Reflective Essay

Over this course, that being Digital Humanities / History, during my first semester at CSULB during the fall of 2016 I have noticed that my analytical eye and my ability to process information the web has improved significantly. I have always loved and enjoyed learning about different cultures and their histories and so this class gave an interesting twist to what I love to learn about by expanding my view of history in a digital form and the internet and having the humanities as an online presence has been very unique to learn about. After taking this course, I have found that not only have I become more engaged in learning about a variety of historical subjects but also the vast range of historical topics that one can learn about is quite diverse. During my time in DH, I have found that I love to research and learn more about what I am studying such as yellow face, which this class has given me the skills to achieve my goals as a history major while gaining the technical skills of being online.

As I started my first academic year at CSULB and more specifically, DH, I wasn’t aware of how much research and time went into creating a website that had a developed thesis and proper historical information backing it up for the information provided on a webpage or created for the purposes of allowing others to learn about historical context. However, by taking this course I have learned that there is more to simply researching and being able to evaluate different writing styles and analyze different historical sources. Thus, Professor Sean helped me along this path as he pointed me in the right direction when looking at research and focusing my main topic when trying to find the right topic to do a digital project on. Which not only would help contribute to the argument of what our website, a Omeka page created by my partner and friend Megan, and I, but also give me keen insight into the material I was researching about. The course was challenging, but in a fun way, as I was able to learn about the many different aspects of the digital humanities such as the different websites or web tools used to create an archive or how video games and history can coincide with one-another. Furthermore, as I progressed through this course and learned more information that would be valuable when creating and presenting arguments to my classmates and my professor on the material I was given would be highly beneficial for my learning.

Overall, even though DH was a relatively new class created by professor Smith, he taught it well and the class overall was very enjoyable. I could learn about my own online presence, how to create an archive, how to edit a website along with being able to determine the validity of a website and the historical arguments and context it was presenting. I was also able to grow with my technical understanding of computers and that of the internet and the various search engines that Professor Smith showed us in class. I would definitely suggest this class to other history majors, especially those who have little to no understanding of digital history as it is a good way to gain a proper technical understanding in an easy and free flowing way in the class. This course has been especially important to my learning and development as a future historian as it has allowed me to gain access to a multitude of tools for future jobs and uses in research.

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