May 3, 2016

Applying digital skills to historic study

James Perry’s Digital History project aimed to develop the understanding of both students and staff on how digital tools and approaches can be used in historical study.  To achieve this James planned a series of interactive events, hoping to include collaborations with other digital history institutions.

In order to maximise engagement with the subject James held a series of guided study sessions with students, introducing them to the subject area.  The feedback received from these was positive with the students commenting on how it had had a positive influence on their skill development.

Likewise his mapping workshop session was well received by students and proved so popular that a further date had to be added to meet demand for participation.  The mapping workshop introduced students to a range of methods to map historical data, utilising free to use mapping services such as Google maps.  By the end of the session students were able to upload their data and perform basic analysis on it.

mapping sesh

Following these sessions James held an online webinar with academics from around the world.  Despite admitting his nerves before the webinar it was delivered without any hitches on the 27th April 2016.  The seminar showed examples of how geographical information systems (GIS) can be applied to historical study.  Professor Ian Gregory from Lancaster, Professor Anne Knowles from Maine University and Dr Katrina Navickas from the University of Hertfordshire each showcased their examples and the challenges of linking historical and geographical knowledge.

Due to the global spread of the participants in the webinar technology was fundamental in its organisation and delivery.  Using Google Hangouts James was able to include members from other institutions without the need for them to travel to the University.

The webinar, featuring a range of topics that had been enhanced with digital history, can be found below.

Find out more about James’ project