Because of my internship, I have learned so much about the history of Washington DC, history that is so often overshadowed by the monuments that populate the Mall. Dr. Samir Meghelli’s A Right to the City is fascinating, and he has made me think deeply about the history of place. When I consider the average 8th grade field trip to visit Washington DC, the focus is on the major memorials and landmarks; yet, few, if any trips, consider the struggles of displacement so many have endured to make DC the city it appears to be today. When Paul Perry first tasked me with developing a digital curriculum to accompany ARTTC, I was skeptical about its importance for a national audience. I was wrong. As a teacher, this is an aspect of our nation’s history that should be more widely known. As a practitioner of digital public humanities, I am grateful for the opportunity to help make this history available to a wider audience.
Because of my internship, I am much more confident in my ability to make a meaningful contribution to an organization beginning to work in a digital public humanities environment. When I first envisioned a Smithsonian internship, I anticipated working under an individual or group who were experienced practitioners in digital humanities, like the individuals I have worked with through George Mason University and RRCHNM. While my mentors at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum are experts in their fields, they had limited experience with the the possibilities of digital humanities. I am proud that I have been able to help guide them and their organization toward a broader view of DPH.
Because of my internship, I am much more digitally confident. I had to rely on my ability to teach myself some basic skills using a network of contacts or a computer network. Jennifer Rosenfeld and Sara Sharp have been exceedingly helpful in providing suggestions for workarounds or even the occasional GoodAction. As a result, I have learned by doing, which from this teacher’s perspective is often the most fruitful method. I have learned StoryMaps inside and out, and it has been a privilege to be on the front lines of testing the Beta in connection with the developers producing it. I am growing increasingly skilled in online mapping with ArcGIS. I am confident using PhotoShop on a basic level, and I’ve developed greater skill navigating a variety of still and moving image editing platforms.
Because of my internship, I’ve been fortunate to come into contact with people like Scott Abbott at DCPS and Greyson Harris, Allen Carroll and Michelle Thomas at ESRI. Scott and Greyson have both been incredibly helpful in assisting me with this project. I am thankful for the guidance of the staff at ACM including Paul Perry, Samir Meghelli, Sharon Reinckens and Lisa Sasaki.
Because of my internship, I have new skills, new contacts and new knowledge that will help me as I continue to work at the intersection of digital humanities and education.