Throughout the Fall 2019 semester, I have really enjoyed my digital history class. As someone who plans on entering the field of public history, I feel that this class has offered me some unique skills and abilities that will work to help me make historical information more accessible to the public. I would safely say that my technological knowledge has expanded through this course. I have learned how to utilize different computer programs to make research easier, like Zotero, in order to make research more efficient and organized. I have also gained information that has helped to shift my perspective of online sources and accessibility. Although the internet makes it easier for everyone to add information, and for scholarly work to get lost in that mess, the internet also makes creating visualizations and databases much easier with places like KnightLab and Voyant.
I think one of the aspects of this class that has surprised me the most was the ease of utilizing some of these programs. I am not what I would consider a strong utilizer of technology, but a lot of the programs that we used throughout this class have been quite easy to use once you get the basics. Some of the stuff that we have done has been difficult, but most of what we have done has surprised me with how quickly I am able to pick up on it. One of the concepts that I was most interested in was small scale. We read a lot about some really awesome project that use digital history tools, but those always left me wondering how I could apply the same principals to my own work, work that was not for a large organization. I really enjoyed getting to see how visualizations could be implemented for smaller scale projects, like the story map I created of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was overall really cool to get to see that the awesome aspects of digital history are not restricted for use by huge research projects and large organizations that have entire teams dedicated to it.
I think that I will take a lot of this information with me when this class is over. With the career that I want to have in the future, having the ability to create interesting information that is accessible by people of all skill levels is going to be of the utmost importance. I will be able to create unique online exhibits and interactive data visuals. I think that the skills that I have gained in this class will be invaluable to me advancing within the field that I have chosen.