Pedagogy as Poesis? NINES, Omeka, & Exhibit Builders
I’ve been thinking a bit about some of the large claims trickling out of this year’s MLA digital humanities panels–particularly one about how doing digital humanities means making something. Whether or not that definition holds (and whether or not making something demands a sophisticated knowledge of coding), I can’t help but think about how that applies to pedagogy. Deidre’s really thought-provoking post, “Poems to Remember (but how?)” led us to discuss how we might manifest and visualize the reading and note-taking experience. That is, reading is remaking a text with your mind, with a pen, and perhaps with a word processor or a wiki.
There are also some tools such as the NINES Collex where users can construct collections of materials from a patchwork or mash-up of various primary and secondary texts. Omeka’s exhibit builder can be used in this way as well, though users need to bring their own texts, images, and so forth into the site, rather than accessing the group of nineteenth-century databases already filtered into NINES. Last year, as some of you probably read, Amy Earhart wrote a post for ProfHacker about using the NINES Collex as a tool to teach her students researching skills. But I wonder, too, if surfing through the Collex and collecting materials might also provoke a type of hands-on “distant” reading?
Has anyone used NINES, had their students do so, or would have a go at it now? How are these tools useful for our students or ourselves as a form of data or resource collection, a different kind of reading, or something else altogether? What other tools might we use, or what other types of making might we do in the classroom?