Who are we with being so blessed, to share our stories like this. To speak across centuries. – Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

I started the course with that quotation. I figured it was appropriate to finish with it because it’s true. As a profession we are blessed to be able to share stories about the past.

The history profession is going through a revolution. Perhaps revolution is a strong word but the profession is trying to rapidly adapt to the digital world that they are currently unequipped to handle. I said it in my blog post about Python but I honestly can’t believe that there isn’t a mandatory computer science course that all humanities majors need to take. There are going to be extremely few jobs in the next 20-30 years, even in the humanities, that won’t require some work with computers or even some form of programming. This course has given me access to tools that I hope I can utilise effectively in my career and has reequipped me with programming, which I’m extremely grateful for because I know I’ll be doing lots more of that in the coming months. I know people really hate coding. I understand better than anyone. It’s frustrating, complicated and until you get into the higher stages of it, it’s really difficult to see how beneficial the rewards can be. However, I still think it’s important.

Other tools we learned are important too. The lesson on video gaming and history inspired me to create The Gaming Historian, which has now become a serious project and something I plan to work on even after the course is finished. That also was a product of working with WordPress extensively, which is a tool I really enjoy working with. Really easy to work with and the ability to give real time stats on visitors and views is awesome.

There were a lot of things that I learned about that I had no experience with in January. The 3D printing lecture provided a rudimentary look at the what the future may hold in recreating lost pieces of the past, which is very exciting. Especially after Google just released the new Google Nose beta, it’s cool to think about what we might be able to recreate someday. Omeka was another tool that hopefully I can use some to put a collection online cause it seems like a really interesting and helpful tool. Podcasting, which I want to use for other things along with history, is another cool tool I learned more about. The Neatline and Google Earth stuff was awesome. I’ve been using it extensively for looking at video game maps based on real life locations. Textual analysis tools like wordle, the ngram viewer and other tools are going to be extremely useful in the future when trying to map out trends in books or games. Very cool stuff.

This course was great. It honed some skills and introduced new ones that I will use when examining the past. It gives me a leg up on my fellow historians. It allows me to study history better and in a more digitally integrated way. I hope this course gets expanded and maybe even becomes mandatory. Our profession needs to move forward if we want to keep up with the rest of the humanities and world.

Cheers to all and have a good summer,

Dave

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