Summary Form

Digital Story Title:

Saving Buckland: The Conflict Between Historic Preservation and Progress in Northern Virginia

Brief description:

This Digital Story will focus on my own experience learning about a village in Northern Virginia named Buckland.  This collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century structures has remained remarkably intact, but it is now being threatened by infrastructure expansion and suburban sprawl like so many other historic sites in Northern Virginia.  The story will chart the rise, fall, and preservation of Buckland, in addition to discussing its potential role for interpretation and education in the community.

Main goal(s):

The main goal of this Digital Story is to educate the public about Buckland’s existence and to educate members of the community about the threats to Buckland’s survival.  I want viewers of this digital story to understand that nineteenth century Buckland was not that remarkable.  It was one of hundreds of Virginian piedmont towns that grew up along turnpikes that were used for commerce, and waterways used to power a variety of mills.  What is remarkable, and what I hope viewers walk away with, is that a large portion of this town has survived to the twenty-first century and can now play an important role in educating the public about Virginia and its place in the early republic.

Who is your intended audience? (e.g., colleagues, historians, art historians, the general public, high school history students, middle school music students, art students. . . )

The intended audience of this digital story is the general public, but also members of the public who are interested in history and historic preservation in the hopes that others will work to save historic sites in Northern Virginia.

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Summary Form

Digital Story Title:

Still untitled but used “Fort Devens: A History of Diversity, Courage and Dreams.”

Brief description:

This film is about Fort Devens in Massachusetts.  It was a base in the center of a primarily white, agrarian community.  When the base was built in 1917, it brought diversity to the area.  During World War II, civil rights and POWs brought diversity to the area.  The Army based closed in 1996 but it is being converted to a residential and business community.

Main goal(s):

Show diversity of the base.
Opened doors for African American women.

Planted seeds of change in the African American community and with German POWs.

Allowed people to begin to realize their dreams.

Who is your intended audience? (e.g., colleagues, historians, art historians, the general public, high school history students, middle school music students, art students. . . )

I was originally making this to use as a pitching tool and to send the PhD programs but I did not think I can properly do what I want to do in ten minutes.  So it is a start to that project.  The larger project is intended for the people of Massachusetts, to teach them about their history.  I am also looking to document the base so its history is not lost.

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Final Summary

Digital Story Title: “I’ll Be Seeing You”: A Snapshot Look at World War II Life

Brief Description:

The main focus of my digital story is on the personal experiences of one man – my grandfather, Roland Quinn – who was in the Army for two and a half years during the Second World War. During the first year and a half of that time, he was shuffled between multiple Army training schools, rarely completing any of them because of general disorganization and the Army constantly changing their programs. The story follows his life through the pictures he took and the letters and postcards he sent home on a regular basis the entire time he was in the service. Interwoven into this narrative is the story of his college roommate – Kenneth Rabb – who was a Marine during the war, and who I identify at the end of the story as my step-grandfather, who married my grandmother after Roland’s death. I tell Kenneth’s story through his photographs and the things Roland wrote about him in the letters, with overarching narration tying everything together. Through it all, particularly using Roland’s Army experiences, I am arguing that the typical view Americans have of the US Army during the World War II years as a vast, invincible, and efficient force is actually not as clear when the experiences of individual soldiers are examined. Instead, a picture of average men called upon to face difficult circumstances while dealing with the normal problems associated with any large, bureaucratic organization is seen. I then close the story by showing how the experiences of both Roland and Kenneth have affected my life and the life of my family.

Main goal(s):

I have two main goals with creating this digital story. The first is to tell the story of my grandfathers in an accurate, interesting manner. Roland died when my mother was four years old. She and her younger siblings have very little to no memory of him, and her older siblings have never gotten the chance to learn much about his Army experiences. My cousins and I grew up hearing a little bit about who he was, but knowing essentially nothing about his life. When I found the collection of his letters and photographs at my great-aunt’s house a few years ago, I realized that I had discovered a gold mine of information, first about World War II, but also as a window into the personality and character of the grandfather I had never met. I am really hoping that this story will help my family learn more about Roland’s life and to get to know him as a person in a way most of us have never had the chance to do before. I am also hoping to honor his and Kenneth’s time in military service and the difficult situations they faced and sacrifices they made during the war.

My second main goal is to show how the dominant historical narrative concerning the military during World War II, particularly the Army, is a little too triumphant and doesn’t take many of the problems and issues that the men dealt with into account. I am not trying to denigrate the military or the things the servicemen accomplished, or to in any way reduce their status as World War II victors. I am just trying to show that, when individual experiences are examined, the story becomes a little more complex than that portrayed in most popular histories or social studies textbooks.

Who is your intended audience?

I have two main groups that this story is focused toward. The first is, as I said, my family, particularly those of us who were not born when Roland died. The second intended audience is middle to high school age students. I feel that this story can both introduce them to everyday life (both on the home front and abroad) in World War II and the experiences of average soldiers, as well as help them learn how to critically analyze commonly-held views of historic events. Also, I am hoping that the story will be of value to anyone who has an interest in history or World War II, regardless of age or academic level.

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Summary

Digital Story Title: Clio and the Camera

Brief description:

Clio and the Camera is the story of how historical documentaries became standardized by the 1990′s. It will explore the development of the use of historical visual and material evidence to educate and influence public opinion and argue that these developments arose from a combination of technical and economic possibilities and limitations, audience demands, and the relationship between academic history and the public.

Main goal(s):

To show patterns of innovation and standardization in a particular form of public history, film and video.

To explain how historical evidence and narrative storytelling has been used to educate and influence the public.

To trace technical developments in film and video production and assess their impact on the presentation of historical evidence and the construction of historical narratives.

Who is your intended audience?

This work is intended to be accessible to a general audience. However, it will be of specific interest to students and professionals involved in historical interpretation for a general audience, specifically those implementing multi-media for source material and presentation.

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Re-inventing the lecture

Digital Story Title:

Re-inventing the lecture
or,
Why online lectures don’t work, and what we can do about it.

Brief description:

While many who use digital technology in education are attempting new and innovative approaches to teaching over the internet, the use of videotaped lectures is still commonplace in distance education and in open education initiatives. This video argues that the lecture– a classroom technique that can be argued to be vestigial at best, even in the classroom– ought to be updated rather than reproduced in the online classroom, by paying attention to the limitations and strengths of online video as a medium.

Main goal(s):

My primary goal is to encourage people to think about the way that various media affect how we communicate, that there should be different pedagogical approaches online than in the classroom.

It seems rather obvious, but there’s also a lot of tone-deaf stuff out there. And my pet peeve is the use of recorded classroom lectures for open ed and distance learning programs.

The only thing more boring than a bad lecture is a decent lecture on Youtube.

Who is your intended audience?

People in postsecondary education interested in or involved in distance learning, open education, and edtech, Basically, the people I follow on Twitter.

More largely, grad students and people involved in postsecondary ed. People like the folks in this class.

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“Multisensory Music Making: Unleash the Power of Music Within You!”

Digital Story Title:

“Multisensory Music Making: Unleash the Power of Music Within You!”

 Brief description:

This digital story will showcase a revolutionary approach for helping musicians connect with music in ways that go beyond the notes on the page. Referred to as “multisensory music-making,” musicians interact with a combination of visual and auditory stimuli to inspire new concepts about the music they are learning.  Through this approach, musicians learn to connect with music on a deeper level and to expand their range of emotional and expressive playing.  This digital story will feature live footage of music students from George Mason University demonstrating the techniques used in this approach. 

 Main goal(s):

 This digital story will seek new ways of creating expression through the multisensory approach.  By showing the impact of music and images together and the ways they can inform the music making process, this digital story will invite viewers to experience multisensory music making as well.  Students and teachers of music will gain insight into how this approach works and the ways in which is draws upon more emotional and expressive playing throughout the creative process. 

Who is your intended audience?

This film should appeal to both music students and teachers.  Students will benefit from watching the progress of the students throughout the film and the ways in which they interact with music through this approach.  It should encourage other students to learn to express music in this way.   

Teachers will benefit from the techniques that are used in this approach to better acclimate students to the creative process of making music.  Because expression is so intangible and connecting to music beyond the notes on the page is a challenge for high school and college students, teachers will gain insight into this process as well as tangible ways for helping students create more expressive musical products. 

 

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A Father’s Tale, a Tale of History

Story Title: A Father’s Tale, a Tale of History

Brief description:

While some pundits deplore the state of Americans’ public ignorance with cultural heritage, there is overwhelming evidence that contradicts this view. A survey of nearly 1,500 Americans, conducted in the late 1990s by historians Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen, determined that most Americans engage in some sort of historical activity on a regular basis. Rosenzweig and Thelen concluded that a majority of Americans are actively interested in history, albeit in a different form than that which was delivered to them in school.

Digital storytelling is an important tool for the individual’s interest in the past because it allows one to construct and root their personal history to a broader context, while widely disseminating it. At the same time, narratives help people receive history because they appeal to common human experiences. The video includes an example of personal narrative, displayed through three people. First, it recounts the war stories my grandfather told to my father sixty years ago, then it shows my father speaking these stories to me, which I convey to the present audience in a digital narrative through pictures and my father’s account. The story becomes a case study of how the digital story is a powerful tool to understand broader history when we root it in our encounters with family members.

Main goal:

-  To reveal how a person’s interest in history was developed outside the classroom by listening to a parent’s personal history, which he linked to broader historical events

-  To demonstrate that history is multifaceted. This story has tragedy and comedy, danger and everyday life. It includes a narrative arc, yet is multilayered rather than strictly linear.

-  To show how family histories can be produced in a digital storytelling format.

Intended Audience:

-  My first intended audience are those who doubt the use for digital storytelling, particularly those who are wedded to the nineteenth century style of teaching by memorization of facts and rote memory.

-  My second intended audience are those interested in the Pacific theatre. Guam was a strategic location for the Allies, and tends to be overshadowed by islands like Midway or Iwo Jima. In that sense, it shows strategy of warfare as well as what the navy built on the island during their time on the island.

-  Finally, my audience is my family members who had a personal relationship with my grandfather. I want to show them how the person they knew participated in global events, and therefore further their appreciation of the Second World War.

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Botticelli’s Primavera

Digital Story Title: Botticelli’s Primavera: A Why Done It Mystery

Brief description:

This DST looks at popular interpretations of Botticelli’s Primavera by art historians, while examining the topic of what makes someone a subject matter expert. The platform for this DST is a Why Done It court case in which the experts take the stand, and the counsel asks the question, “How do we know what we know?” and “What makes a person an expert?” The DST concludes with the jury stating their ruling on the case.

Main goal(s):

  • To provide an introductory level awareness of the popularly accepted interpretations of Botticelli’s Primavera.
  • To introduce/educate viewers on what makes a person/art historian an expert.
  • To introduce/educate viewers on how art historians come up with their theories/hypothesizes about art.
  • To empower viewers to conduct their own investigations into works of art.

Who is your intended audience? (e.g., colleagues, historians, art historians, the general public, high school history students, middle school music students, art students. . . )

Since this DST presents an introductory level of information, it would work best for general audiences, such as in a museum setting as part of an exhibit on Botticelli.  It could also be used as an educational resource for educators introducing middle school/high school students to the study of art history.

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Silent Voices

Digital Story Title:    Silent Voices: Mothers & Victims of Argentina’s “Dirty War”

Brief description: The story’s overall theme (perhaps, even, message) centers on how silence can serve as the most effective form of protest. The mothers of over 30,000 Argentines that became victims of the ruling junta’s persecution of political enemies began their protest amid a state of national euphoria in 1979. The goal of these mothers and grandmothers was to bring to the international community’s attention the atrocities perpetrated by the ruling junta. The celebratory tone of the nation’s first World Cup hosting, and victory, became a significant concern for the Madres & Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo, many of whom were concerned by how easily the nation could become distracted from the more serious issues at hand. The fact that these mothers (and now grandmothers) continue to protest every Thursday, for 30 years, is a powerful testimony to the enduring memory of “los desaparecidos” in the collective conscious.

Main goal(s): To produce a documentary DST project that can serve as an introduction to many Americans unaware of this sad chapter in modern American history. Another goal is to create a helpful video contribution to the already expansive efforts aimed at bringing renewed attention to these HROs (Human Rights Organizations). A last goal is to create an educational tool for lessons on: Latin American history (specifically Argentina), civil disobedience, human rights abuse and genocide, and the socio-political relevance of cultural agents like soccer.

Who is your intended audience? (e.g., colleagues, historians, art historians, the general public, high school history students, middle school music students, art students. . . )

  • College and high school educators are the prime audience; specifically, teachers of elective courses, world history, Spanish, and related collegiate courses.
  • Secondary audiences include: aficionados of Latin American History and of soccer, as well as those interested in protecting human rights and supporting HROs like the Madres & Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo (which are two distinct groups)

Because the themes are heavy, the video will be housed in a more academic online forum where viewers can be cautioned about the explicit imagery found in dealing with issues of state-sponsored terrorism and political repression.

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Difficult, But Not Impossible: Planning the Day of Infamy

Brief description:
In 1926, General Billy Mitchell, the premier airpower advocate in the U.S., conducted a review of U.S. defenses in the Pacific. His conclusion was that the next war would be fought against Japan, and that it would start with a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on a Sunday morning. By 1941, a string of circumstances and events came together in an implacable tide that pushed the Japanese to start the next war. With the U.S. With an attack Pearl Harbor. On a Sunday morning. While conventional American history focuses on the U.S. view of events leading up to and during the attack, an equally valid and quite fascinating narrative is found on the Japanese side of the story. The prophet on that side of the Pacific was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who conceived of and pushed for the attack in spite of reservations about war with the U.S., and who famously and accurately predicted a six month window of Japanese success at the opening of hostilities. Reconstructed from interviews, diaries, official documents, media archives and post-war memoirs, the Japanese story of the attack reveals a human side of the men who planned and executed the Day of Infamy.

Main goal(s):
The main goal of this project is to show a different way of thinking about the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The American history narrative about the Japanese attack often mirrors the attack itself – the Japanese mysteriously show up out of the blue, conduct an unprovoked attack on an unsuspecting American fleet and then vanish into the mists of the northern Pacific Ocean. Of course, the Japanese neither made this decision lightly, nor on the spur of the moment. But their side of the story is often lost in the patriotic retelling of the way American sailors and airmen overcame their difficulties to make the best out of this dastardly sneak attack.

Who is your intended audience?
(e.g., colleagues, historians, art historians, the general public, high school history students, middle school music students, art students. . . )

The intended audience is high school to undergraduate students who are familiar with the standard American history version of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The story will focus on the events leading up to the attack and the Japanese experiences during the attack. It will not provide a timeline or discuss events of the attack chronologically, so a historical awareness of the general events of the attack will be necessary to maximize the impact of this digital story.

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