Collaboration in Digital History

As we head into the last few weeks of the semester, we are wrapping up with our coursework; including our group project.

I was assigned to a group focusing on Cliveden, which was Benjamin Chew’s home. My group is focusing on “the Chew properties of this era, highlighting the Chew family who owned those properties, and the fight over family wealth.” This theme is meant to cover 1844-1864, which, if you’re new here, is outside my preferred field of study. However, this made the project more enjoyable since I was able to learn more about American history.

My role in this project is “Project Manager.” We had to pick who would be which position amongst ourselves, and it seems like every group had the graduate student be the “project manager.” Overall, there haven’t been any substantial complaints, other than the typical group work distain. My group communicates very well and we have a great connection with our contact at Cliveden (how many “c” words can I put in one sentence?).

The benefits of doing this project collaboratively has been the work being evenly divided. I could not imagine doing a project like this on my own with the time constraints of the semester. One challenge has been getting everyone in a room at the same time to discuss our progress. Since we all have our own lives and responsibilities outside of school, it is hard to get everyone to meet at the same time. This is totally understandable, though it is an obstacle that I did not anticipate.

This project will be done through StoryMap. By using a program like this, the information will be shared by using newer technology. As Heppler and Wolfenstein wrote, “Today, the digital turn has offered new technologies to engage with communities and significantly widened the number of possible participants.” Because we can use newer technologies to make information-sharing more effective, our group will have our project in the museum at Cliveden!

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