Week #4 Blog: Comparative Website review

I choose the two websites labeled under the C section of the class page; Frederick Douglass National Historic site. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery and after escape became a prominent activist and a leader of the abolitionist movement. The first website which I examined was https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/frederick-douglass-national-historic-site, my first reaction was that it had a lot of material but it was organized well. There was a brief description of the historical site that included who, what, when, where, and why. There are also links to the virtual exhibit (second website) and a collection of images that you can choose to separate by time period or popularity. Each image has its own metadata when you click on the attachment. On the top of the website home page is different links to their social media platforms in case you want to check that out. The virtual tour is nice because people can actually move around and browse the museum just as if they were actually there even in the comfort of their own home. Down at the bottom of the webpage is a map of where the museum is located and the hours of operation and the address if people prefer to actually visit.

The second webpage https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/index.html, which is actually linked from the first website seems to be older or meant to replicate the time period. On the home page, you have the option to click the different tabs which take you to different parts of the exhibit you can choose to click on the pictures which take you to the same spot. These include Visionary, Washington Home, Power of Idea, Mighty word, Women Rights, and All image gallery. Down below these tabs are the overview of what is included and discussed in the exhibit and a features section that directs you to house tour, lesson plans, and Frederick Douglass portraits. I really like the lesson plans part because it separates them by theme and if you find something you like it gives a project or work to do if you click on it. These could be very useful for educators that are teaching a class or topic that involves the things that are included. If you click on a photo it will enlarge it and below the photo, you can click to see the caption which includes the metadata.

All in all, I really enjoyed both webpages and both included a lot of important information. However, it seemed that webpage one was more accessible and easier to navigate. The first webpage had a link to the second and there wasn’t a link to the first on the second which I think should have been included. I liked the lesson plans on the second webpage and I thought the virtual tour on the first site was a great idea. I think because the first website had a newer feel and easy navigation I would say that it is the best.

One thought on “Week #4 Blog: Comparative Website review

  1. These are thoughtful observations and interpretations about the two websites. Although both websites include some kind of affiliation with the National Park Service, the first one was produced with Google Arts and Culture– a fairly recent initiative from Google to partner with art and cultural institutions all over the world to “curate” pieces, exhibits, and other information into one place. The second website was produced through the National Park Service itself. Although it has a sharper analytical focus of Frederick Douglass, it appears a little dated and could use a visual update. Your comments are making me think more about how websites are trying to “recreate” an experience for viewers, which is really hard to do, but immersion is the best form of learning!

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