I have decided to join the dark side. Yes, I officially changed one of my minor fields from Women and Gender to Digital History. Dun Dun Dun. I’ll admit that Clio Wired I scared me at first, as I tried to understand all of the theory and digital methodologies. However, creating the final project with the temporal heat map last semester and seeing everyone else’s projects excited me. I envisioned the possibilities of doing research using digital methods and presenting historical arguments in a digital fashion.
I enjoy designing web pages and actually getting to create a digital portfolio in Clio Wired II. In high school, I made home movies with family interviews, pictures, music, and narration for both of my grandfathers’ 75th birthdays. Much like the portfolio and type assignments, I chose colors and images, edited text, and layered media to follow a narrative. It was great to be able to share those videos with my family. I even shot and edited a music video for my rapper cousin Kyle, also known as Baby K.
Aside from just enjoying digital tools and web design, experience using programming languages, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, GIS, etc., is a great asset for academic historians in the twenty- first century job market. These skills will hopefully elevate us to stand out among other job candidates. Universities are becoming increasingly involved with digital humanities, whether through research or teaching methods. These skills allow us to market ourselves, as well as research, present, and share historical knowledge.
So, next semester I want to jump into the deep end of digital media and history. I would like to take Clio III, or Programming for History and New Media, and Digital Storytelling. Programming will be tough, of course, but fun. Digital Storytelling seems to incorporate more modes of digital presentation for teaching and research. I hope to build upon my own digital portfolio with these courses and inextricably sync my interests in the history of medicine with digital research and presentation tools.