What is HIST 2F90 about?

To answer the question in the post title, we’ll use a word cloud created using Voyant Tools.

HIST2F90-VoyantBanner

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Tailoring assignments to the online environment

Preparing to teach online has encouraged us to make fuller use of the online world by utilizing the dynamic, interactive tools of digital humanities scholarship. For some time, digital humanities have come to be seen as something of a panacea. And now, the rise of “Big History”, which embraces “big data” and DH tools, seems poised to push the discipline in that direction. Neither of us has ever shared that view, but we have both been adapting gradually to the new possibilities offered by computer tools in research and teaching.  Over the years, both of us have developed databases working with census materials and vital statistics, experimented with alternatives to PowerPoint such as Prezi, taught with online research tools, and organized much of our own research with Zotero.  More recently though we have begun to explore the potential of tools for text analysis, something that pushes us more fully into the world of Digital History.  We hope the course we’re developing will encourage students to engage more fully with the possibilities of research in a digital world, while also giving us an opportunity to share the learning experience with them. Continue reading

Blog introduction

Last spring, we (Danny Samson and Mike Driedger) began the design of a new online history course for Brock University.  The basic idea was to create a wholly online course that combined our specialisations in colonial North America (Danny) and early modern Europe (Mike).  Thus, we have a second-year course called “Money and Power in the Atlantic World, 1400-1830”; it will be delivered for the first time in fall-winter 2015-16.  The reasons for the development of the course will be the subject of a later post, but for now we’ll emphasise a desire to try to some new things, to engage some new students, and try our hand at teaching with digital tools. Continue reading