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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

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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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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Investigating History: Finding Matewan

Digital Story Title:Investigating History: Finding Matewan

 

Brief Description:  

This story examines the Matewan Massacre as depicted in the John Sayles’ film “Matewan” in 1987. Whether its filmed footage captured on location , the film itself,  or documentary footage in conjunction with  deep archival research, this examination provides a means to provide a broad historical context of this event in West Virginia’s history.  We can then use these materials deconstruct and examine the filmed depiction of the event and compare it to Massacre itself.  By focusing on one person, Sid Hatfield, we can see that the film is not entirely accurate in its depiction of the event, but yet still is important to use film to evaluate history.

Main Goal: 

The main goal is to show that while there can be discrepancies in representation of the past, historical films offer a means to engage the viewer in examining the past to better connect with the present. A secondary goal is to provide a means to “do” history in a way that can engage in a multi-sensory, multimedia learning environment.

Intended audience: The intended audience is college level students of film and/or history.  The nature of this type of work allows for the reach to be across multiple disciplines.

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Digital Story Summary

Digital Story Title: “Disputed Ground: Protest, Public Space, and the Birth of the World Trade Center”

Brief description:

This film documents public demonstrations and public events in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s leading up to the construction of the World Trade Center and during the buildings’ early history.  Small business owners publicly rallied against the Port Authority’s plans to seize and demolish their commercial property, while construction unions demonstrated in support of the building project and the job opportunities it represented.  The surrounding neighborhood became a site for protests for and against the Vietnam War.  Environmentalists documented and criticized the buildings’ waste management and energy consumption.  After construction was completed, fantastic stunts performed on and between the Twin Towers revealed that World Trade Center had finally been accepted and even cherished by the general public.

Main goal(s):

I am pleased to share the fascinating events surrounding the building of the World Trade Center.  More importantly, though, I want viewers to think about modes of political expression when they watch my film.  I want them to consider how political and artistic statements can be performed.  Multiple debates and various opinions were expressed not just in City Hall or a voting booth.  They also took place on streets and in a publicly funded construction site, and even, literally, between the Twin Towers themselves.  Photographs of the Trade Center and its surrounding area presented another opportunity to claim a public site for political and artistic expression.

Intended Audience:

My intended audience is a general, college-educated audience.  The film is most accessible to historians (anyone with a background in college-level history).  There is little discussion of the greater political, economic, and social issues at play in the story (urban renewal, the Vietnam War, etc.).  Those topics are the context and subtext, and viewers will get the most out of the film if they are already familiar with them.  More importantly, I focus not on major events but on a more abstract theme.  Viewers with a liberal arts background are more likely to be familiar with concepts like the “public sphere” or “discourse;” these are concepts that have shaped my thinking during the film’s production.  However, the film avoids using such dense jargon to expedite the narrative.

A general audience may enjoy the film.  As stated, it is free of theoretical jargon or excessive detail, so most educated viewers could view the film and understand its essential message.  Many of these viewers may take interest in the film simply because it relates to the World Trade Center.  Most college-educated viewers will recall living through the events of 9/11 and want to understand how the World Trade Center became so prized by the public.  (This connection may not be as strong for younger viewers under college age.)

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Summary for Janes

Digital Story Title:

“Northern Virginia: A History of Changes by Those Who Call It Home”

Brief description:

Northern Virginia has grown and changed tremendously in the past 50 years.  The region morphed from being just a rural suburb of Washington DC into a dense and economically independent region in a relatively short amount of time.  This project explores the changes that have occurred, including population growth, transportation, and economic changes, through the words of long-time residents.  These residents have witnessed first-hand the dramatic changes that have taken place, and through their words this project demonstrates the recent history of change that defines today’s Northern Virginia.

Main goal(s):

Having just moved to the Northern Virginia area in September, I was instantly struck by the density of the region.  Looking into this defining factor of the area, I found that this population growth had really only occurred in the past 50 years or so.  Once just a suburb of Washington DC area, Northern Virginia now holds its own in terms of population, economics, and character.  I wanted to explore the reasons behind the change by finding long-term residents that could give me first-hand accounts of the changes that they experienced.

As an “outsider” to the region, I wanted to avoid telling this story through my own perceptions of the region.  Therefore, my project is narrated entirely by long-time residents, whose experiences with the region are far more compelling than my own.  I want this story to resonate with the people that have lived through the changes, but also with shorter-term residents who found Northern Virginia to be a desirable place to live.

In addition to presenting a historical change, I also want to be able to show how “normal” people can be invaluable resources in presenting public history by compiling a digital story that is almost entirely oral history based.  So often we look to the so-called experts as our authority on history, but I find that in the case of something like regional growth the actual residents living through the changes can actually tell us more.

Who is your intended audience?

People interested in local history; meant to present oral history for popular use of local history.

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