On September 13, we held the first official session of the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club, an after-school program that encourages high school students from East St. Louis to engage in activities related to technology and broaden their perspectives on future career possibilities.
Despite our preparations, we were all a little nervous because the bus bringing the students from East St. Louis was a little later than expected. We improvised our scheduled plans though, and all was well when the high school students arrived. We divided into groups, and the students participated in an audio recording exercise and then discussions with the session facilitators/team leaders.
Gaige Crowell, one of our team leaders, observed he was especially pleased with the "high level of interest" in the program among the high school students. "They seemed to be engaged in every task we presented to them and gave thorough feedback during the time that they were there," he said.
"I enjoyed working with the high school students and receiving their feedback on the Audio Scavenger Hunt," said team leader Amelia Williams. "I appreciated hearing their different perspectives/opinions to the questions."
Tiara Perkins gave some consideration to improvements moving forward. "One thing I'll do different next time is to give the high schoolers a detailed run down of what we'll be doing for the day so they are aware," she said. "I will do this because I feel as if they know what is going on they will feel more involved and take it serious." Team leader Jayla Howard said she is giving thought to "how can we get the high school students to engage and open up more."
Week #1 reflection from graduate student, Rae'Jean Spears:
Our first session with the students for the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club was great. We completed an audio scavenger hunt where the students were given the opportunity to learn new skills with using audio recorders. I really enjoyed how the students immediately tried to add their creativity to the activity by suggesting other questions that they could add to the list. I'm interested to see how they will continue to use their voices in offering suggestions and creative input throughout the semester.Related:
• The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club