Tag: blogging

Big Changes Coming in MSU Campus Archaeology’s Future

Big Changes Coming in MSU Campus Archaeology’s Future

The 2017-18 academic year will be a momentous one for MSU Campus Archaeology. We are now an established entity in the University with our own budget and clear goals, but as of May 2018, I (Lynne Goldstein) will be retiring from MSU, and the MSU 

Introduction to Archaeology Blogs

Introduction to Archaeology Blogs

There are hundreds of archaeology blogs, lists of active blogs are compiled (http://anthropologyreport.com/anthropology-blogs-2014/), individual blog posts are collected (http://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/around-the-archaeology-blog-o-sphere-digest-5/), and RSS feeds are inundated. But if you’re new to anthropology, or specifically archaeology blogging, where’s a good place to start? I thought I’d share some 

To blog or not to blog

To blog or not to blog

As I’m sitting here, trying to figure out what I can possibly blog about this week, I’ve ticked off in my head the usual blog topics; fieldwork update, archival research update, CAP outreach rundown, etc…and I have nothing new to report on. Well this lack of information to disseminate got me thinking, why do we blog in the first place? I realize this is not a new and novel question, but I figured if I considered why we blog, then maybe I would have a flash of genius and come up with a blog topic. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted the “why” to actually be the topic.

Blogging has become ever more popular in the educational setting because of the increased interaction it encourages. Clark and Mayer(2003) describe two instructional tools that can be applied to educational blogging: directive and guided discovery techniques. a directive technique emphasizes a feedback loop between the students and instructor, while a guided discovery techniques are tools used to guide students to solutions in real-life challenges. Both of these techniques apply to the way CAP uses their blog, even though we are not in a traditional classroom setting.

Educational blogs have been referred to as a “transformative technology” because of their ability to “provide students with a high level of autonomy while simultaneously providing opportunity for greater interaction with peers” (Williams and Jacobs 2004:web resource). Blogs create an environment for students which encourages honest and heartfelt opinions without requiring hard and fast data. This allows students to gain confidence in their own opinions, while promoting critical analysis skills and creativity.

Blogging has also found its way into the realm of archaeology. It has become commonplace for archaeologists to create field journals that describe the day-to-day happenings of the field season. William Caraher, who has a blog for his excavation in Cyprus, explains that blogs are a “dynamic medium for the disseminating of archaeological knowledge” (Caraher 2008). Blogs allow the user to connect to a larger audience and interact with new communities of followers. The general public can be awe inspired to learn about archaeology while fellow colleagues can offer insight. Blogs have the power to bridge the gap between the knowledge of the hungry general public and the overly anxious archaeologist (Caraher 2008). Blogs create a transparency for excavations which encourages public trust (Caraher 2008). Additionally, this transparency provides a grounding for the general public to understand what real archaeology is, rather than what is portrayed on the silver screen.

Our goal for the CAP blog is exactly along these lines. We want to keep the public, and the University at large, informed of the history of MSU, through our archeology and blogging. Our research projects and public outreach revolve around the archeology of MSU’s campus, and we strive to disseminate our findings, while encouraging a strong sense of stewardship. We hope, that the more you know about the history of MSU, the more you’ll want it protected.

References:

Caraher, W. 2008. Blogging Archaeology and the Archeology of Blogging. Archaeology Magazine Online http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/blogs/index.html

Clark, R.C. and R.E. Mayer 2003 e-Learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Williams, J. and J. Jacobs 2004. Exploring the use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the Higher Education Sector. Australasian Journal of Education Technology 20(2), 232-247.

*Excerpts for this blog were taken from Frederick, K. 2012. Blogging Archaeology: Experiences from the Morton Village Field School. Paper presented at Midwest Archaeological Conference 2012, East Lansing, MI

The Future of Blogging Campus Archaeology

The Future of Blogging Campus Archaeology

This is the final blog post in a series of larger blogging carnival posts hosted by the blog Doug’s Archaeology. The previous posts have focused on why we blog, what we blog about, and the potential issues of blogging. For the last month of the 

Blogging Campus Archaeology: A Retrospective

Blogging Campus Archaeology: A Retrospective

This is the fourth post as part of the Blogging Archaeology Carnival hosted by Doug’s Archaeology. To learn more about this, please see our first post: Why do we blog?, our second post: The Good, Bad and Ugly, and our third post: Our Best Posts.  This month, the 

Blogging Archaeology: January Questions

Blogging Archaeology: January Questions

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This is the third post as part of the Blogging Archaeology  Carnival hosted by Doug’s Archaeology. To learn more about this, please see our first post: Why do we blog? and our second post: The Good, Bad and Ugly

This month, our blogging archaeology carnival question from Doug’s Archaeology examines the best of posts. He leaves it up to us to define ‘best’, but suggests we look at number of views, most comments, best conversation created, or went the most viral. You can read about this month’s question and see the answers from last month’s question here: #BlogArch: Responses to Good, Bad and Ugly of Blogging.

This is a difficult question to answer since we have a large number of ever changing bloggers, and what each may define as their best post would probably be different. We are going to look at our favorite posts by different criteria, including the ones that started the most conversation, the ones that are most viewed, and the ones that are the most revealing.

Conversation starters: Our most popular conversation starters are the posts that tell university students, faculty and staff more about the historic university and the people. They like hearing about who lived in the university, what students in the 19th century were like, and how this relates to the archaeology we are doing today. A great example of this is the work by past intern Eve, who wrote about finding the heart of campus. Her posts talked about how what is perceived as being the focal point of of the university, whether that means what people see as the symbol of the campus like Beaumont Tower or the rock, or the area that is the literal center of activity. Another example is the work of intern Paige, who connected archival text from the university to artifacts that we had excavated. She was able to show why combining these two resources is so important, and also link tangible items to behavior in the past.

Most views: Our posts that consistently receive the most unique views are the ones that review topics in archaeology and artifact identification. The Archaeology 101 series started by Terry included posts on reading stratigraphy and doing shovel test pits. It isn’t surprising that these helpful and general posts are the ones that are viewed more frequently. Second to these are posts about specific artifacts which receive quite a few comments. These posts demonstrate the research that goes into identification of artifacts, and hopefully makes it easier for future research. We get numerous comments on these posts asking for more information and details! Some examples are the post on the paperclip, dairy bottles, makeup containers, and nails.

Most revealing: There are two posts that had surprises on campus, and that I would think are some of the best. The first is when Terry determined that a piece of plaster found near Beal Street was a portion of a wall from College Hall. This answered the question of what happened to the demolished remains of the building- they were used to build up the banks of the river to prevent flooding! The blog post he wrote explained how they were able to use artifacts to fill in archival information. The second big surprise on campus was when construction crews found a building under East Circle Drive. The blog post I wrote describes how we figured out what the building was and the excavation of it.

On a personal note, my favorite two posts have been the Halloween ones. I loved Amy’s post on how Halloween has been celebrated on campus, and I loved writing my own post on where campus may be haunted. Enjoy!

Dairy Bottles Found on MSU’s Campus

Dairy Bottles Found on MSU’s Campus

Recently we’ve been looking at the history of sustainability practices at Michigan State University. Part of being ‘green’ is reducing one’s food miles. This is the distance of the production to the distance of consumption. Food transported long distances or across continents burns up fossil 

Day of Archaeology

Day of Archaeology

Today is the Day of Archaeology, a day where 400 archaeologists from around the world share what they are doing on a normal day in their life. Campus Archaeology has done a joint contribution from Dr. Goldstein, Chris Stawski, Kristin Sewell, Grace Krause and me, 

SAA 2011: Blogging in Archaeology, Week 4

SAA 2011: Blogging in Archaeology, Week 4

This post is week 4 (and the final post) of the Blogging in Archaeology questions posed by Colleen Morgan of the blog Middle Savagery.

Question: Consider the act of publication for this blog carnival. How could we best capture the interplay, the multimedia experience of blogging as a more formalized publication? What would be the best outcome for this collection of insights from archaeological bloggers?

The MSU Campus Archaeology Crew

As a finale to this blogging month, we discussed this week’s question as a group and voted on what we thought would be the best way to ‘publish’ this collection of blog posts and discussions. We came up with three ideas that we all like.

First, we think that the SAA should put the “discussion” on their website. This could be done a couple of different ways – as a “static” item, or as something dynamic (we prefer this).

Second, we think that it would be useful to publish a version of the posts and the process background as an article in the SAA Archaeological Record. This would reach people who might not see the blogs in another form.

Finally, we suggest a blogroll as a potential way to both continue the conversation and expand it, as well as expanding access to the blogs of those who participated.

An official peer-reviewed article is also a possibility, but there was not general agreement on the form or nature of this option. The above 3 ideas seem logical to us.

Thanks for allowing us to participate! We’ve had a lot of fun!

SAA 2011: Blogging in Archaeology Week 3

SAA 2011: Blogging in Archaeology Week 3

This post is week 3 of the Blogging in Archaeology questions posed by Colleen Morgan of the blog Middle Savagery. Question 3: Most archaeological blogs that I read have very little in the way of dialog through comments. Often on this blog, I feel like