iMedia at ISSOTL13

by Jess Chambers, Elon iMedia Class of 2014

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to attend the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) conference and present at one of the workshops with four of my classmates. Lead by two of our iMedia professors, Phillip Motley and Amanda Sturgill, we attended an all day workshop that focused on using digital humanities for undergraduate education. Though it had a small attendance, its participants include scholars from Vanderbilt and Brown as well as Sweden, the UK and China. The first part of the day featured a demonstration of content rich, research based and process related tools. The workshop concluded by breaking into small groups to discuss how these tools could be adapted for the classroom and there level of usefulness. I’ll put a link to those tools at the bottom of this post for those who are interested.

“ISSOTL was a great experience to learn about a particular area and present it to a group of educators as an “expert” on that topic. Even more enriching was the discussion we had where we as graduate students could provide our perspectives on how effective technology can be in the classroom and provide our feedback on what they could do to provide the best experience for their students.” Shekinah Smith

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Included above is a word cloud based upon our closing conversations. All of us in attendance strongly believed digital humanities is important for the future of education. While some tools may be more difficult to incorporate in the classroom, it was generally agreed that developing technology can provide an unique approach to more engaged learning and assessment. Since most of my classmates and I completed our undergrad within the last few years, we were able to provide an unique viewpoint on the subject matter. And as students of interactive media, we get pretty excited about the potential impact these tools can have.

What is even more exciting is that iMedia14 could be the ones to create the next big thing in digital humanities. Already we’ve started to establish ourselves as experts in a variety of subjects and are able to engage in meaningful conversations about them. With my first academic conference completed, I feel even more motivated to start embracing any opportunity I have to create, educate and learn.  And, as I conclude the third month of the iMedia program, I know ISSOTL will be one of highlights of my time at Elon for years to come.

“I’m determined to make the most of my 10 months here at Elon, so that means trying to participate in as many events possible, especially if they make me uncomfortable. By signing up for ISSOTL, I was not only able to hone my oratory skills (which are sorely lacking), but also learn more about possible avenues for incorporating digital media in the classroom. To be honest, I was so nervous about the whole thing; I started to wonder if I had taken on too much, especially considering the myriad of homework and projects for other classes. To say “it was worth it” doesn’t even begin to describe how grateful I is to have been a part of that conference. I had the opportunity to meet with and discuss digital media in education in a semi-open forum with various university faculty from all over the country– it was incredible.”     –Mary Fran Thompson

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Brandon Himmelman, Allie White, Shekinah Smith, Jess Chambers, Mary Fran Thompson and Phillip Motley. (From left).

Demonstrated projects:

1989 presented my Mills Kelly
Margaret Sanger Papers presented by Allie White (iMedia14)
The Constitute Project  presented by Amanda Sturgill
The Book Genome Project presented by Brandon Himmelman (iMedia14)
The Rose Tool presented by Mary Fran Thompson (iMedia14)
Word Clouds ( Wordle, TagCrowd, Tagxedo, etc)  presented by Shekinah Smith (iMedia14)
Inform Interactive Fiction presented by Jess Chambers (iMedia14)

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