George Mason and CHNM to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall with Support from the German Embassy

The Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era in transatlantic relations and European unity. November 9, 2009 celebrates 20 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down. Long a symbol of isolation and contention, the Berlin Wall now symbolizes hope, change and unity.  Students at more than 25 US universities will celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by organizing Campus Weeks with financial and organizational support from the German Embassy in Washington DC .

This fall,  George Mason University and CHNM will join in the German Embassy’s campaign, Freedom Without Walls, a crosscultural celebration of the unification of East Germany and West Germany, and the possibility for peaceful change  throughout the world. CHNM is hosting the George Mason website for Freedom Without Walls, which will feature updates on project news, Campus Week events, and new content.

The Campus Weeks are a component of Germany ‘s Freedom Without Walls campaign, an effort to reach out to the generation that was born around the time the wall came down.

Ambassador Scharioth explained that reaching today’s university students is critical if the memory and the inspiration of the (more…)

CHNM Celebrates GMU Open Access Week 2009

The Center for History and New Media is proud to support George Mason’s Open Access Week initiatives (October 19th through 23rd). Since its inception in 1994, CHNM has been committed to the free flow of information and has striven to create open source educational resources that provide room for communication and democratization of history.

Open Access Week draws worldwide attention to the unrestricted sharing of scholarly research and materials for the advancement and enjoyment of all. Open Access (OA) literature is freely accessible online–maximizing the visibility, use, and impact of research. Building on the success of last year’s Open Access Day, University Libraries’ participation in OA Week offers students, faculty, staff, and the public an opportunity to learn more about Mason’s OA initiatives.

Open Access is a growing international movement that encourages the unrestricted sharing of scholarly research and materials with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of knowledge and society. Open Access is the principle that all research should be freely accessible online, immediately after publication. OA maximizes access to research, thereby enhancing its visibility, use, and impact.

Open Access Week is an opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access to research, including access policies from all types of research funders, within (more…)

CHNM cohosts “The Conscience Un-Conference: Using Social Media for Good” with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Inspired in part by CHNM’s highly successful THATCamp series, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and the Center for History and New Media will together cohost the Conscience Un-Conference: Using Social Media for Good,  a free, one-day “un-conference” that intends to bring together interesting and interested people to talk about the problems, practicalities, and opportunities of using social media to further the missions of “institutions of conscience”—those concerned with violence and atrocities, human rights, and related issues.

Recently, museums and other educational institutions have embraced social media—media that encourages multi-way communication and the building of networks—to connect with their audiences. But, participating in social media raises a lot of questions that include concerns about balancing accessibility of collections with control; grappling with authoritative and personal voice; and measuring impact and outcomes. While these issues are of concern to many institutions, they need to be addressed with special tact by those who deal with sensitive subject matter and vulnerable populations, and who hold in trust the memories of victims of tyranny, human rights abuses, and genocide. This un-conference aims to hash out these concerns with people interested in these issues.

The un-conference will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8:30am to (more…)

CHNM Labs Report on Mobile Usage in Museums

CHNM Labs released a new research report today, Mobile for Museums http://chnm.gmu.edu/labs/mobile-for-museums/. Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the report assesses how art museums are incorporating mobile technologies into visitor experiences and offers replicable mobile prototypes based on those findings.

A survey of the field shows that for many years art museums have been at the forefront of offering their visitors learning experiences that extend beyond traditional exhibit labels. That trend continues as art museums add cell phone tours, podcasts, and platform-specific applications in an effort to capitalize on the commonly-owned portable devices—iPods, MP3 players, Blackberries, cell phones—that visitors already carry in their pockets.

CHNM found that while all genres of museums are very interested in offering content and unique experiences using mobiles, their biggest challenge is working with small budgets and a small staff, limiting their ability to develop content for mobiles.

To address these needs, Mobile for Museums offers recommendations and free, replicable prototypes based on this research on how to economically provide mobile users with positive experiences in and outside a museum.

These prototypes include:

• New plugins for the Omeka http://omeka.org software package allowing institutions to use already-created collections content and re-purpose it with plugins for use inside (more…)

George Mason and CHNM to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall with Support from the German Embassy

The Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era in transatlantic relations and European unity. November 9, 2009 celebrates 20 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down. Long a symbol of isolation and contention, the Berlin Wall now symbolizes hope, change and unity.  Students at more than 25 US universities will celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by organizing Campus Weeks with financial and organizational support from the German Embassy in Washington DC .

This fall,  George Mason University and CHNM will join in the German Embassy’s campaign, Freedom Without Walls, a crosscultural celebration of the unification of East Germany and West Germany, and the possibility for peaceful change  throughout the world. CHNM is hosting the George Mason website for Freedom Without Walls, which will feature updates on project news, Campus Week events, and new content.

The Campus Weeks are a component of Germany ‘s Freedom Without Walls campaign, an effort to reach out to the generation that was born around the time the wall came down.

Ambassador Scharioth explained that reaching today’s university students is critical if the memory and the inspiration of the (more…)

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Receives MERLOT Award for Online Learning Excellence

At the 2009 Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) International Conference,  the CHNM website Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution was presented with the MERLOT Classics Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resource.

The MERLOT Awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning and to honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community.

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a leading edge, user-centered, searchable collection of peer reviewed and selected higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. MERLOT’s vision is to be a premiere online community where faculty, staff, and students from around the world share their learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT’s strategic goal is to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning by increasing the quantity and quality of peer reviewed online learning materials that can be easily incorporated into faculty-designed courses.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution is an accessible introduction to the French Revolution, presenting an broad archive of some of the most important documentary evidence from the Revolution, including 338 texts, 245 images, and a number of maps and (more…)

CHNM celebrates the 30th Anniversary of NECC

As the National Education Computer Conference (NECC) celebrated its 30th Anniversary in the nation’s capital, the CHNM Outreach Team was on-hand Monday to enjoy a busy afternoon speaking with an international audience at the Convention Center in Washington, DC. The CHNM poster session highlighted free tools for teachers that promote digital literacy and critical thinking: Zotero, Omeka, ScholarPress, and the National History Education Clearinghouse Tools for Teachers.

The annual NECC conference—presented by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and keyed to the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)—features innovative workshops, including Model Lessons, BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) sessions, and Open Source Labs. The nonprofit ISTE focuses on improving teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education.

One Week, One Tool: A Digital Humanities Barn Raising

We are very happy to report that CHNM has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under its Institute for Advanced Topics in Digital Humanities program to do for the summer scholarly institute what THATCamp is doing for the scholarly conference. Under the banner of “better, faster, lighter”—as well as more pragmatic, more collaborative, and more fun—CHNM will host a diverse group of twelve digital humanists for a busy week of tool-building in Summer 2010. Welcome to One Week, One Tool, a digital humanities barn raising.

With a decade of successful digital tool-building experience under its belt, we at CHNM have come to the conclusion that effective digital tools are forged mostly in practice rather than theory. Although inspirational ideas and disciplinary training are necessary, the creative process succeeds or fails due to pragmatic, often hidden or ignored fundamentals such as good user interface design, thorough code commenting and documentation, community engagement, dissemination and “marketing,” and effective project management. We may have a vision for an ideal end product, but frequently a tool is made or broken in seemingly more mundane aspects of software development.

Too often these practical aspects get lost in our conferences and workshops, only to (more…)

Help the Center for History and New Media Innovate – Updated!

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (http://chnm.gmu.edu) is celebrating fifteen years of providing high-quality, free educational resources and tools to an audience that grows exponentially each year. Last year, sixteen million people visited CHNM’s websites and over two million people used our software.

The historians and technologists at CHNM feel lucky to serve this vast audience, but although all of our tools and resources are free, they are not without cost. With your help we hope to continue our service and innovation for another fifteen years and beyond. The National Endowment for the Humanities has given CHNM a rare challenge grant, which will match donations to CHNM’s endowment for a limited time.

Whether you use CHNM’s popular Zotero software for your research, get your daily fix from the History News Network, learn from award-winning sites such as Historical Thinking Matters and Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives, or scan through unique digital archives such as the Papers of the War Department, we hope you will make a contribution today. Your tax-deductible gift will help us to reach even more students, teachers, and scholars worldwide.

To make your donation right now, please visit:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/donate/

From all of us at the Center for History (more…)

Zotero 2.0 is Here!

After an extensive development and testing period and the addition of even more features to make academic research easier, more collaborative, and ready for the future, Zotero 2.0 went public tonight. I’ll be blogging extensively about Zotero 2.0 in this space over the coming weeks and months as it continues to develop, but here’s a quick list of what you get with the major upgrade:

Syncing

  • Automatic synchronization of collections among multiple computers. For example, sync your PC at work with your Mac laptop and your Linux desktop at home.
  • Free automatic backup of your library data on Zotero’s servers.
  • Automatic synchronization of your attachment files to a WebDAV server (e.g. iDisk, Jungle Disk, or university-provided web storage).

People

  • Zotero users get a personal page with a short biography and the ability to list their discipline and interests, create an online CV (simple to export to other sites), and grant access to their libraries.
  • Easily find others in one’s discipline or researchers with similar interests.
  • Follow other scholars—and be followed in return.

Groups

  • Create and join public and private groups on any topic.
  • Access in real time new research materials from your groups on the web or in the Zotero interface.
  • Easily move materials from a group stream into your personal library.

Even More (more…)