For my CAP project this year, I decided to do something at which I feel I’m particularly good: creating 3D models of artifacts found during CAP excavations. I have been using digital technologies to render 3D models for about three years now and have created […]
Tag: social media
Since its official beginnings in 2007, social media has played an important role in the management of and education about cultural heritage on campus. Social media is part of a larger multifaceted communication plan that has been developed as part of this program for multiple […]
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.
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
As part of Day of Digital Humanities (DH), we are going to be sharing perspectives of what doing digital means for various members of the Campus Archaeology team. Digital Humanities covers a large body of work, but primarily refers to the application of digital tools […]
Digital Learning Day was started by the Alliance for Learning, in partnership with the National Writing Project to celebrate innovative teaching practices that teach digital skills to students in order to improve their opportunities in the future. Digital learning consists of any instruction that uses technology to strengthen learning. Campus […]
For many, engagement with social media is a daily practice (in some cases, people engage multiple times per day). Many people do not even think about it or consider it a ‘task’ to be undertaken. They tweet, they post on Facebook, add random (or non-random) content to Pinterest, but do the social media enthusiasts among us really stop to consider what they are adding to the limitless, undefined space that is the internet?
Social media outlets are meant to be a means for people to engage with one another; to share common interests. The question then arises: what is of interest? To figure out how to engage with social media, an internal discussion must come first. I will use myself as an example.
Within the sphere of archaeology, we all work on that which is the past of humanity, however we do not all actively engage with all parts of the history of humanity. For my part, I generally engage with the past of humanity in ancient Egypt. My skew within archaeology is toward the very ancient (approximately 6000-4700 years ago), and toward mortuary practices. I do not often engage with the every-day lives of the ancient Egyptians. In point of fact, I only reflexively engage with their lives through the disposal of their dead. I also do not engage with the recent archaeological past of Egypt.
What does all of this mean? I had to mitigate within my own mind the engagement with what I would consider very modern history. Michigan State University has obviously not been around for thousands of years, or even hundreds of years. We count our history at MSU in terms of decades, not centuries. This is a concept very foreign to me with regard to archaeology. How old is old? Does something have more gravity if it is 5000 years old than if it is less than 100 years old? Is something more interesting if it is 5000 years old? After having been a part of CAP now, even for a short period of time, I would have to answer “no” to that last question. The archaeological history of MSU is unique, interesting and quite extraordinary in the grand scheme of archaeology.
So, I have been circling the airport, and now it is time to land. My point, though it may have been obscured by the clouds through which I was navigating, is that finding the unique and interesting quality of the subject matter with which you engage is the first step to actually spreading that interest to other people via social media. The history of MSU represented by the physical, tangible remnants of our Spartan history, is extremely interesting, quirky, and draws all people, whether alumni, current students, faculty, staff, or simply the interested observer to our little corner of the internet. This is the place where the rusty nail, the corroded spoon, the broken ceramics and the bits of construction debris return to the discussion of “what makes MSU?”
I invite you all to be personally engaged with this topic, the way I and all the members of CAP are engaged with it. Ask us questions via Twitter or Facebook! For us to better engage you, we need to know how you, our followers engage with the history of MSU. Let’s start a conversation! What do you want to know about the archaeological history of MSU?
Social media has become so interwoven with our lives that it is difficult to imagine not having access to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram on a daily basis. These outlets for creativity, networking, community-building and information dissemination have had a significant impact on the way […]
This year, in celebration of Digital Learning Day (Feb. 6), we decided to host a workshop for anthropologists on how to use social media for their research, networking and teaching. At Campus Archaeology we use social media all the time to connect with the public, […]
Next weekend, on Saturday, October 6th, Campus Archaeology Program will be making a special appearance at the State Historical Museum’s yearly Michigan Archaeology Day. The theme for this year is “Hot Iron and Cold Winters,” and will highlight the Fayette Historic Town Site, an immigrant iron town in the Upper Peninsula founded by the Jackson Iron Company in 1867. This time period is analogous with the foundation of our university.
From 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, there will be presentations, demonstrations, and exhibitions from different universities and societies to show what archaeologists are up to in the state of Michigan. As you make your way through the museum, the exhibition tables are set up chronologically according to time period in human history.
I had the opportunity to see the behind the scenes construction of the event and was able to go into the private rooms where there are human remains and a Native American weapon that was found in the Upper Peninsula and was carbon dated at 20 AD. Everyone is working very hard to make this an informative and interactive day.
The Campus Archaeology Program’s graduate fellows will be there with our exhibition which will have some of our best prehistoric and historic artifacts from MSU’s campus, a poster showing who we are and what we do, a visual activity for children, and more. This is a great opportunity for the public to learn about thousands of years of Michigan history and for us to show the important and interesting things that we are uncovering on our historic campus. We look forward to seeing you there.
Click here to visit the event’s official website.
Our Facebook event page is here.
Michigan Historical Museum’s Facebook page is here.
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 […]