500 Ways to Use Tech to Teach the Humanities
by BETH HARPAZ
A new, free online publication called Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities offers more than 500 ideas and resources for incorporating technology into teaching the humanities. The project has been open access since it began seven years ago, but the timing of its culmination this year couldn’t be better given the shift to remote learning due to COVID-19.
The collection was edited by four humanities scholars specializing in digital pedagogy, including Professor Matthew K. Gold (The Graduate Center). The final version of the online volume was peer-reviewed and published by the Modern Language Association.
Users can start by looking through a collection of keywords like gender, video, fiction, social justice, and blogging, and click through from any one of them to access resources that include syllabi, assignments, websites, articles, and advice.
For example, the keyword “fiction” connects to a collection of assignments and ideas that include using Sherlock Holmes stories as material for practicing mapping, visualizations, and distant reading, which is a quantitative type of textual analysis. The keyword “code” leads to an archive that includes a curatorial statement asking whether humanities students need to learn how to code; a link to a coding workshop and algorithmic storytelling project at the Rikers Island jail complex; a syllabus for Georgia Tech’s intro course on computational media; and a Bloomberg article titled “What is code?”
There’s even a section called “Obstacles, Objections, and Effective Practices” that offers advice to users who might be wondering where to start, how to grade, and how to deal with students who might be resistant to a digital approach to the humanities.
The curators say they hope the collection will “serve as a resource for colleagues looking for guidance and examples as they expand their teaching practices” and “inspire more research and scholarship on the critical work of pedagogy, the work of teaching that is too often undersung and uncelebrated.”