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Local Histories/Digital Contexts

Local Histories/Digital Contexts

Michigan Technological University

Program Summary

The “Local Histories/Digital Contexts” Digital Learning Lab at Michigan Technological University (MTU) will provide twenty selected junior and senior high-school students from the Keweenaw Peninsula with an intensive and integrative two-day weekend workshop on constructing local historical narratives for a mobile media application. The Lab will be held from 9AM-5PM on September 21-22 at the MTU Humanities Digital Media Zone (HDMZ), acutting-edge digital media learning facility.
The “Local Histories/Digital Contexts” Digital Learning Lab is designed to prepare students for digital citizenship by inspiring civil engagement, creativity, and collaboration. The Lab will combine (1) hands-on basic practical training with digital photography (dSLR cameras) and photo editing tools (Photoshop and Camera Raw), (2) a historical research workshop on accessing the Keweenaw Digital Archives, (3) a creative writing session on writing poetry for digital spaces, and (4) a game design studio for collaborative, location-based mobile media game development via the ARIS platform. The final outcome of the Lab will be a freely available application. Through play and participation, students will learn about local history and in the process prepare for digital citizenship.

Agenda

Day 1 Saturday, September 21th
9am Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Stefka Hristova
9:30am HDMZ Lab Orientation led by Shelley Farrey
Participants will become familiar with the facilities and equipment. Shelley will be available for consultation throughout the workshop.
10:00am Digital Imaging Part 1: Working with dSLR Cameras led by Tom Adolphs and Stefka Hristova
Participants will learn basic photographic terminology such as exposure, ISO etc. and will become familiar with dSLR Cameras.
12pm Lunch
Lunch will be provided on site. Participants will have the opportunity to talk informally about their interests with the Session leaders.
1pm Historical Research in Digital Photographic Archives led by Beth Russell and Daniel Lawrence
Participants will learn how to access, navigate, and interpret the historical photographic database collection of the Keweenaw Digital Archives (KDA).
2pm Digital Imaging Part 2: Creative On Location Photo Shoot led by Stefka Hristova and Tom Adolphs
Participants will board two buses and head to downtown Houghton, MI and downtown Hancock, MI in order to re-photograph selected historical sites documented in the KDA. At each location, students will work in pairs in order to capture the historical landmark in its entirety as well as in detail.
4pm Reception Mixer
Participants will have the opportunity to interact in a more informal setting with each other as well as with the faculty of the Department of Humanities at MTU.

Day 2 Sunday, September 22th
9am Remarks on Mobile Game Development by Stefka Hristova
Participants will be introduced to key issues in Mobile Game Development in relation to Historical Research. They will become familiar with the ARIS platform and will view examples of other projects that have been built in this mobile environment.
9:30am Digital Imaging Part 3: Basic photo editing with Adobe Photoshop and Camera Raw led by Stefka Hristova and Tom Adolphs
Participants will gain hands-on training on basic photo editing by modifying the photographs they took for mobile media with Adobe Photoshop and Camera Raw.
11am Electronic Literacy Part 1: Creative Writing for Digital Spaces led by Dr. Stephanie Carpenter and Joel Beatty
Participants will be introduced to the basic concepts of creative writing and, drawing on newspaper articles and other primary sources assembled by the facilitators, will start to prepare brief poetic or narrative pieces about the historical sites they photographed.
12pm Lunch
1pm Electronic Literacy Part 2: Creative Writing for Digital Spaces led by Dr. Stephanie Carpenter and Joel Beatty
Working in groups, participants will continue composing text for the gaming platform. For example, one group could focus on describing changes from past to present in the historical sites they photographed. Another group could craft characters who would narrate less-known details of the historic sites.
2pm Mobile Game Development: Integrating Local Histories into a Mobile Gaming Platform by Stefka Hristova and Daniel Lawrence
Participants will collaboratively integrate their edited photographs and text into the ARIS platform. Students will also get a chance to test the finished application on iPad devices.
4pm Closing Reception Mixer and Showcase
Participants will showcase the finished game. The closing reception will be publicized to the boarder MTU academic community.

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