This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Education

Charter

The Education working group should identify and define ways in which Bamboo can best support the professional development of faculty and staff about approaches and methods for the use of digital technologies in research and teaching in the arts and humanities. In particular, the group should consider the professional development challenges of a world in which individuals will create, repurpose and remix tools and content through the use of shared technology services. The group shall explore similar ideas for educating and developing undergraduate and graduate students. This can include a range of approaches from teaching individual skills to formulating curricula to mentoring. Finally, the group shall propose ways in which the different and diverse communities engaged in Bamboo can learn from each other and in doing so, develop an ongoing and shared understanding of the research and learning challenges and opportunities within the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences.

To express interest in and volunteer for this working group, send an email to:
education_wg@lists.berkeley.edu. Include "Working Group Interest" in the subject line. The membership list and work of this working group will be posted here.

Background


Working Group Members

name

institution

Lucy Appert

NYU

Tom Barton

Chicago

Sammy Basu

Willamette

Steve Brier

CUNY

Lori Emerson

Colorado

Katherine Harris

San Jose State

Tom Laughner

Smith

Jon McKenzie

Wisconsin

Roberto Marques

Chicago

Patrick Neher

Arizona

Liz Pearce

Iowa

Robert Squillace

NYU

Mark Williams (F)

Dartmouth

Alex Wirth-Cauchon

NITLE

11 Comments

  1. Unknown User (markj)

    Here is Sammy's memo from 11/20, which informed our conference call on 11/21:

    Since I am still having a bit of trouble comprehending the full scope of 'education' in relation to PB and digital humanities through information technology, at the risk of seeming pedantic, I would want to compress what is on the blog in our working group section in the following ways.

    First, we should distinguish between:

    1. teaching (everyone) how to use IT
    2. teaching (grad students, and undergrads) humanities-related enquiries and subjects through IT
    3. teaching (faculty) how to use IT to teach or otherwise research and convey humanities-related enquiries and subjects through IT
    4. teaching (faculty, and grad students) how to teach (graduate students, and undergrads) the use of IT to teach or otherwise research and convey humanities-related enquiries and subjects through IT

    Second, we should try to characterize what I take to be the two big relevant 'gaps':
    1. what do humanities scholars and students presently want to be able to do in research and pedagogical terms that they seem unable to do given present IT? i.e. what might we want to see created or generated? what might PB highlight (and advocate for) as unfulfilled digital humanities needs?
    2. what IT capacities and possibilities (from the established to the experimental) already exist that are underutilized in the advancement of scholarship and teaching by humanities scholars and students? i.e., what might PB highlight (and affirm) as digital tools, programs, or processes of promise to the humanities?

    Third, to effectively characterize these gaps, they need to be aggregated through some of sort of communicative and collaborative expression of needs (and here the work of PB to date in generating a shared vocabulary will be very helpful) and clearinghouse of practical models (categorized in terms of potential uses with illustrative examples or demonstrator models, and ranked in terms of complexity, soft and hard costs and commitments involved and so on).

    Fourth, we need to identify what sorts of roles the members of the working groups can separately and collectively play in the tasks above. It would, at minimum, be good to know what the state of the digital humanities is on each of our campuses, and what special niches or models or digital resources or successes might be shared or collaboratively enhanced for PB demonstrator model purposes.

    Sammy Basu PhD
    Associate Professor of Politics
    Willamette University

  2. Unknown User (markj)

    Here are the minutes from our 11/21 conference call; feel free to amend as necessary:

    Project Bamboo: Education WG - Minutes of 21 November 2008 conference phone call

    Present:
    Tom B - tbarton@uchicago.edu
    Sammy B- sbasu@willamette.edu
    Liz P - liz-pearce@uiowa.edu
    Mark W (f) - Mark.J.Williams@Dartmouth.EDU

    Discussed:

    • initial talking points from Sammy
    • 'demonstrator models'
    • notion of 'gap's and 'bridges' of varying widths
    • inter and trans-disciplinary but also multi-disciplinary and disciplinary relationships to humanities teaching and scholarship
    • working group will achieve something if contributing participants draw on work to which they are already committed

    I. 3 ideas for possible demonstrator models were volunteered:

    A. Sammy - revising standard syllabus
    Political Humor Course
    centered on classic humanities texts from Aristophanes on

    model: 3 versions of syllabi

    • standard paper syllabus (version 1.0)
    • converted into v.2.0 - enhance present conception of course in IT mediated ways
    • re-envisioned as v.3.0 - how could the course be transformed in its essential objectives and pedagogy

    relevant IT process: 'visual understanding environments'

    B. Liz - fac-student collaboratively generated digital teaching space
    Intercultural Communication course
    centered on 8 intercultural 'problems'

    model: syllabi to digital teaching space

    • original syllabus
    • teaching space combining texts that students read with podcasts prepared by fac drawing on past student comments and video-clips they find and discuss and classroom instruction emphasizing application, just-in-time teaching, on-going student learning difficulties and so on

    relevant IT process: 'mash-ups'

    C. Mark - (multi-)disciplinary applied WIKI derived from Media Studies
    Media Ecology wiki: TV newscasts (sample focus project)

    model: web-portal integrating web archives and analytical tools and e-publishing, in consultation with applied (multi-) disciplinary organization(s) such as the Association of Moving Image Archivists

    • locate historical newscasts; advocate for more online
    • cultivate tool sets, tagging and metadata, etc.
    • possible key role for libraries, etc. (Section 108 copyright law)

    relevant IT process: 'nanohubs'

    II. For the working group, we need to...
    A. decide how to continue to communicate and collaborate: from blogs to skype and what other models in the middle, to full face-to-face sessions.
    can we identify?

    B. focus on the WG Charter and perhaps better identify and work to operationalize its specific elements:

    CHARTER
    The Education working group should identify and define ways in which Bamboo can best support the professional development of faculty and staff about approaches and methods for the use of digital technologies in research and teaching in the arts and humanities. In particular, the group should consider the professional development challenges of a world in which individuals will create, repurpose and remix tools and content through the use of shared technology services. The group shall explore similar ideas for educating and developing undergraduate and graduate students. This can include a range of approaches from teaching individual skills to formulating curricula to mentoring. Finally, the group shall propose ways in which the different and diverse communities engaged in Bamboo can learn from each other and in doing so, develop an ongoing and shared understanding of the research and learning challenges and opportunities within the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences. http://projectbamboo.uchicago.edu/working-groups-ws2-ws3

    III. Next steps
    A. Sammy - conveys notes/minutes; we all revise and then post summary on PB WIKI
    Mark is to contact WG members and determine 1) that they are continuing and, 2) if they have specific contributions to make.

    B. Next phone meeting: tentatively scheduled for Dec 5 at 4pm EST

    1. Unknown User (lori.emerson@colorado.edu)

      Hello all, my apologies again for being unable to participate in the first phone meeting. Unfortunately again I have to attend a job-talk when the second call has been planned for this Friday. Does anyone think it advisable for us to work online - either through email, through this wiki, or perhaps even through chatting online? That might ensure that most if not all people can participate, regardless of scheduling conflicts.

      Also, I think the charter sounds terrific. However, I also wonder if the final parts are a bit too broad and too general - Bamboo itself is amorphous enough and it seems to me that it might not be feasible for this one workgroup to - in the next year - "propose ways in which the different and diverse communities engaged in Bamboo can learn from each other and in doing so, develop an ongoing and shared understanding of the research and learning challenges and opportunities within the arts, humanities, and interpretive social sciences." In fact, I wonder if this sentence isn't necessary - for if we provide curricular support/mentoring for undergraduate/graduate students and faculty from faculty  of different disciplines, we will have accomplished learning from each other.

      My only other suggestion would be to change "for the use of digital technologies in research and teaching in the arts and humanities" to "the use and study of..."; I suggest this because "use" on its own might help perpetuate the IT mindset that humanists have been struggling with throughout the Bamboo workshops (ie the issue is not simply one of what tools to use and how to teach people the tools but of how to understand the importance of using these tools, or how to understand how the uses made available by tools determine how and what we're able to produce).

      I hope my thoughts are even a bit useful and I haven't been too pedantic here!

      best, Lori

  3. Unknown User (markj)

  4. Unknown User (lori.emerson@colorado.edu)

    Generally, our Education workgroup has agreed that we understand "education" in a digital humanities context to mean the teaching and learning of three interrelated skills:
    1.    The specifics of how to use, apply, create with, and critique hardware and software; by critique we mean the ways in which it affects how and what we read and write, using longstanding critical methodologies of the arts and humanities
    2.    Developing methodologies (including evaluative models for assessing critical and creative digital work, and creating course designs, syllabi, curricula) 

    As a preliminary step to accomplishing some of these lofty goals, we have discussed the need for advocacy. Advocacy not necessarily as a way to bring the luddites on board but as a way to help us make convincing arguments to university administrators about the need to not just provide us with the basics (such as software licenses, IT support, and smart classrooms) but also to support us in rethinking curriculum, rethinking the very design and function of our current classrooms, and rethinking some of the foundational aspects of our current model of teaching and learning.  

    To try to concretize these ideas, right now we're focusing on pedagogy (for example, Jon Mackenzie will share with us his reverse-engineered syllabus) and also the issues of promotion and tenure---for none of these changes will happen on our campuses if the institution doesn't a) recognize the labor that will go into retooling our teaching and research; b) support the rethinking of educational assignments, the assessment of digital media work by students, and also means by which to deal with questions of plagiarism (plagiarism in both the positive sense of the mash-up etc. and the negative sense in terms of unthoughtful re-use of material) and even hacking; and c) recognize, as part of the promotion and tenure process, critical and creative digitally-based work that is not recognizably traditionally text-based.

    On our working group website, you'll find there a url to a wiki project that people at the University of Puget Sound have put together that's attempting to develop sample syllabi and possible course modeules on digital literacy, especially in relation to Bamboo: https://wiki.ups.edu/doku.php?id=projectbamboo&DokuWiki=871199cca3d6bc47d8c3d1fd79743f00

    With regard to the last point, we decided it would be helpful to survey working group participants about the state of digital humanities on their campus. To that end, Jon Mackenzie posted a story on the wiki about his attempts to jump-start DH at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I, in turn, focused on surveying my colleagues on the status in particular of promotion and tenure in relation to those of us who are BOTH teaching and undertaking digital work, whether critical or creative.  Since the MLA annual convention hosted a workshop just a few weeks ago on this very topic, what I would like to do now is just briefly present to you with summaries and feedback from some of the participants at that panel. And just to be clear: while none of my colleagues addressed the issue of pedagogy and the development of digital media-centered curricula and syllabi assessment, this too needs to be part of changes to the current structure of the promotion and tenure process.   

    First, from Laura Mandell, Associate Director of the NINES project and chair of the MLA panel on Evaluating Digital Work for Promotion and Tenure:
    •    She notes that the documents for P & T put together by the MLA for digital work are too general to serve as policy manuals at any given institution: they sometimes state the obvious, e.g., that a peer-reviewed journal online should count as much as a peer-reviewed article appearing in print, valued according to the online venue's stated number of submissions and percentage of rejections.  
    •    But still, she makes clear that unfortunately the obvious still needs to be said.
    •    She also notes that one of the highlights of the MLA workshop was when she realized that department chairs need to offer external and internal reviewers detailed instructions on how to evaluate what they see.
    •    At Research 1 universities, it isn't uncommon for tenure cases to be turned down at the higher levels even when these same tenure cases have been wholeheartedly supported by specific departments; and so candidates, external reviewers, and chairs face the added burden of having to educate deans and provosts through documentation and explanation.
    •    At the moment, for better or for worse, the onus is mostly on the candidates to explain what institutional bodies have ratified your work, and exactly what form has that ratification taken

    Perhaps one form of that ratification could be an online written evaluation composed by scholars constituting particular editorial boards, perhaps housed at Bamboo.

    Regardless, overall, most of the participants that I corresponded with agreed that one of the main problems to evaluating digital work is that the artificiality of the dossier form required by most institutions lacks flexibility for explaining the relevance of a digital project. My colleagues also noted that there is currently an uncomfortable channeling of so-called Digital Humanities work into established tracks whose establishment may itself be a subject of reconsideration (for example, the continued relevance of the term "humanities" is up for debate for many people currently in so-called humanities departments). The general consensus is also that organizations such as the MLA or such as Bamboo might want to find ways to bring the review process into the open and use the affordances of networking technologies to create a profession-wide, peer to peer, network for active and public evaluation.

    1. Unknown User (kharris@email.sjsu.edu)

      I'm coming to this working group late, but I need to replace Menko Johnson (from SJSU) here and am happy to now jump in.  But, there's a difference between what is articulated here for this working group vs. what is articulated in the program document currently under review in Workshop 4.  Are we discussing advocacy for T&P issues or are we really discussing pedagogy and its impact on digital humanities research? 

      Section 3.5 in the current program document needs some fleshing out to represent (and encourage further participation by) teaching-focused institutions. 

       I'm happy to get more involved.  Where do ya'll need some help?

  5. Unknown User (lori.emerson@colorado.edu)

    Education Workgroup:
    • Broaden "text"
    • Interpret: critique and create
    • Collaborate
    • 360 degree teaching
    • Assess/Advocate
    • Demonstrators (Mark and Sammy)



  6. Unknown User (jonmck)

    At UW, we're realizing that while students have largely made the jump to Web 2.0, our IT systems and pedagogies are 1.0 at best. Simply "allowing" students to generate wikis and mash-ups is raising all sorts of technical, legal, and conceptual issues.

    To explore these issues, I'm teaching an experimental course, developed in close consultation with library and IT staff. The description follows.

    Digital Media & Future Learning
    Prof. Jon McKenzie
    jvmckenzie@wisc.edu
    Spring 2008, Mon. 6:00-8:30

    Description - This experimental "studiolab" course addresses digital media's potential for shaping the university's future. Combining studio and computer lab environments, we will explore how new media enables new forms of learning characterized by the mashup---specifically, the mixing of subject matters, media, and skill sets.

    The course begins with seminar readings on media and education, focusing on the place of participation and user-generated content, and the issues of copyright and fair use. We then shift to readings on the practice of information architecture and experience design, leading into the studio portion of the course, where students collaborate on multimedia projects with one overarching goal: to use digital media to invent future learning.

    To this end, the entire course will run as a giant sim, with students performing as teams of virtual consultants to the university.

       *      The class: hands-on research into digital forms of learning.
       *      The project: invent future learning.
       *      The hardware: open.
       *      The software: open.
       *      The data: your collective coursework---and its archival traces.
       *      The genre: mashup.
       *      The deliverables: 1500-word report, 3-5 min video, 15 minute presentation.
       *      The simulation: a virtual consultancy.

    As virtual consultants, each team is called upon to envision the digitalization of the university and the redesign of knowledge itself, starting with a specific database: that of your team's own courses, past and present. This database includes documents (syllabi, readings, tests, records), architectural forms (classrooms, labs, buildings), memories (experiences, class notes, study sheets), etc., as well as their links to other bodies of knowledge found in libraries, archives, and memory banks. Working from this database and its traces, each team will create mashed-up scenarios of how information might be digitally remixed and, correspondingly, how the experience of knowledge might be redesigned.

    (From another perspective: students will produce radical remakes of their undergraduate learning experience.)

    The Client requests at least three deliverables: a 1500-word report with supporting graphics, 3-5 minutes of video, and a 15-minute presentation or performance.

    While the production of report, video, and presentation will require certain skills and technologies, the scenarios can contain any imaginable hardware or software, any topos or site, real or fictive: games and sims, coffee shops, laptops, iPhones, iPods, lounges, clubs, social networking sites, wii .... Likewise, a team's research, production, and communication can also work by any media necessary. The Client can provide certain technologies, software, and training but also encourages teams to use their own technologies and skills. Development of media skills will largely be determined by project needs.

  7. Unknown User (markj)

    Here is a revised draft of the charter for the Education working group. Please comment and discuss:

    The Education working group should specify how Project Bamboo can effectively support Arts, Humanities and Interpretive Social Sciences faculty and staff in new and renewed research and teaching activities that both use and critique digital technologies. A wide range of educational pursuits are open to digital innovation and renewal, extending from conventional teaching, research, and mentoring, to the cultivation of new tools, methods, and curricular goals. Such an emergent environment of innovation must be met with the self-critical awareness that characterizes the Humanities, plus an attention to new issues in professional development that may attend. In particular, the group should be sensitive to an expanded notion of "text" in digital environments, and be alert to exploratory, collaborative, interdisciplinary, interpretive, creative and remixing scholarly and pedagogical practices involving digital tools and methods. Crucially, the group should try to anticipate the challenges and possibilities that arise as faculty, graduate and undergraduate students interact in collaborative digital environments, and emphasize the necessity for appropriate testing and assessment. Finally, the group should propose ways in which the different and diverse participants and communities engaged in Bamboo can learn from each other.

  8. Unknown User (jay.satterfield@dartmouth.edu)

    Here are some thoughts on promoting use and awareness of digital collections.  Please feel free to add comments:

    Promoting use of new and existing digital collections

    One of the barriers keeping many scholars in the Humanities from fully exploiting digital resources in their teaching and research is a general lack of awareness of existing and developing digital collections that could serve their needs. Use is further hampered by a lack of awareness of effective ways to use this digital content.

    Digital collections are often built to support local use. In many instances they are created by an individual or institution to support a particular course or research project. Other collections are created to appeal to a wide audience (e.g. Library of Congress's American Memory Project). These collections are promoted in different ways, either on a highly local level to the direct intended community or to a wide net via listservs, press releases, and glitzy web sites.  ut both kinds of collections are likely to have broader applications if they can find their users.

    In most libraries there seems to be something of a "build it and they will come" attitude toward digital collection curation. If we put this cool stuff up on the web, the thinking goes, users from around the world will find it and use it. Little effort is given to pushing the collections to targeted audiences or making sure there is general awareness of the new collections. It seems that the effort that goes into creating many digital collection drains the energy of the creators, so that promotion and outreach are an afterthought.

    In some cases, scholarly communities have stepped in to mine the internet and catalog digital collections that are of potential use to their constituencies. A good example of this is the American Institute of Physics, which regularly polls Special Collections repositories for new collections related to Physics (and even offers grant money to process and create access to Physics-related collections). The Polar Library Consortium is currently surveying its members for digital collections related to the polar regions, in order to promote those collections as a group.

    The Humanities is so diffuse, and potential research collections are so diverse, that one of Project Bamboo's potential contributions could be exploring and enacting methods for creating widespread awareness of existing and emerging digital collections. A labor-intensive method would be to create a catalog of digital collections relevant to the Humanities. This would require constant updating, and heavy staffing. A better method is to find ways to encourage all digital collection producers to advertise their collections in a social networking environment for humanities scholars. If there were a social networking environment for humanities scholars who have created solid profiles of their research and teaching interests, then a digital collection producer could create a profile for its collection that would alert potential users of its availability. Also, scholars could tag existing collections to alert people with similar interests to their availability and usefulness. People could add teaching guides or other interpretive content to the digital collections. Over time, a database of collections with tags could be built that could then be mined.

    Considerations about digital content:

    1. Origin---was the digital content developed by an institution or organization devoted to teaching and research? There can be a profound difference in the quality and accessibility of materials digitized by libraries, museums, for-profit organizations, scholarly organizations, or independent enthusiasts. There may need to be an educational component to outreach efforts to help users understand the implications of differing points of origin.
    2. Price---often the best sources of digital content for the humanities come through for-profit providers. Many of these are extremely expensive and are only available to members of wealthy research institutions. A good example is Early English Books Online (EEBO), a tremendous source containing scanned page images of nearly every known published work in English from the beginning of printing to 1700. There are varying levels of access depending on institutional commitment to EEBO that affect its uses in the classroom and in research. Outreach programs must take into consideration that not all members of the community will have equal access to the resources.
    3. Copyright---some resources will be protected by copyright that limits potential use and distribution.  or some collections to be useful beyond the local level, copyright clearances would need to be obtained.