1.) Omeka was a new program for me to explore but I found it very beneficial as an archival tool for audiences of all backgrounds. The overall benefit of Omeka is that the possibilities are endless and it is up to the programmer to create something beneficial. After exploring several Omeka sites, listed below, I came to the conclusion that Omeka sites would work best for teaching children and teens K-12. The site is so easy to use that high school teens could even be made to create their own historical site as a requirement for graduation or something. These programs could hypothetically be used in museum exhibitions as well since many museums including science and technology museums require some form of interactive action on the part of the audience. A touch screen version of Omeka could be extremely beneficial if done right.
2.) I attempted to spend as much time as I could exploring several different sites including Omeka’s: “Valley of the Shadow,” “Great Molasses Flood” and “The Emancipation Project.” Then I explored the University of Houston’s Digital History Site and finally the Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab.
Omeka seemed the best platform for appealing to all audiences and age groups. The “Great Molasses Flood” was a site I could see being used for kids or teens, with an extremely easy navigation format along with information that is not already laid out without having to click on it..The viewer clicks on a different letter of the webpage (a hypothetical newspaper) to learn more if they so desire. Personally this format works best to avoid information overload. As opposed to the “Valley of the Shadow” Omeka site which lays out all the information in an ugly list format. That being said the primary source material was presented in an easy to understand format with maps and images that helped place the reader back into life back then.
Moving onto the University of Houston site which had the most appealing and visually attractive homepage that organized all the information into categories of “Eras, Topics, Resources, and Refernces.” By far the easiest page to navigate of all the other sites.
Finally the Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab was an extremely well made program for a site that more than likely is for college students and academic professionals. The historical information is easy to access if you know exactly what you are looking for. Filters allow one to select exactly what specific information they want. It was very hard to mess around and explore as the information was so specific to access.