Thea Lindquist sends the following note:
A colleague and I at the University of Colorado at Boulder are interested in the idea of adapting or developing an open-source tool designed for use with digitized historical primary sources and would be interested in your feedback. This tool would be aimed primarily at students and offer them enhanced opportunities to interact with the sources and collaborate with others, hopefully also from mobile devices. We feel that engaging student interest in this way is increasingly pressing as digital collections propagate; as students integrate Web 2.0 technologies into every aspect of their lives; and as close work with primary sources becomes an ever-more important component of humanities curricula. Depending on how things go, this tool could be the first in a suite of extensible, open-source pedagogical tools that will facilitate student engagement with primary sources.
We are considering a tool that will allow students to: view and annotate text-based primary sources as well as images such as maps, cartoons, and photographs; create linkages between documents within the collection and to outside resources; and save the augmented source as a new learning object that can be shared among classmates and (at the instructor’s discretion) released for broader consumption. This is just one idea – we intend to work with students to assess their needs but are also interested in the instructor perspective.
As a first step, we are creating a freely available digital collection of World War I primary sources to use as a test-bed and are now beginning to look into what sorts of tools are currently available or in development that aim to achieve the same sort of goals. That way we can contact potential collaborators and also be sure not to duplicate effort.
Tags: Open-source tool