Saturday, November 4, 2017

Midterm reflection on the digital humanities club

High school student Louis and undergraduate Tiara Perkins discuss items during after-school activity 

By Rae’Jean Spears

We are officially halfway through the semester working with our Digital Humanities Club. It’s beneficial to reflect on how the program has shifted from when we first started to how it is now. While I think it took a different direction than we originally expected, it has proved to be a great experience.

[Related: weekly reflections]

In the first couple of weeks, we started off with an average of around 12 students per week. As the months progressed, the number evened out to be 4 consistent students a week, with 1 or 2 additional students every so often. While the numbers are lower, I believe the quality of the program is much better than it would have been with more students.

We have been able to develop relationships with the 4 core main students over the past few weeks that would not have been possible if we had more students. For example, we can see how certain students are more skilled than others with some of the programs and have challenged them to expand their skills. Also, where some students are more reserved and would have easily hid in the background in a larger group, we have been able to see them flourish socially.

So far, the Digital Humanities Club has proved to provide teachable moments for both us and the East St. Louis students. While the students have been learning about Audacity and how to edit audio files, we have been learning to be willing to adjust based on the desires and needs of the students. They also have shown us how it feels to see other people excited about producing creative work for the first time.

Some weeks, I'm not sure who is learning more: the East St. Louis students or us. Either way, I'm looking forward to what lessons the remaining weeks of the semester will bring for us all.

The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club

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