Date: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM
Location: Salon B (Hilton Atlanta, Second Floor)

Workshop Preview

With registration now open, check out offerings for this year’s Getting Started in Digital History Workshop. As with last year, we have two tracks: introductory-track attendees get two short overviews on different digital-history approaches, while intermediate sessions are longer and focused on skill acquisition in a single digital-history methodology.


Short Introductory Sessions

These have no prerequisites and assume participants are just diving into the world of digital history.

  • Public History / Digital History. How does the practice of public history change when digital components are involved? How do we shape the digital sphere into a public commons, and expand the practice of public history outward from its physical institutions into virtual spaces? Where do we draw the line between digital public history and digital history in public? We’ll tackle these questions in both theoretical and practical form in this short introductory session.
  • Big Data & Digital History: Questions and Answers. This introductory workshop will offer an overview of how historians might use ‘Big Data’ in their research. We will discuss what ‘Big Data’ is, as well as the variety of ways in which it can help scholars to ask and answer historical research questions. Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of several approaches to big data, the types of tools they might use to explore them, and some strategies for getting started.
  • Digital Pedagogy. In this session, geared towards teachers with little background in digital history, participants will experiment with ways to integrate pre-existing digital history projects into their instruction. The instructor will model how to use two projects in k-16 classrooms and discuss the ways teachers can use digital tools to promote historical, data and statistical literacy. Participants will leave with a list of ready to use digital history projects, lesson plans, and the skills to continue to find and use digital tools.
  • Historical GIS and spatial history: This session will explore the integration of basic spatial history projects and pedagogy using off-the-shelf tools like Google Maps. Vocabulary and technology overviews will help session attendees learn the basics of GIS for historical research purposes, and two specific lesson-plan examples using Google Maps will give attendees practical tools to take back to their classrooms.
  • Wikipedia and Digital Literacy. This session will offer a lesson plan attendees can drop into their classroom that uses Wikipedia to train students in digital literacy and evaluation of sources. We will also discuss the caveats that accompany this kind of lesson plan and the role academic historians can play in Wikipedia contributions.

Intermediate Workshops

Our intermediate sessions assume some level of comfort with computers and will give participants some grounding in theory as well as a short introduction to a particular tool. If you took an intermediate session last year and want an introduction to a new tool, there are several new offerings this year and an expansion of the very popular network-analysis track:

  • Advanced Digital Mapping (Anelise Hanson Shrout, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Studies, Davidson College): This hands-on intermediate workshop will tackle more advanced GIS tools, including creation of points, lines and polygons, and basic data management for GIS.
  • Oral digital history (Doug Boyd): This hands-on intermediate session will tackle workflow for historians interested in managing, capturing, analyzing and publishing oral-history projects in a digital world. Some pre-existing experience with oral history necessary.
  • Network Analysis (Sara Palmer): This hands-on intermediate session will provide a basic overview of network theory and then hands-on manipulation of networks and their components using Gephi. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data sets.
  • Research and Pedagogy in 3D (Lisa M. Snyder, Research Scholar, UCLA’s Institute for Digital Research and Education): This hands-on intermediate workshop will explore the array of new tools and technologies for integrating 3D content into research and pedagogy. Following a brief overview of the field, participants will engage with a variety of 3D projects, with examples ranging from augmented reality to on-line virtual worlds. VSim, a new NEH-funded prototype software interface for real-time exploration of academically generated 3D models, will also be featured. VSim allows users three modes of navigation, includes a mechanism for creating linear narratives through the virtual world that can be augmented by text and images (think PowerPoint or Prezi in 3D space), and provides a mechanism to link to primary and secondary resources from within the modeled environment. The session will conclude with a discussion about research and pedagogical applications for 3D technology.
  • Tidy Data and Data Uncertainty in Data Visualization (Jason Heppler, Academic Technology Specialist, History, Stanford University): This hands-on intermediate workshop will explore the ways historians can use web-based tools for the collection and clean-up of historical data, and building preliminary map, network, tabular, and timeline visualizations using the Palladio platform. Attendees can expect to leave the workshop having gotten some experience using Palladio to think about their data, and a deeper understanding of complex, uncertain data visualization in History.