Archive for May, 2010

Finally, my final project is online. Now, it is time for some conclusive remarks. First of all, I would like to thank all my classmates and Professor Paula Petrik for some great insights. New Media is not as easy as I earlier assumed but at the same time you don’t need a lot of technological information to design an elementary web page. You need just a little bit of CSS and Photoshop. Then, everything depends on your creativity and willingness to learn.

On the level of the time devoted to different assignments, it is interesting that as the semester went on and the assignments became more complex, I actually devoted less time to each assignment. In this sense, the most time consuming project was the first CSS page. With respect to other assignments, the most challenging were: footnotes in the type; colorizing in the image; header image in the design and the link scheme in the final project.

Referring to my progress in the class, I can say that if at the beginning of the semester, I hardly imagined myself being able to produce some sort of a website, then, now, I am confident that I can at least recognize when a site is developed professionally and how to improve some design elements in it. Also, during the semester I decided to change the character of my assignment from one based on text and documents to one based on the visual elements. So, in addition to some web design skills, this course helped me understand the added value of images in understanding the past.

Concerning the problems which I’ve encountered on the road to my assignments, I think the main problem was my laziness. In addition, I have to say that I am a part of that side of the humanity, which is reluctant to embrace any new technology only on the grounds that it is “new.” The fact that I am a historian only enforces this tendency. That is precisely the reason why I am glad that in addition to some elementary web design skills, I have developed a new perspective on the role of the images and photography in history. Now, I can say that in addition to being an appendix to the main content, images are valuable sources on their own.

As a result of this course, I think about several future projects, which will rely on the skills developed during this course. First of all, I will develop a personal web site with a special section devoted to my dissertation work. In addition, I plan to add a section on the role of the visual elements in my work. Among the visual elements I plan to concentrate on maps and photographs.

Another project concerns the development of an educational curriculum, which will take into account the new technologies and their role in the teaching and learning of the historical disciplines. I plan to devote a special place to the question of how Internet emphasizes the role of the visuals in our understanding of history.

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