National Conference Explores the Digital Classroom

Re:Humanities, a two-day conference, came to Swarthmore Thursday showcasing the myriad of ways technology can be used to improve academic research and analysis. The conference featured the work of undergraduate students from across the country as well as TriCo, from individual research projects through a series of lectures and presentations.

“The digital humanities and new media studies are important developments in academia that require us to reexamine how texts and media are produced and consumed,” said Will Glovinsky ‘12, a member of the working group that organized the event.

The conference’s participants set up a small poster exhibition showing their work in the Science Center Commons on Friday.

Referencing a brightly decorated tri-fold poster board, Stephanie Cowley, a student at Richard Stockton College, explained the multiplatform website she and three other students had created. Implementing Twitter and other forms of media, these students produced an innovative project where independent student researchers can share their fieldwork on postcolonialism, their chosen topic. “It’s empowering to see our research on an online platform, knowing that we can reach a larger audience and that our work will not end up lost in a desk drawer,” said Cowley.

Throughout the conference participants and planners of the conference mingled with TriCo students to share and discuss the future of digital humanities and its implications for academic learning.

“The conference has reinforced my thoughts regarding the importance of digital humanities as a tool to create better learning experiences,” said Austin Starin, a senior at Saint Joseph’s University.

Starin also showcased an online platform. His project examines the ways digital texts work in the classroom, creating a system by which teachers and students can analyze resources.

Other interesting projects included Andrew Cheng ‘12’s presentation on Swarthmore College’s “Talking Dictionary,” a website created by the colleges linguistic department. The website, which compiles key words from dying languages in order to promote language awareness and revitalization, demonstrated the ways audio could be used to further humanities studies.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the scope of understanding and rigor of analysis that our speakers and discussants brought to the conference,” said Glovinsky.


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