I am a student of the “Introduction to Digital Humanities” course @edx.org.
Today I started lesson 2 and completed lesson 1.5 (check the previous post in this blog).
Lesson 2 is on “Digital Humanities Projects, tools, and questions they support”.
The lesson starts with a discussion.
Read and consider this quote taken from the book, Digital Humanities:
“The digital environment offers expanded possibilities for exploring multiple approaches to what constitutes knowledge and what methods qualify as valid for production. This implies that the 8-page essay and the 25-page research paper will have to make room for the game design, the multi-player narrative, the video mash-up, the online exhibit and other new forms and formats as pedagogical exercises. Playful, imaginative, participatory work is not the enemy of education but its exuberant and vital engine. New standards of assessments will be necessary as skills change. We struggle less to remember facts than we do to remember where and how to find them–and how to assess their validity.” (Digital Humanities External link, 24-25)
Do you agree or disagree that in addition to writing, other teaching and research practices grounded in digital tools and formats should be considered part of the “vital engine” of education?
I strongly agree and see it as natural
I strongly agree, and I see the expansion as only natural. Languages evolve, writing evolves, and it was never literally about scribbling on a medium. “Writing” is about capturing ideas. Sculptors may write on stone, photographers may write on stills, videographers on video, etc. Now we have more tools and different media than ever before in human history, so some will prefer brushes to pencils, cameras to brushes, an artificial programming language to natural English, 3D virtual models to maquettes, and so on.
The way we express ourselves, should fit who (or what) we want to communicate with, but that is also a fact of the past. The big difference is in the diversity available to us. Diversity can be tough to accept, for many reasons, some rooted in fear, some rooted in the need to defend one approach, but is here and now, and with costs of opportunity so low, that there is nothing to lose in at least trying different forms of expression.
Some new forms of expression will quickly establish themselves as the preferred for certain interactions but, more commonly, all forms require a maturing time. One good example is Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality in particular, which has been slowly evidencing itself, when done properly, as an highly effective learning tool.