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…)

2009 Roy Rosenzweig Forum – Social Networking and the Semantic Web

On Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 p.m., the Rosenzweig Forum on Technology and the Humanities and the Washington Semantic Web Group will host the a forum on Social Networking and the Semantic web in the George Mason University Johnson Center Cinema. The forum will host four speakers, Mills Davis, Andy Roth, Mike Petit, and Dan Cohen, who will share their projects and lead a group discussion at the end of the evening. Mills Davis of Project10X will showcase new developments in social networking and semantic technologies within government and private industry. Andy Roth, Chief Quality Officer at AdaptiveBlue, will discuss Glue, a browser add-on that allows you to find new things based on what your friends like. Mike Petit will present Amplify, an open platform that mimics human understanding of content and offers a broad range of unique, and previously unavailable, data to SemWeb practitioners. Finally, Dan Cohen of the Center for History and New Media will discuss new social and collaborative features for Zotero, the  free, easy-to-use Firefox extension which helps collect, manage, cite and share your research sources.

More information, including speaker bios, is available at the Washington Semantic Web Meet-up  forum website.

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

At the 2009 MERLOT International Conference this coming August, MERLOT will present Jack Censer, Dean of the George Mason University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, with the MERLOT Classics Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resource for the CHNM website, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution.

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 (more…)

The American Historical Association Announces the Roy Rosenzweig Fellowship for Innovation in Digital History

In 2009, George Mason University and the American Historical Association will offer the first Roy Rosenzweig Fellowship for Innovation in Digital History. This award was developed by friends and colleagues of Roy Rosenzweig (1950–2007), Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History and New Media at George Mason University, to honor his life and work as a pioneer in the field of digital history.

This nonresidential fellowship will be awarded annually to honor and support work on an innovative and freely available new media project, and in particular for work that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history. The fellowship will be conferred on a project that is either in a late stage of development or which has been launched in the past year but is still in need of further improvements. The fellow(s) will be expected to apply awarded funds toward the advancement of the project goals during the fellowship year.

In a 1-2 page narrative, entries should provide a method of access to the project (e.g., web site address, software download), indicate the institutions and individuals involved with the project, and describe the project’s goals, functionality, intended audience, and significance. A short budget statement on (more…)