This semester I used Google Map Engine Lite in HIS 265L Digital History. The overarching goal for the Digital History course is to introduce students to a critical making framework. Critical making in this context is to generate deeper engagement with the study of History by allowing students to use archival material to create digital project the demonstrate learning.
This Digital History course is intended for 1st and 2nd year students. My thinking (and I do think) is that introducing students to a critical assessment and application process early in their careers as History majors will open them to incorporate digital applications into their research in higher level course and honors projects. While "mastery" is the standard stance in the classroom, I'm choosing to articulate a narrative of personal discovery and learning that I hope will stimulate students to take crisis and explore. My own exploration places great emphasis on using digital techniques to explore the African American experience. The commitment to make African Americans history and culture a central focus of digital projects is not accidental, as I'm greatly influenced by discussion about postcolonial frameworks in digital humanities. The drive in that discussion to break up the assumptive framework that displaces an examination of race and gender minorities on the margins. With this in mind, my goal is to explore black experience through a deeper engagement with archival materials. If my students and I can use the digital environment to make those narrative come to life in the public sphere, they will learn and society will benefit.
The map below is interactive experiment using Google My Map to visualize the Negro Year Book produced by Tuskegee University.