Archive for category Session Ideas


Has the time already come to compare what’s happening in the publishing world today to what happened to the music industry a few years ago? I would like to discuss ebooks, publishing, bookstores, digital divide, access to technology, libraries, education etc.

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Mobile Learning

Greetings! My name is Saima Kadir and I am a librarian at Houston Public Library. My official title is Emerging Technologies manager which means that I get o explore and sometimes implement new technologies as they pertain to libraries and its users. I am interested in mobile devices and its ubiquity. Statistics show that more people now access the Internet via a mobile device. What does that mean in K-12 and higher education environments? Can mobile apps be used for learning and instruction? Is is an extension of online learning? What does mobile usage say about digital divide in 2011?

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Too much is just enough: Finding clarity through re-presentation and designing for information overload

Technology has a way of overcoming scarcity: while books have helped us keep more information than we could remember, photos have shown us sights we couldn’t see with our own eyes, and movies have taken us to places we could never travel, the internet expands upon these to let us see and hear more things in more ways at more places and times than we ever could before.

With an abundance of quality data, stories, articles, maps, movies and more now online, how are people taking advantage of all the quality resources readily available? What tools are you using to organize all of this amazing information? How can someone use multiple representations of information (text, charts, video, etc.) to target different student interests, abilities, and learning styles beyond course content, such as with grading or assignment descriptions?

I am interested in discussing what strategies, technologies, and instructional approaches people have adopted to embrace excess and help students broaden their experience or deepen their understanding beyond what can be discussed or graded in class.


Using GIS to Visualize Historical and Cultural Change

I am interested in discussing how GIS mapping technology can help visualize cultural transformation in specific communities. Ideally, I would be able to show this change at the local and international border levels. My dissertation research compares the development of Mexican American transborder communities on the Texas-Mexico border with Franco American transborder communities on the Maine-Canada border. I focus on intermarriage and language practices at the turn of the twentieth century. I have some experience using GIS mapping technology in the classroom through creating interactive mapping activities (U.S. Southwest module of and in conjunction with service-learning projects. Most recently, I have used it to create maps to illustrate my research.


I am currently working with census data and hope to learn new ways of visualizing information from a variety of sources:

* I am using census data to track intermarriage based on nativity, how language practices changed over time, and gender differences in those practices. At this point, my maps reflect the locations of towns, the growth of railroads, and act as backdrops for pie charts.

* I would like to learn new ways to use GIS to visualize changes in language practices (who spoke French where and when) using census data, the distribution of French/Spanish language newspapers, photographs and/or distribution of public signage, and the impact of school language policies

* I would like to find new ways to visualize intermarriage practices, if possible.

* I am also intensely curious about possible ways to visualize migration and settlement patterns. On the international level, I would like to show changes in border crossing traffic in response to stricter immigration policies and border enforcement. This could include points where border crossing stations or international bridges appeared, and hopefully more. At the city level, I would like to see how the ethnic makeup of town neighborhoods and rural areas may have changed. I’ve seen where later twentieth century census data can be mapped to a detailed local level. I’d like to do the same with data from the 1860s to 1930s – and still hopefully be able to finish my dissertation before the turn of the next century.


These are some of my initial ideas and I am completely open to suggestions. I look forward to discussing your ideas and projects. Thank you.


Yay! Crowdsourcing!

Q: How many digital humanists does it take to change a lightbulb?  A: Yay! Crowdsourcing!  (Melissa Terras via Bethany Nowviskie)

Several THATCampers have added comments to my session proposal mentioning their interest in a session on crowdsourcing.  I’d like to promote that conversation to its own session idea.

What kinds of things could a crowdsourcing session cover?  Some options include a wide-ranging, unstructured discussion, a brain-storming session on how to integrate crowdsourcing into specific proposals, or perhaps a review and brief demo of successful crowdsourcing projects.  We might end up with a mix, as I’ve attended some very successful sessions that had heterogeneous formats.

What are your ideas?

DH Commons

I’ve been working with a group of digital humanists from a variety of institutional types who are seeking to break down silos between large and small institutions in the world of digital humanities.  We are especially interested in how we can can help the isolated digital humanist connect with the rest of the community.

DHCommons seeks to ameliorate the isolation of digital humanists at colleges and universities without the institutional infrastructure to support digital scholarship. At a number of research institutions, digital humanities centers reduce isolation by providing technology, expertise, and mentoring to scholars. Such resources, however, are not available to many scholars, especially at smaller institutions. Lone digital humanists must independently (and repeatedly) argue for the value of their work. Their disconnection prevents them from learning about standards, resources, and ongoing projects, so that their work may not inter-operate with other projects or may reduplicate efforts. To address these challenges, DHCommons will build an inter-institutional infrastructure for digital humanities collaboration through several related innovations:
  • A new hub at will help digital humanists discover and contact potential collaborators: to find and join projects.
  • Microgrants to encourage scholars to develop curriculum in conjunction with existing projects, travel to partner digital humanities centers for training or project mentoring, etc.
  • Expertise sharing among schools without digital humanities infrastructure
Groups like CenterNet are helping by connecting centers, and THATCamps certainly help isolated digital humanists build regional ties.  DHCommons hopes to complement these efforts.  We envision a dual audience, both identified and potential digital humanists.
As we develop this idea, we are seeking the following input:
  • How does the technology and human infrastructure relate to one another?
  • Do you know of failed experiments with similar projects? (or successful ones?)
  • How do you compel and encourage participation?
  • How do we launch such a thing?
  • What would be most useful for you?
  • One idea we had was using microgrants to encourage development of curricular modules, e.g., student reviews of Tools in the DiRT wiki (which I proposed as another session)
  • What elements would the technology tool need, e.g., profile lists the tools they use, projects looking for collaboraters,etc.?
  • With what resources or hubs should this integrate, e.g., DHAnswers, etc.?
  • What kind of help would you want from such an effort?
  • What questions are we not asking?

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Student-Generated DH Tool Reviews

Last month at the TILTS symposium at the University of Texas, the twitter stream generated some discussion around the need for tool reviews, e.g., in the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) wiki.  One suggestion was to incorporate developing reviews into coursework.  I’d be interested in organizing a session that figured out how to do that.  Questions to consider include:

  • What level of student? Graduate? Undergraduate?
  • Are there criteria or templates for a good review?  For example, what projects use this tool? Can we cross-reference it with other resources, e.g., DHAnswers.
  • What methods or process could we establish to help reviewers?
  • How could we turn a review into an individual or group assignment? How do we scaffold this task?
  • Can we prioritize tools to cover?

This idea is connected with another project in which I’ve been involved, DHCommons which seeks to help isolated digital humanists.  It also may connects with some other sessions that I’ve seen proposed, e.g.,


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E-Books in the Humanities

As a collection development/management librarian, I’m very interested in how faculty and students think about library resources, and these days I spend a lot of time wondering and worrying about e-books.  In particular, I’m curious to talk to other THAT-campers about attitudes toward e-books (specifically scholarly monographs) within various humanities disciplines.  A few questions we might consider:

  • How could the e-book format change scholarship in the humanities (both in terms of the kind of work you produce and the way you use the work of others)?
  • Are there significant differences in attitudes toward e-books between humanities professors and humanities students?
  • What features or options would make e-books more appealing to humanities scholars and students?
  • Is the stereotype of humanities faculty as e-book-averse true?  If so, what are the reasons behind the aversion?
  • Do existing e-book business models have the potential to support humanities research and education?  What other models might work better?
  • How can librarians and faculty have a productive conversation about e- books in the humanities?

I’ve enjoyed reading the creative and thoughtful proposals that have been put forth so far and look forward to meeting everyone on Saturday!

Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Digital Humanities

I’d be interested in chatting about how librarians and archivists and museum professionals can work with digital humanities efforts. Could we provide an embedded librarian for your course project? Help coordinate digitization and metadata creation? Provide guidance regarding copyright? Assist with long-term digital preservation/curation?

What are we (libs/archs/museums) doing well? How could we be doing better? How can we be better partners in research? Do scholars want a partnership with libs/archs/museums or some other relationship?

DH Pedagogy

I’d be interested in talking about DH and Pedagogy – the “training up” of the next generation of DH scholars.  At UT Dallas, we have a project in the works in which we will develop tools for sharing, rating, collecting, and evaluating readings and assignments for use in DH and New Media classrooms.  The goal of the project is 1) to serve as a resource for people who teach DH–users will be able to search the DB and receive suggestions about materials on the “you may also like” model, 2) to create a persistent archive of essential DH texts and tools, and 3) attempt to bring some of the focus of DH, which has largely emphasized research, to pedagogy (see Kathy Harris’ Blog)
So, some of the things I’d like to talk about:

  • What tools do people use in the classroom?
  • What “texts” are essential to understanding the history and future of DH?
  • What are the essential skills we should be teaching people interested in digital humanities?
  • What are the resources people use for teaching, for choosing readings, for designing projects?
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