Using Topic Modeling and Network Analysis

One interesting way to use this would be creating a network that shows who James Monroe talked to and the connections between them as well. As president he talked to many people of influence and it would be fascinating to see who he communicated with. It could also be intriguing to see how those communications changed before, during, and after his presidency.

Another method would be to see the frequency of topics he wrote about to figure out what was important to him. This could be done using letters and documents that he wrote. Again, this could be compared to see how these views changed before, during, and after his presidency.

New Digital Tools

New Digital Tools

This week I played around a bit with JS StoryMap, JS Timeline, and HP Reveal. To be completely honest, I have used StoryMap a few times already so I did not create a new one. I’ve made some good and bad ones over the last couple years, but this is one that I really liked.

Technically, I didn’t format the citations right, but as far as the StoryMap as a whole, I like how it turned out. I changed the map style to make it more visually interesting and look almost like a map that could have exited during the 1600s (although probably not). I have also put in my own images in others, but I didn’t have a high res image so they ended up a little… wonky.

Although I am not sure that this tool will work well with the James Monroe Museum project, as we are creating a 360 tour rather than an actual mapping of history, I really like this digital tool.

This was actually my first time actually trying to use Timeline. I’ve seen it in classes before,¬† but have always chosen StoryMap over Timeline. For this a assignment, I made a simple, non-academic timeline relating to my journey through college.

Similar to StoryMap, this is very easy to use. The chart is very self explanatory and lets you decide how much you do or do not want to include. Having to put all of ,y images on Flickr (or finding them there), was a little more time consuming than uploading them into StoryMap, but nothing actually strenuous and could easily be accomplished. I like the movement of StoryMap better, but depending on the assignment, I know this could potentially be a better tool. Again, because of our projects goal, this tool won’t necessarily be useful in for this project, but it a good tool to have in my toolbox.

Finally, I decided to work with HP Reveal/Aurasmus since it seemed to work with the James Monroe Museum. Not only did we want to create the video tour to draw people to the museum, we wanted to provide a deeper, more interactive experience for those that visited. I though it would be interesting to use the Monroe desk and (if possible) add an aura over it of a depiction of Monroe using the desk. Another person mention using the pianoforte and adding a tune from the 1750-1830s to play. There is a small issue that the aura seem to be saving to individual phones right now, but in class on Tuesday we had all agreed to look into/work on it. When you go onto HP Reveal you can look as different Auras and channels that have been created.


To create the aura, you hit the “+” sign and choose an overlay…


Jellyfish Aura

Once you have done that you take an image of the object you want to trigger the aura. Then whenever you scan that object with the app on your phone, it appears…

Scan 2

Aura 3

Scan 1


I really liked this and, once we get the one kink worked out, I think that this could be a vital piece of our final project. It’s pretty easy to use and can truly give the visitors of the museum a new and unique experience.

A Individual Review of Digital Resources

A Individual Review of Digital Resources

Looking at the two sources that utilized Omeka, one on events at the national mall and one on people,I was very interested in the use of cataloging sources.

I like how its an good way to keep information in one area, sort of like Zotero with lots of details for the things that we find. For certain projects I believe they can be very useful. Specifically, for my groups project, I am not sure that it will useful for our final product as we were planning on focusing on videos so Okema will probably be better for the group maintaining our personal archive rather than one to publish with the project.

For the Rosenzweig portion, I looked at a cite on the Civil War. It contained many documents related to the Civil War. I liked how it was split between primary documents and scholarly articles so that users can have an easier time finding their desired resources. Again, I believe it presented documents in an interesting way, similar to the Omeka cites, but I don’t know how well it fits with the goal my group had originally made regarding the project.

For the Digital History projects I reviewed a slavery timeline/map and a virtual tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I found both of these very interesting. The map showed the spread of slavery in the US and used a color code system to show the concentration of slavery in different cities as well. I found this visually simple, but very impactful. I also liked how you could hover over cities and it would give you the specific information cities and percentages of free versus slave. There is a lot of information available in such an easy format. The virtual tour¬† fits the most with the project the most out of all the sources I viewed. I utilized photos, videos, and audio. I think it would be interesting to incorporate aspects of their project into ours. Although our main goal is to create a 360 tour, I think a video walking through the museum with music from the time period could be an interesting introduction to the museum and then the tour would go more in depth with individual artifacts.

The digital review I looked at was for an app that shows historical sites. Users can look for museums and historical sites in their area and it gives a brief description of the site. I really like this a method to find good historical sites area you. In some places, it feels like you get bombarded with pamphlets about historical sites or sometimes, there are some sites that aren’t as well known. This app would help people better sort through the sites around them and find potentially new and interesting places. If it is not already on there, I believe it would be good to add the James Monroe Museum to it to draw more people to the cite.

Goals for this Semester

Goals for this Semester

I have a few goals for this class. I am a senior history major and I needed to take a seminar class, but I am also truly interested in this class. I believe technology has allowed us to gain a new insight to history. I hope that this class will enable me to share history in a new and more accessible way. I am planning on being a secondary school teacher and I want to utilize technology in my classroom to help my students understand the class material. I cannot stand having a bland lesson plan of PowerPoint notes, worksheets, and papers. I my aim is to have variety and introduce information in new ways. I am hoping to learn about different tools in this class that I can use not only to present information in new ways, but to potentially have my future students use so that they can demonstrate their own understanding of history in new ways. Rather than having students write a paper about World War II, I could have them use story map to bring animate history and make it more engaging.