Category Archives: Session: Teach

Proposal for a session in which you offer to teach a skill, either a “hard” skill or a “soft” skill.

Building Scholarly Online Archives and Exhibits with Omeka

These days, any scholar or organization with a collection of primary sources such as photographs, drawings, paintings, letters, diaries, ledgers, scores, songs, oral histories, or home movies is bound to have some of this material in digital form. Omeka is a simple, free system built by and for cultural heritage professionals that is used by archives, libraries, museums, and individual scholars and teachers all over the world to create searchable online databases and attractive online exhibits of such digital archival collections. In this introduction to Omeka, we’ll look at a few of the many examples of websites built with Omeka, define some key terms and concepts related to Omeka, go over the difference between the hosted version of Omeka and the open source server-side version of Omeka, and learn about the Dublin Core metadata standard for describing digital objects. Participants will also learn to use Omeka themselves through hands-on exercises, so please *bring a laptop* (NOT an iPad or other tablet) if you can (if not, you can follow along with someone else). Learn more about Omeka at and

Note: I’ve taught this workshop many times at various THATCamps, and my lesson plan is online for you to use at See also how Virginia Tech’s own Special Collections uses Omeka at

Digital Humanities Projects & (Library) Partnerships

[Apologies for posting so late–I forgot my password and never got a reset link, so I’ve asked a colleague to post for me. So, look for me (Kira Dietz) if you want to talk!]

Special Collections at Virginia Tech has been involved in a few digital humanities projects, usually helping to provide original materials, scanning equipment, training, or some combination of those. However, the University Libraries’ staff and faculty here (and at other academic institutions) have a wide variety of skill sets and interests, including some that go far beyond their daily jobs! I’m interested in talking through some questions relating to the idea of partnerships and collaboration. While my particular focus is on libraries and archives, I’m curious to know where else those of you working on DH projects might find collaborators or partners. So, hopefully we can try to answer questions like:

  • Do you look for/have you worked with collaborators outside the main field of your project? If so, from where?
  • What do you look for in a partner/collaborator?
  • What resources, tools, and skills do you need or want access to that you may not have?
  • Do you know what potential partners (like libraries, for example) might be able to bring to your project?
  • How can potential partners let you know they are out there and open to opportunities? How can potential partners best share/promote what they can do?
  • Why should people creating/running DH projects be interested in collaborators? Why should potential partners be interested in DH projects? (In other words, for both sides, what do “we” get out of it?)

I see this primarily as a “talk” session, but it will also be a great opportunity for all of us to “teach” each other what we might bring to a project!

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.