News and Notes, April 21, 2013

I am looking forward to a busy of week of classes, three presentations, and one party. Here are some noteworthy articles and tidbits of information worth sharing.

– Readers will notice that I have added a new page entitled “CV” onto the top menu bar of this website. I’ve realized that while this is a strictly personal blog with no affiliations to any academic or professional institution, it is nonetheless a good idea to use this space to market my skills and post my Curriculum Vitae for public viewing and consumption. Yesterday, I created an account on Scribd, converted my CV to a PDF, uploaded the PDF to Scribd, and embedded the document onto this newly created page. The CV is admittedly small compared to other historians who have had more experience in the field than me, but I am hoping that will change soon. One benefit of putting the CV online is that it will force me to do a better job of updating it on a frequent basis 🙂

– I spent a lot of time this week on the hunt for good, practical digital tools that can be used to enhance my studies in the field of history. I will have more thoughts to share on this in a future post, but for the time being I’ll mention that finding digital tools relevant to my needs was actually much harder that I anticipated. However, I did come across a neat web design program called Wix that would be a great tool to use in a classroom setting, in my opinion. I taught myself how to use the program and actually ended up creating a simple website dedicated to my musical endeavors. You can see (and hear!) it here. Make sure to give the site a minute to load.

– Sam Wineburg is a professor at Stanford who wrote an excellent book about “thinking historically” that I hope to read again sometime this summer. In this Op-ed in the Seattle Times, Wineburg’s daughter Shoshanna laments the loss of personal interaction that has come with the rise of smartphones and other digital technologies in our lives. There is something beautiful in the lines, “You can share a margarita with your friend. Give your iPhone a shot of tequila, and it will die.”

– The Digital Public Library of America is up and running, and I am pretty impressed. I think it will only get better once more institutions choose to partner with DPLA and the digitized collection increases. You check it out here.

– William J. Reese shows us that standardized testing has actually been a staple of American education for a much longer than many of us may have realized. Reese has written a lot about the history of education in America and in 1998 he edited a collection of essays about education in Indiana entitled Hoosier Schools: Past and Present that I am utilizing for my thesis research.

– Speaking of education, Frank Bruni highlights the tensions underlying higher education in Texas these days.

– An argument on why 8-year-olds should be coding.

The Journal of Digital Humanities is an online, open access scholarly publication that is now a part of my regular reading, although I must admit that I don’t always understand what they are talking about. You can check it out here.

I hope everyone has a great week ahead of the them. Cheers.

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