Friday, July 22, 2011

SHA 2012 part II

At the SHA meeting in Baltimore I’ll be hosting a round table session:
Web Based Public Archaeology
This roundtable discussion examines the different ways archaeologists are using websites and social media to promote archaeology. Please come with some great examples to share and discuss.
Some examples I've recently seen or been involved with:
Transitions in Virginia Slavery: part of the project funded by NEH and carried out by Dr. Barbara Heath of the University of Tennessee. We'll be adding some educational content to the web site soon.
Mount Vernon's Midden blog and Facebook presence have been well followed and full of good stuff with the new web site in progress.

Also I've also recently come across Close Encounters of the Colchester Kind...

Not just archeology, but the Park Service web catalog site is progressing. You can read about it at here.

Obviously there are many others. Please add some examples and comments below!

How effective are they? Is there a conflict between the blogger's voice and the institutional voice? Is the immediacy of blogging at odds with serious research? Is there a public audience for primary archaeological data?


Monday, July 11, 2011

SHA 2012

New NPS collections web site
The lack of blogging has been due to too much going on rather than too little! But I hope I can share projects and other news over the next few months.

July always seems early to be thinking about a January conference, but the Society for Historical Archaeology conference in Baltimore had its deadline for submissions yesterday… . My topic will be “Online archaeology databases and the public” and I mean to talk about the new NPS website, as well as other online catalogs. The Mount Vernon site - 400 extremely well described objects, in a rich context – makes a great contrast. Which is more useful to the public?

There was a great technical leaflet in the AASLH publication” Designing Education Programs that Connect Students to Collections”. It focuses on planning educational content around objects, but I think much of it applies to online collections. The national educational curriculum is doing little to help the social sciences. And unless you want to appeal to a purely local audience the different state standards make creating lessons plans difficult. It is mentioned here - and I discovered this many years ago with the Jamestown modules - it useful to look at the English learning standards which are more focused on reading for understanding than the History ones which, at least in Virginia tend to be more fact based. 

I’d be interested in anyone has site or articles looking at using online collections.