Rob Voss: Developing Student DH

Hi everyone, I am Rob Voss, Assistant Professor of History and Social Science Education Coordinator at Northwest Missouri State University. In my role as professor at a moderately selective Midwestern state university, I have a full teaching load of 4/4, plus an overload class, 47 advisees, and supervision responsibilities of student teachers in the field. That said, I am fully committed to developing Digital History as part of what we do as historians, yet my ability to commit to large scale projects is limited. Despite the limitations, there are smaller scale DH projects that are accessible to most undergraduates. In my time as a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I was part of the first digital history class offered and worked on the Railroads Project and Civil War Washington in various capacities.

As part of my Six Shooters presentation, I will talk about how I have used my role as professor over the last three years to develop student DH projects with a focus on bringing scalable projects to high school classrooms. Student exposure to DH at a high school level will allow for further development at the undergraduate level. I have had my first set of student teachers enter the job market with DH on their resumes and will present on some of their experiences with high school students.

What are your favorites?

Doug Seefeldt and Leslie Working suggested for those of us interested in the increasingly important role technology plays in our teaching, research and scholarship to share our favorite digital resources.  There are few opportunities for us to share what we use and gain some understanding of what else is out there.  We need to share what we have – our best digital practices.

As one interested in multiple digital technologies, I find myself drawn to a few key tools. I appreciate Zotero as a research tool. It is a free, open-source, and now extendable note taking tool that allows for automatic bibliographic file creation.

I also am interested in Anthologize, a new application for WordPress blogs that “Use[s] the power of WordPress to transform online content into an electronic book.”

We are not all about the tools we use, but also about the research we are involved in. I have been fortunate to be using the variety of digital methods available through MIT’s Simile Project. Timeline gives us new ways of viewing data over time, while Exhibit extends our understanding of information through maps, timelines and graphs in a simple and easily implementable manner.

These are just some of the tools that I use and am interested in. What are you interested in and what do you use? Why do you use what you do?