May 19th, 2010 | Ethan Watrall
Well, it looks like there is a good number of campers (Julie, Jeff, Dave – just to name a few…and I know that Beth has a lot to say about mentorship) interested in teaching/curriculum (self paced, open access, formal, etc, etc). My original proposals is in that domain as well. Here is what I originally submitted:
We are beginning to see an increasing number of university programs and classes intended to equip students in the myriad disciplines that constitute the field of cultural heritage with both the practical and theoretical skills necessary to creatively apply information and communication technologies to historical and cultural heritage materials
The worry I have with many of these programs (or classes) is that they are very discipline specific. As one would expect, they are mostly populated by students from the department in which the program lives (students who are steeped in the epistemology of that specific discipline). The result is that the student’s outlook on digital cultural heritage might be insular, and lacking much of the vibrant interdisciplinarity of cultural heritage.
It is in this context, informed by my own efforts at Michigan State University, that I would like to engage in a discussion with other cultural heritage professions (academics, archivists, museum professionals, archaeologists, etc.) as to how we might go about constructing digital oriented curricula that embrace the interdisciplinary nature of cultural heritage and encourages cross disciplinary collaboration among future cultural heritage professionals.
If such a curriculum existed, what would it look like? What theory & practice would it investigate? What tools & platforms would it explore? How would it be taught? Who would teach it? Are there best practices and general models that can be developed which would serve to prepare students (either graduate or undergraduate) for a broad range of settings (public service, private sector, or academia)? Is such a curriculum even possible? It is these questions (and more) that I would like to explore with other interested THATCamp attendees.
blah, blah, blah…I know…this might seem to be a lot of yak, and not a lot of hack. However, if you turn it on its side and look at it slightly different, its also about hacking curriculum, the domain of cultural heritage, models of content, identity, and interdisciplinarity.
There are a couple of important things that bear added (or emphasizing):
- How do we create a culture of technological ingenuity (where students build stuff – especially stuff that might live outside of their comfort zone) in such a curriculum?
- How do we create a culture of collaboration in such a curriculum? (this certainly falls into the domain of David’s proposal)
- How do we create a culture of interdiscplinarity in such a curriculum?
(oh yeah, and games as well)
While I didn’t “formally” propose it, I would love to talk to people about serious games (meaningful play, playful interaction…whatever you would like to call it). I’m PI on the NEH ODH funded Red Land/Black Land: Teaching Ancient Egyptian History Through Game-Based Learning project, co-founder of the Serious Game MA program at MSU, co-founder of the undergrad game design and development specialization at MSU, and a pretty big gamer myself – so I’ve got a fair amount of experience in the domain. It bears mentioning that I’m not just interested in digital games…I’m also really interested in non-digital games as well (tabletop games, boardgames, collectible card games, collectible miniature games, etc.) for learning (mostly cultural heritage learning). So, if there are people interested in exploring games (any aspect – best practices, approaches, nuts & bolts…whatever), I’m game (game…get it? har har har)