Blog Posts Reflection

Reflection: Juliet Glenn-Callender

Juliet Glenn-Callender (Campus Librarian, University of The Bahamas-North) shares how she incorporated minimal computing techniques she learned into a digital course project after Hurricane Dorian.

I was encouraged to attend the NEH Caribbean Studies and Digital Humanities Institute by my coworker Dr. Sally Everson of the University of The Bahamas English Department. I was working with her to provide guidance in describing the artifacts and information, that students of the ENGLISH 119 and 120 classes had collected about historical sites and events in Grand Bahama. The goal of the project was to collect stories and images that were not documented before. The students would learn how to do research and describe the items that they had collected. We would provide technical support to put items on a platform that could be easily accessed by the class initially. 

Attendance at the NEH Institute assisted me in gaining valuable skills that were needed in order to create small scale digital projects that could be used within the University. The project that Dr. Everson and myself had proposed to work on fell through as a result of Hurricane Dorian which destroyed our campus in September of 2019. However, having gone through the workshops and materials that were provided and in an effort to utilize the skills and knowledge gained, I decided to propose a small Digital Humanities assignment to be completed by the students of Academic Enhancement History – Topics in 20th Century History of the University of The Bahamas. I taught students in the Spring semester and would teach them again in the Fall, so I took the opportunity to create an assignment that would be more engaging for students at the College Prep level.

The objective of this assignment entitled The Road to Majority Rule in Bahamas (1942-1967) and Independence in The Bahamas is to explore the significant events in Bahamian history leading up and emanating from Majority Rule and culminating in the country achieving its Independence in 1973.

Students would make a narrative map using StoryMap JS to create a story of the series of the events with a slide and a short narrative describing the following:

  • Process/summary
  • Effects/outcomes

The key events to be explored would be given and some resources supplied for students to utilize in their presentations. The rest of the resources would be sourced through their research efforts.

The goal of the assignment would be to create an activity that students would, not only learn about their history, but also put into a format that they could be easily accessed by others. It would be suitable for use by high school seniors.

The Timeline created would be made accessible through a LibGuide for HIST013 which would be created for the class projects and course resources.

The assignment would also allow students to interface with the technology for capturing information digitally. They would learn how to research, document, and make information available to the wider community.  

I enjoyed this workshop as it highlighted that in many cases, there was no need for sophisticated equipment to capture items digitally.  As a librarian, I had worked on digital projects before, but this Institute really brought home the concept of minimal computing in terms of doing work with the University community and the wider community. It also, highlighted resources that were either free or at minimal cost and with minimal training that could be used to capture digital data and make it accessible to users. If this institute is offered, I would definitely participate again. This is especially so, as I am now teaching a course that I can explore the realm of the digital humanities.