Digital History as a class actually is a great idea. This isn’t just to suck up and pretend that I enjoyed everything, this is actually how I feel. The projects we did were unlike anything else that college has offered me.
That being said, the projects took up the entire semester, and indeed have the look and feel of an entire semesters worth of work. But for the last four weeks, all of the groups were presenting every week the same thing that had been presented the last week with little or minor edits to the project itself. The presentations were great for the beginning of the semester when each week brought something new and exciting. After everything was set up, however, everyone seemed to sink into a repeating cycle of showing small change on the site with talk mostly concerning the back end that wouldn’t actually be displayed.
While my part in my group was almost mainly back end features that would tweak the display, the updates lost their flare and browsing the internet became a release for a slight distraction. Also I personally feel as though the beginning of the course with all the “wonderful tools” that were displayed to us, was giving us just enough information to be dangerous. Before taking a Digital History class, one that has a high risk of touching html code, SOME kind of computer coding course should be taken.
We were not supplied with the best version of the timeline program, and because of that we were limited to what we could do. It was if they gave us a rather large pool and said “Look at this amazing pool we have given you, swim and be happy.” To which we responded “How do you do that?” Then they said “How dare you ask us about such an issue, you start learning how to swim and maybe we’ll get back to you… probably” then pushed us in to watch us drown. So we didn’t really drown, but we weren’t very prepped for the task at hand. Instead we were wowed with the gizmos that Google was so kind to develop and then kept strung along by a list of “I’ll get back to you” emails which did not really help the case.
I guess what I’m saying about the class is, that a crash course in simple coding would be a lot more benifical to the class and students as opposed to learning about the cool things YouTube has on it, or watching random trailers. Yes, the class wouldn’t not have been as crazy fun, but it also would not have been over almost all our heads.
Lastly, my involvement in my group’s project. In the ending weeks of the project, I did feel myself slipping out of the work schedule and into inactivity. I had single handedly figured out the video code that was crucial to the timeline we were going to use. What I had forgotten was that there was still work to be done. It was then that my group members decided to inform in a very subtle manner that there was still work to be done, and I should be helping with it. I lucked out to have a group that was able to accept my appology ( with the condition being that I read more Bullet articles) and I was able to get back on track. The group on whole did have our few arguments, but our site looks great, and we all had a part in it.