Recently in class, we have been playing around with the Omeka application. I’ve learned that you don’t want to think of Omeka as an open blog post to vent your ideas, but rather, look at Omeka as an online museum which contains artifacts. With playing around with Omeka I started to make an online museum about my life and showing how I got here today. As I was doing this in class, I started to think about how I could use these ideas and connect it to my final project in the class which uses the Knight Lab timeline tool. Both of these tools can be used in the same way, but they are very different applications.
When I think of Omeka now I think about it as a timeline about someone’s life history. But you don’t see the timeline, rather, you see the exhibits which can be like a timeline. You can click through the different pages and see the history of that person’s life. This is exactly what I am doing with my final project on the timeline website. My group is doing the history of how the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau came to be. We are doing what is shown in Omeka but in our project, you can actually see a picture of a timeline with a point on it explaining what he did at this date/ time period. I feel that these two tools are connected. If I use my Omeka website as an example, I started putting together an online museum of my life and the history of how I got to SUNY Geneseo. I could grab all of these pages that I started to make and put it all on the timeline website. I could start with the day I was born and add captions explaining each event I would decide to put in there. On the timeline tool, you can also add as many pictures as you want. One difference between the two is that you can pinpoint when the exact event was on the timeline, and in Omeka you would put the date either in the caption or as the title of that exhibit. But it is the same story that can be told on different tools.
As I have mentioned before; I am studying to be a teacher. After learning about these applications, I found that this would be a great project that I could assign in my classroom or use in class to do the history of an author in literacy, or of how electricity was invented in science. I feel that these tools can be used in all subjects and not just in history class. This is also a great way to get the students excited about researching a time period, event, or person and then have them explain it to their other classmates. These could be fun projects that aren’t the same activities over and over again. Another way that I thought I could use this is to use it as a project rather than have them take a test; it is still testing what they learned but they don’t have to get as stressed about taking an exam. I also think it’s good to mix up giving students tests and projects because then they can focus on learning rather than just memorizing, I know I enjoyed this mixing up of testing growing up.
In Dr. Schacht’s English 340 class we have been working a lot with different types of programs and devices. We were asked the question “What are the most interesting things I know now that I didn’t know at the beginning of the semester?” I feel that I have learned a lot this semester about computers then I have in years. Dr. Schacht’s class has pushed me to learn about all the different types of computer programs and websites. The most interesting thing I believed I learned so far in this semester is how to use the program VirtualBox.
As a future teacher, I think that Dr. Schacht’s English 340 class is very eye-opening for me. This class has helped me learn about my computer and all the different things I can do with it. Due to technology rising in this day in age I think it’s important that teachers know about the technology they are teaching and how to work it in many ways. By taking this class I feel that I have gained a better sense of computer devices. I have also learned some tools that I think can be useful in a classroom. I feel that the timeline website would be a great attribute for me to assign as a class project for a history class. I can ask my class to do a timeline of the presidents of the United States, or maybe put the wars that we have fought in chronological order. I think that they could also use simple text to take notes on the topics that the students will research. These programs can teach the students about how everything you do on your computer has a command, but we just don’t think of that when we’re on our computers. I can also use other programs like Atom or virtual box in my class for writing notes or making worksheets. Technology is an important part of a child’s day and it’s not going to go away. That’s why I believe that teachers should learn about how the new technology works. This way the teachers can teach their students. But also, teachers and students can use both these skills in and out of the classroom.
Another aspect I think is beneficial about taking this class is that everything is being broken down for me, so I understand why we have to type in https:// on a website, or how we can make things italicized on a simple text program like Atom. If I know more about this, I believe that it would be a great lesson to teach children. They should know the simplistic commands that makes your computer do the things you want it to do. You don’t have to start his at kindergarten, but I think if you do little pieces over time starting at the younger ages. For example, around 3 or 4th grade when children start to use computers every day in class then it can improve their knowledge of their computers overall.
“Lit and Lit Study in the Digital Age” was my top english class that I wanted to take this semester. Coming into this class I knew it would be different, one that would cover topics I have never covered in any other english class. That is the biggest reason I was so intrigued to take this class. Although I am not very good with computers or technology, I wanted to improve my skills. I feel that I am average in being versatile in technology, but every now and then I need to ask other people for help with tasks. Read more