themes.

Skills Assignment:

  • Edit Site Name & tag line; set time zone to EST.
  • Create and populate a basic About page.
  • Create and publish a basic introductory blog post.
  • Create two blog categories: Skills Assignments & Writing Assignments
  • Install & activate Stargazer theme.
  • Install the following plugins:
    • WP Dashboard Notes
    • WP Word Count
    • Last Modified Timestamp
  • Grant me administrative user access per the instructions given in class.

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Thurs., 9/7 – Evaluating the Vast History Web

Reviewing online history sites and projects.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll review the strengths & weaknesses of projects and sites dedicated to history and crime.

Writing Assignment due Saturday, 9/9 by 7pm: Your post should be 450 – 500 words; written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax). Please include citations in Chicago Style and hyperlink to all websites or digital sources. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will lose points per the course policy.

Prompt: Pick a project from the Digital Project List provided and explore it. On your blogs, write your own analytical review of the project. Please address all of the following in your review:

  • Content: What is the project attempting to do? Is it successful? How? Is the scholarship (if there is any, and you should note if there not) sound and current? What is the interpretative point of view? How well is the content communicated to users?
  • Design: Does the information architecture clearly communicate what a user can find in the site? Does the structure make it easy for a user to navigate through the site? Do all of the sections of the project function as expected? Does it have a clear, effective, and original design? How accessible is the site for individuals of all abilities? If it is a website, is it responsive (i.e., tablet/mobile-friendly)?
  • Audience: Is the project directed at a clear audience? How well does the project address the needs of that audience?
  • Digital Media: Does it make effective use of digital media and new technology? Does it do something that could not be done in other media—print, exhibition, film?

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Tues., 9/12 – Digital Preservation & Collections

The politics and realities of preserving our past. How history is digitized and the implications of that.

Class Prep

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Thurs., 9/14 – Studying Sensational Trials

Why study sensational trials? What can they teach us?

Class Prep

  • Read: Caleb Crain, “In Search of Lost Crime,” Legal Affairs, July/August 2002
  • Read: Michael Ayers Trotti, “The Lure of the Sensational Murder,” Journal of Social History 35 no. 2 (2001): pp 429-443. [Available through Mason Libraries].

Writing Assignment due Saturday 9/16 by 7pm: Your post should be at least 300 words; written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax). Please include citations in Chicago Style and hyperlink to all websites or digital sources. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will lose points per the course policy.

Prompt: Using your usual research methods, gather some facts and sources related to a sensational trial that interests you. Take notes along the way as you do your research. Discuss:

  • What are your search strategies? How successful are you at finding useful material? What are your criteria for judging what is reliable and useful and what is not?
  • What do you know now about your topic that you did not know previously? What new and remaining questions do you have? In retrospect, how might you approach this task differently?

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Tues., 9/19 – Searching for Sensational Trials

How search works. The mechanics of finding a sensational trial.  Evaluating trial sites.

Class Prep

  • Watch: Google, How Search Works on YouTube (approx. 3 min.)
  • Browse: Douglas O. Linder, “Famous Trials,” University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (2017) and come to class with a few trials that interest you.

In-Class Workshop: We’ll discuss your initial foray into searching for sensational trials and go over advanced search techniques. Online scavenger hunt.

Skills Assignment: Post the results of the in-class exercise on your blogs.

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Thurs., 9/21 – Finding and Evaluating Primary Sources in the Digital Age – Texts

Finding and using primary sources. What is a primary source? How are they digitized? Where can you find them? How do you read them?

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll read primary sources together and analyze them. We’ll also search for primary sources related to your trial(s) of interest using:

  • The open web; AND
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers or another news archive site; AND/OR
  • Museum, library, or archives collection, including the DPLA and/or Hathitrust.

Skills Assignment: Post the results to your blog and give a quick annotation about the kind of information these sources provide. Please use full Chicago citations for all your sources (per the example in class.)

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Tues., 9/26 – Finding and Evaluating Primary Sources in the Digital Age – Images

Finding and using visual primary sources. How to analyze and “read” historic photos.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll review and analyze several famous and not-so-famous photographs taken of historic events. Search for photographs related to your trials.

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Thurs., 9/28 – Useful Secondary Sources  – Websites & Wikipedia

Finding and evaluating secondary sources in the digital age. What is a secondary source? The pros and cons of using Wikipedia.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll review some Wikipedia pages about famous trials together; in-class evaluation and analysis of the information contained in Dr. Linder’s site.

Writing Assignment due Saturday 9/30 by 7pm: Your post should be at least 300 words; written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax). Please include citations in Chicago Style and hyperlink to all websites or digital sources. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will lose points per the course policy.

Prompt: Does your trial have a Wikipedia page? Is it robust? How does the information in the Wikipedia page corroborate or contradict the information contained in the primary sources you found? What about the Linder page for your trial? How does the Wikipedia page compare to Linder’s page? *If your trial does not have either, please email me for an alternative assignment prompt!**

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October

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Tues., 10/3 – Building Context with Secondary Sources  – Scholarly Sources

Finding and using monographs and articles to help you build context.

Class Prep

  • Read: W. Caleb McDaniel, “How to Read for History
  • Read: Jeffrey S. Adler, “I Loved Joe, but I Had to Shoot Him: Homicide by Women in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago,” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol 92, Issues 3 & 4, 2002.
    • Read Intro & Conclusion first – what is his argument? Make a note and bring it to class.
    • Pick a section that seems interesting and read it thoroughly. What is his argument about that section’s topic? What is his evidence? Do you believe him? Make notes and bring them to class.
    • Re-read his Intro & Conclusion – does the section you read support his argument? Make notes and bring them to class.

In-class Workshop: We’ll discuss this article at length. Begin searching for articles or monographs related to your topic.

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Thurs., 10/5 – Visual Storytelling

Introduction to the elements of storytelling online. Thinking about historical narratives using primary and secondary sources. Intro to TimelineJS tool.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: Find five photos or other textual sources related to your trial. Post and arrange them to tell a story. Publish them to your site and be prepared to discuss what you chose and why. We’ll begin to use the TimelineJS tool.

*I will share the details of the Timeline Project which will be due by 9am on Thurs., October 19th!

Writing Assignment due Saturday 10/7 by 7pm: Your post should be at least 300 words; written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax). Please include citations in Chicago Style and hyperlink to all websites or digital sources. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will lose points per the course policy.

Prompt: Start to pull together how you would create a narrative timeline for your trial. What 3-5 key events would you choose to include and why? What images do you have that could illustrate or visualize some of these key events? (Include them in your post!) Are videos available that you can use? (Please link to them) What primary sources do you have that help you tell this story?(Please link to them).

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Tues., 10/10 – NO CLASS – Your Monday classes will meet instead.

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Thurs., 10/12 – TimelineJS

Working with chronological history. Further explorations with TimelineJS.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll build an interactive timeline using Google Spreadsheets and the TimelineJS tool.

Skills Assignment: Publish your practice timeline to your site on its own page and link to it from your blogs.

Tutorial: Creating a Narrative Timeline using Timeline JS

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Tues., 10/17 – Copyright & Ethics in the Digital Age

Exploring copyright issues of the content available online. Understanding “fair use” and how it applies to us. We’ll explore the ethics and legality of some history sites. Questions about and troubleshooting problems with TimelineJS.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll explore the legality of the following sites:

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Thurs., 10/19 – Timeline Workshop

*Midterm timeline projects are due to me via email by 10:15a*

Class time will be a workshop for folks who want to put finishing touches on their timelines.

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Tues., 10/24 – Researching & Building Projects

Asking questions about history. Updating your WordPress site to accommodate the final project.

*We’ll review the assignment for your project proposals, due as a blog post at 9am on Thurs. November 9th. You must email me.

We’ll also review some final project examples.

Class Prep: Bring laptops for workshop day!

In-class Workshop: Working in WordPress – new themes, menus, pages, etc.

Skills Assignment: Update your course site to accommodate a final project.

  • Install any updates!
  • Change your course site to a static site.
  • Create a new “blog” page and direct WP to publish your blog posts there; add Blog to your Menus.
  • Install a new theme — experiment with colors and header images.
  • Install plugins — Google Fonts, Image Widget, Footnotes for WP (we’ll review these in class)
  • Create some widgets with information or images in your sidebar

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Thurs., 10/26 – Big Data for Historians // Formatting Project Sites (as needed)

What is “big data” and how does it change how we study history? How is data organized for history projects?

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: Exploration of digital projects which rely on big data; exploring some data sources for historians.

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Tues., 10/31 – Data & Its Uses

Exploring historic sources of data. The challenges of working with “free” data. Cleaning the Chicago Homicide Project’s database.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: Using the actual database and the data dictionary, we’ll begin working with the database underlying the Chicago Homicide Project. We’ll ponder the types of questions we can ask about homicides in Chicago.

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November

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Thurs., 11/2 – Finding Patterns in the Data

We’ll ask questions about homicide in Chicago and attempt to answer them using the data we have.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll crunch the data and discuss what it means.

Skills Assignment: Publish a link to your working database document. Post any data analysis you completed in class along with notes about what this data tells you or any further questions you have as a result of your analysis.

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Tues., 11/7 – Doing Digital History with Maps

Introduction to using maps. Narrative maps vs. data maps.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll explore how maps are used in history projects, sources of geographic or spatial data & online mapping tools including:

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Thurs., 11/9 – Narrative Maps

Making your own maps using online tools.

*Your project proposals are due to me as a blog post before class! You must email me to “turn in” this assignment. Emails received after 9:30 will lose points per the course late policy.*

In-class Workshop: We’ll begin to make our own maps using StoryMaps JS.

Skills Assignment: Post the maps you made in class to your blog.

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Tues., 11/14 Spatial History & Data Maps

Continuation of our exploration of maps. How do digital maps change our historical perspectives? What new questions can maps raise?

In-class Workshop: We’ll create data maps with Google’s My Maps . Begin to gather relevant geo-spatial information about your trials.

Thurs., 11/16 – CLASS CANCELLED

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Tues., 11/21 – Building Projects, Making Arguments

We’ll cover any issues with WordPress that you may be having and go over crafting strong thesis statements and making arguments.

*We’ll go into detail about the final project assignments.

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Thurs., 11/23 – Happy Thanksgiving! No class.

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Tues., 11/28 & Thurs., 11/30 – Visualizations and Their Uses

Introduction to visualizations. Using visualizations to help make historical arguments.

Class Prep

In-class Workshop: We’ll watch a great data visualization and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. We’ll also begin to play with other visualizations you can make to support your projects. We’ll review good, bad and ugly visualizations and attempt to make some of our own.

Writing Assignment due Saturday 12/2 by 7pm: Your post should be at least 250-300 words; written in a semi-formal scholarly style (with complete thoughts and correct spelling, grammar, and syntax). Please include citations in Chicago Style and hyperlink to all websites or digital sources. Partial responses (including responses that fail to meet the minimum word length or clearly fail to answer the prompt) will receive partial credit. Late posts will lose points per the course policy.

Prompt: What are your digital element or visualization plans for your final projects? Please tell me about the 2 digital elements you plan to create and how you intend to use them.

 

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December

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Tues., 12/5 – Projects!

Deep dive into the projects – bring your questions! This is your time to get my help.

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Thurs., 12/7 – Security Issues in the Digital Age & Wrap Up

Epic hacking and security issues. Wrapping up the class. Project work.

Class Prep

 

*There is no exam. Your projects are due December 14th to me by email @10am

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