Self Reflective Essay
Before this Digital History course, I had a learning curve when it came to technology. Not because I was not capable on a computer, I am a millennial after all, but because I had little knowledge of coding. Not just coding but I had little knowledge of what WordPress or Omeka were. While I still have little knowledge of coding, I can run WordPress and Omeka. I have learned life skills with both of them. WordPress and Omeka are both skills I can use in a future profession. At this point in time, i feel pretty confident with WordPress. My final project was powered by WordPress, and it is what I have used the most. Over the course of the semester, I posted twelve different blogs. Early in the semester posting to the blog was alien to me, but now it is something I can do easily.
I don’t want to make it seem that was all I learned. In fact, i learned a lot about the Digital History world. The world is somewhat of a controversial one. Some history professors see it as kind of hack. They believe that history is at its best when it is in print. Their argument does carry merit, however, a more significant point is that we live in a technologically advanced world. If we can bring history to life on the internet we can help peak interest in an important subject. The class itself has its eyes on the future. One of my favorite reading this year was about Assassin’s Creed and Historical accuracy in gaming. Not only is that a great video game, but it carries historical significance. OK, it is not entirely accurate historically speaking, but, nonetheless, the game put players in Colonial Boston. That ability has put some in the digital history world’s eyes to using something like that in Virtual Reality. Which would help educate students on life during any time period? Especially if a more appropriate name for the class is Digital Humanities.
The class has changed my perspective of history as the whole. Before the class, I believed history was kind of an archaic major. I knew there were historical websites, but I did not see how I could create a historical website. As stated before I know how to do that now. The impact I believe digital humanities can have on the world is a lot. DH can not only inform and educate, but it can spark interest in history.
Another topic we discussed in class is the deep dark pit the internet can be. Websites like 4chan and 8chan are full of racist and sexist streams of comments. This is problematic for obvious reason, but a not so obvious problem is women in tech. Women, for the most part, are never really encouraged to pick up a console or computer. When they do pick up a computer they are told to figure it out on their own. Unfortunately for them, they live in a culture that thinks women are bad at math. As a result, there are fewer women that receive majors in engineering and computer science. We learned that we need more women in tech because diversity matters. Not only that if ever there was a major that needed more empathy it is engineering and computer science. It is also my job as liberal arts major that has an interest in DH that I point out sexism and racism when I see it online. Not because I’m looking for a fight, but because it is the right thing to do.
This digital history was one of the coolest classes I have ever taken. It broadens my horizons to the possibilities that are out there for history majors in a technological world. So much so that want to pursue a career in Digital Humanities. I do not know exactly what, but this is something I am incredibly fascinated by. I am pretty confident in my WordPress skills where feel I can make a website on my own. My project partner John and I were talking about how our Professor Sean essentially “Mr. Miagi’d” us. If you do not know that is a Karate Kid reference do yourself a favor goes watch that movie. All of the blog post we did John and I had no idea that was how to create a website on WordPress. All in all, i’d like to say that I genuinely enjoyed this class and will recommend it to anyone that is interested.