Week 11 Blog Post: Final Reflection

I want to start my reflection off by saying how great of an opportunity it was to take this class. I wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge in this class and also allowing us to be introduced to different materials, sources, and apps that would help further explain the topics and data that we were looking at.

The assignment that I revised was Blog Post 4. I enjoy comparing websites because they are essential to the viewers and that it’s one of the first places they are able to gain some insight into whatever topic they are researching. I picked website pair C to review.

The first website is titled “Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Google Cultural Heritage Story)” (https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/frederick-douglass-national-historic-site). Clicking on the link takes you to the website and it looks super easy and simple to read. The page is filled with pictures and captions so that the reader is able to understand the meaning behind the photograph. When you scroll to the bottom of the page you notice how it gives the location on where this Historic Site is located as well as a map of the area. There was also an option to organize the photos in chronological order. When I clicked on the time button, the dates ranged from the 1860s to 1895. The website had photographs that were very accessible with just a few simple clicks. Clicking on one of the tabs on the left side would then lead you to another page that gave more information related to the title of the tab. This website had some fairly short and sweet text. It gave me the chance to look at an object and relate it back to Frederick Douglass’ text. One strength of this website was that it was super visual and allowed for the visitors to really be engaged with the objects as well as having such short captions that it doesn’t push the readers away. One thing I didn’t like about this website is that it was very simple. Just black and white text. I feel like there could have been some sort of color to further draw in the readers. 

The second website is titled “Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Virtual Museum Exhibit)” (https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/index.html). This website was much better in my opinion than the last one due to the fact I think it was a bit more organized and had more information. There was more color which I, as a reader enjoy when looking into a website, especially about past historical figures. The Home page gave six other tabs that would further go into the topic related to their tab title. Navigation was super easy on this website, as the tabs were located on the top of the page. A strength of this website is that it has seven main pages describing events as well as giving a short synopsis of Frederick Douglass’ life and career. This website also had pictures related to each tab. It was really intriguing to click on a photo and for a small label to pop up to explain the significance of it. 

Over this past semester, I’ve had the privilege of truly getting to know how to research in a digital way. We concentrated on a new set of information every week that analyzed slavery, which usually included many documents, data graphs, and software such as Omeka or audacity that helped further our understanding in this class. I really enjoyed this class because it wasn’t a typical brush over history type class. We actually had very deep conversations and so many great questions that were raised based on the readings and assignments we had been doing. One thing that I spoke about in my podcast during week five was that the lack of education on slavery in the educational system. This class has been super helpful in my school education development since it is incredibly important to be educated about slavery and the evolution of African American, and how the past truly affects what happens in the present. As slavery isn’t something that is truly taught in most classrooms and to be able to learn various techniques by using data methods to explore those aspects of the past is something that I really enjoyed. There is so much more to learn and have learned about these data methods can play a key role in furthering my education.

Looking back at my portfolio I am pleased with the work and thought I have put into my blog posts. I enjoyed reading the books and articles assigned to this class. Each assignment was super unique and kept me intrigued in learning something new. I liked using audacity to create a podcast to speak about slavery. It was very easy to learn and took a few minutes to edit. I also was entertained by flourish. I like being able to play around with the charts so one can truly see the effects and how different aspects of that data are being shown. It was nice that every week was a different method to analyze historical data. I’m grateful for the chance to actually use these tools and examine the history of slavery in the United States.

Taking this class as a stem student was definitely a different learning experience. I think that this class is actually beneficial as the way of learning was super informative and research-based. I think that relates to the stem field as the majority of the field is looking, researching, and coming up with a scientific conclusion. I am excited to use these new skills to help me further explain why I can come up with a claim and use data to back it up.

Overall my experience this semester has been super great. From learning applications to super deep conversations I believe this class helped me become a better student. I want to thank you Professor Andrella, I enjoyed hearing other students’ perspectives as you created a safe space for doing so. There are so many injustices faced by African Americans in the United States. I think that if people in the United States had the opportunity to take a class such as this, they would be able to understand the root of the injustices and actually take a stand to help fight for justice.

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