Top Three Things I Liked About the Class Structure:
1. Like a lot of other people have mentioned, I liked that each group got to build a project from scratch. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but it was fun to have the freedom to think big and then experiment with what actually worked. And now we all know that our sites really reflect what we wanted them to be.
2. I liked that we had to blog and present about our progress. It was fun learning about what the other groups were working on and also helped to keep us on track with what we had to be doing to make progress on our own site.
3. The collaborative aspect of the projects was pretty great as well. We had our group members, but then we also got to hear feedback from our classmates, professor, DTLT staff, map groups, and, in our case, all of the alumni that we met. When we had questions someone out there could answer them, find the person who could, or come up with a creative way around the problem.
Three Things I Would Change About the Class Structure:
1. The technology intros were great, but they sometimes felt rushed. And I would make sure that each tool presented had an accompanying example, too, just so everything isn’t quite as abstract (when all you’re hearing are things like ‘code’ and ‘widgets,’ it can be hard to picture real world usage for things. Or maybe that’s just me).
2. Maybe after the initial onslaught of tools, there could be a few mini seminars in things like basic HTML or Omeka or something. Even if one person from each group went the group would at least have a foundation to stand on.
3. I would have liked to have met with the map groups a little earlier, or even just had more of a conversation about what the map groups can and cannot do a little earlier. It’s hard coming up with a plan for a map when you aren’t sure what the mapmakers resources are going to be.
Suggested Future Topics for Projects:
1. Why, a continuation of our site, of course 🙂
2. I think something on the history of slavery in Fredericksburg would be interesting. We all confront it every time we walk past the auction block downtown, but I don’t think people necessarily know much about the role of slavery in this area.
Advice for Future Students:
1. Communication with group members is key. It’s important that everyone’s on the same page for the duration of the project.
2. Even if you think you don’t know anything about computers or the internet, don’t be afraid to be creative and think big.
3. When in the process of thinking big you get stuck, there are plenty of people around to help you work out the technical side of things. Ask them.
4. Make a solid contract, keep to your deadlines, and have fun!