A brief and non exhaustive introduction to Digital Archaeology

I’ve been asked by a colleague to speak to her class next week on ‘Digital Archaeology’. That’s a pretty big project, as it includes everything from tools, to perspectives, to publishing, to outreach, to games, to platforms, to hardware… so, in the interests of hitting at least those things that I find interesting, I’ve prepared a prezi. Feedback welcome. Ignore the error message at the beginning. Somewhere, deep within the prezi, is a broken link and I just can’t find it. So hit the ‘x’, and enjoy. Links within the prezi will open in a new browser tab.

2 thoughts on “A brief and non exhaustive introduction to Digital Archaeology

  1. How do you like Prezi for presentations? I’ve seen this in action (by students in their presentations) but sometimes it gets chaotic. Does it work for you in the classroom?

    1. Hi Anastasia,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I like Prezi a lot because it highlights an important theme I try to convey to my students: that the metaphors we use to organize digital work dictate a lot of what we can do with digital work. With powerpoint, we’re using the metaphor of a 35mm slide for the corporation. What damage has that done to teaching and learning! With Prezi, the metaphor is a mindmap into which one can dive.

      What’s important here though is that we don’t try to replicate what we’d do with powerpoint – talk about mixed metaphors. So for students, I’d suggest getting them to find one key image that encapsulates the biggest idea they wish to convey, and then to organize their thoughts so that they dive into it appropriately. In my ‘Intro to Digital History’ prezi, I used an image of a steam-punk computer mod to organize my thoughts http://prezi.com/pxsctcw5jmhx/intro-to-digital-history-hist2809/ ; in ‘Why Historians should think about games’ http://prezi.com/muqlbnfxyck2/why-historians-should-think-aboutwith-video-games-simulations/ I tried to use the idea of a playful journey to underline my larger point.

      In terms of my classroom teaching, it works very well indeed, for a couple of reasons. One, it’s not powerpoint, which students are already trained to tune out of, due to too many ‘death by powerpoint’ presentations. Two, it preloads the videos and other media that I use. My classroom connections are dreadful, and if I just go directly to the other media, things lag, crash, or don’t load up. Three, it suits my lecturing style, where I try to hit two or three main points over and over again with multiple examples or differing degrees of depth; and it allows tangents. If I suddenly want to jump out of the path that I’ve created for my lecture, I can do that, picking up the thread again at a different point.

      What makes for the chaos in the presentations you’ve seen?

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