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Talking Digital Identity and Scholarship with Graduate Students

Yesterday I finished up the last installment of a six-week workshop series focused on assisting graduate students with understanding digital identity and the open web. I co-taught this with John Stewart who did much of the heavy lifting filling me for me a couple times when I wasn’t able to be available. This was also our first time to partner with the Clay Wesley in Graduate Student Life who was kind enough to organize, manage, and offer food for the event itself. I’ve spoken twice at their annual career development week and was humbled that the presentations were rated high enough to pique the college’s interest on expanding it into a more concerted effort.

The truth is a digital identity is not a tool or a website, and it can’t be fully actualized in a mere six weeks, but through the process of a building a website it can get folks started on a path and give them enough of knowledge to be armed with how to take ownership of their digital identity by giving them an environment where they are forced to put pen to paper. This fact was driven home quite well by Michael Thompson, who is our Director of Broader Impacts in the Office of the Vice President for Research, who, among other things, leads our faculty in workshops to help assist them in building and verbalizing their faculty identity. One of the comments he brought up multiple times was how identity is changing and fluid, which is so true. The more time I spend in this project, the more I see identity building as the opposite of a streamlined tech tool built to help you answer a pre-determined set of questions much like many social media profiles and e-portfolio solutions. The complexity of people demands flexibility and ownership.

The last week of the workshop was focused on digital scholarship. Digital scholarship is such a broad term and I wanted to pull examples of various ways of interpreting the notion of DS including how one’s own digital space(s) can reflect research, digital scholarship tools, digital and open-access journals, research group sites, and fully-fledged online research projects. It’s certainly nowhere near exhaustive but these are references I point to often. Below a brief summary of the sites we went over:

Laura Gogia – An example of a phenomenal recent PhD graduate site. Good example of leveraging a multitude of spaces for various identities and projects. Lauragogia.com is a landing page aggregation of work. Messy Thinking is her “thinking out loud” blog. Deconstructed Dissertation is her main research website. 

TAGS – Twitter archive to Google Sheet tool built developed and maintained by Martin Hawksey.

Hypothes.is – An annotation tool that can act as a layer on top of any public website. See this Guardian article for how an example of how Climate Feedback is utilize the tool as a way to be “a scientific reference to reliable information on climate change” within popular media.

Tableau – a visualization tool with a free offering for students. See Austin’s Teacher Turnover for an example of various ways structured data can be visualized for storytelling.

Jove – calls itself the “the world’s first and only peer reviewed scientific video journal.” An example of a digital version of traditional researcher as referenced in Martin Weller’s article

Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments – “an open-access, curated collection of downloadable, reusable, and remixable pedagogical resources for humanities scholars interested in the intersections of digital technologies with teaching and learning.” Hosted and openly edited on Github.

Inhabiting the Anthropocene – a group blog written by an interdisciplinary group of University of Oklahoma scholars interested in how humans have and continue to transform the Earth.

Community Informatics – an example of a research website. This research site began on OU Create and has since migrated off OU Create due to the faculty member now be located in Boston at Simmons College. This site is made up of a WordPress information page as well as an evolving wiki hosted that uses the application DokuWiki.

Situating Chemistry – a collaborative research database and map that investigates the sites where chemistry was practiced between 1760-1840 led by University of Oklahoma staff member and historian John Stewart. This project is built on the Drupal platform.

New Deal – an undergraduate research project at the University of Oklahoma utilizing the Omeka platform. For more information, see a more detailed blog post I previously wrote.

Digital Humanities Toolbox – A very well organized and much more exhaustive list of tools that one can use for projects including mapping, text analysis, audio, annotation, and research tools. Very applicable to non-humanities fields.

Featured image: flickr photo shared by renaissancechambara under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license