This Friday I will be leading a Digital Tools Workshop at SDSU. All faculty, members of the SDSU Digital Humanities Community, and graduate students are welcome! I will be demonstrating two tools that I began using initially to help me with research for my thesis and that evolved into platforms that I have incorporated into the classroom.
The first tool that I will discuss is timerime. This is a digitized timeline platform that is open-sourced and free to use. Its beauty as a DH tool is that it allows for multi-modal information to be incorporated into a linear format that is easy to display. Initially I used this platform to demonstrate the historiographical information that I was working with in my thesis research- and then to overlap important musicians and musical events and look for post-structural overlap in the intellectual and performative plains. Its second utilization was in my thesis introduction itself as a static PDF with an active hyperlink to my interactive data. My artifacts within the timeline are images (JPGS), music (Mp3s), YouTube videos (Mp4s), and dates of publications, performances, as well as events.
In my undergraduate History classes where we discuss United States History up until the Reconstruction, the timeline has become an integral part of our historical conversations. Student Digital Facilitators, that lead our class discussion and direct the historical inquires that take place in our 50 minute classes, plot dates, events, images, people, and anything else that they deem important into the timeline. This is projected so that the whole class can participate, analyze, and discuss the context of the material we are talking about. Below is an example of one of the timelines (we have multiple timelines per class).
The second tool I will discuss is FREEMIND which is a mind-mapping tool. This free platform allowed me to create a non-linear outline for my thesis which can be easily shared for presentations or as an attachment. These simple features make it a great tool for graduate students planning their work and needing to share it with others. The platform also helps organize materials on your computer by creating short-links. This feature is extremely helpful when you are organizing articles, primary sources of all types, as well as linking to external sources. EVERYTHING is at your fingertips with this tool. Life-saving.