Mobile Apps for Teaching Digital Humanities

This is my third THATCamp, and I’m really looking forward to some great conversations on the 10th and 11th. One topic I’ve been interested in recently is how we can make better use of mobile apps in the classroom, and I hope a few other people will want to join me for a “Talk” session on this subject.

For the past few semesters, I’ve had the good fortune of participating in Virginia Tech’s iPad project, which loans iPads to students in particular classes for a full semester. In my undergraduate Writing and Digital Media class, we tested several apps for digital storytelling on mobile devices, and in my graduate seminar on the Digital Self, we used the iPads to experiment with various tools for taking notes and organizing scholarly research. These class projects have been fascinating (and a lot of fun), but I know they can’t be replicated on all campuses (or even in all of my classes). And some of my students have grown frustrated with adding yet another device to their already heavy backpacks.

So I’ve started thinking about how I could take advantage of the devices that my students already carry with them — their own cell phones and tablets. Taking this approach adds a few new layers of complexity (finding apps that work on a variety of platforms, dealing with tech support issue for not just one but several different devices, acknowledging that not all students own or have access to such devices, etc.), and it’s those issues (and others I haven’t even considered!) I’d like to discuss at THATCamp Virginia.

If you’re interested, let me know in the comments — or just find me at the camp. I can’t wait to see everyone in Blacksburg next week!

UPDATE: Here’s the Google Doc we composed during our session.

3 Responses to Mobile Apps for Teaching Digital Humanities

  1. I’ve been thinking along the same lines Quinn – a bring your own device sort of approach, but then what to do if you’ve no device. Semester checkouts? I don’t have a good answer yet – so this session sounds great.

  2. I’m interested in how to incorporate social media in the classroom, but I haven’t had much success with online collaboration in the past. Students will post to blogs, for instance, but getting them to read and engage with work from their classmates has been a challenge. I would love to discuss how to get students conversing online without it devolving into awkward assigned conversations

  3. In my senior seminar last semester, students designed/mocked up mobile apps (which I thought was awesome), but we didn’t get to the actual making-them-work part. It would be cool to talk through those “layers of complexity” and what it would take in terms of both time and infrastructure to do this in a classroom setting.