Thoughts on non-textual sources

Music:  While I have used music in my teaching for at least one class period in most of my classes each semester, Mike O’Malley’s presentations provided some new tools and ideas for providing more sophisticated and frequent work with sound.  I will definitely use the national jukebox in my US survey class.  The idea of the genealogy of a song for an assignment is one I will also likely utilize in a class this coming semester.

Film:  I attempted my first class film assignment last year with mixed results.  The tools we examined and practiced (a bit) today give me more confidence and some new ideas for continuing with such assignments.  For example, the students and I spent considerable time locating open-license appropriate music tracks for their films, never thinking of the possibility of creating our own tracks in Garage Band.

I like the idea of either replacing a traditional research paper with a film (as a publicly available digital history project), or offering it as an option for students.  Our work was encouraging and made me feel less concerned about students spending more time on mastering technology than on research, analysis, and interpretation.  I still feel some concern about the fact that my students use a mix of macs and pcs, and I don’t feel very confident using the basic windows movie-making tools.

Scalar:  This was the most challenging tool for me today.  It was interesting to look at and hear Celeste talk about, but I’m struggling with how I would use it or when I might suggest that it is appropriate for my students.