Playful, imaginative, participatory work is not the enemy of education, but its exuberant and vital engine.Burdick et al. “One: Humanities to Digital Humanities,” in Digital_Humanities (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 24.
Why This Quote?
As an Educational Studies minor, this quote particularly grabbed my attention because it touches upon the fact that education needs to be reimagined as dynamic, hands-on, and democratic rather than static and stratifying.
It wasn’t until I took my first few Educational Studies courses that I was encouraged to critically assess the public education system in the U.S., an outdated institution that has historically produced large achievement gaps due to its inability to meet the needs of diverse learners. All students have a right to equitable learning environments that allow each of them to intellectually thrive. Perhaps even more importantly, young people need to graduate schools with the skillsets necessary to navigate life in a fast-paced world increasingly dominated by mass-media. To prepare students, educational curricula need to incorporate diverse teaching techniques, materials, and standards of assessment that 1) are inclusive of different learning styles and 2) keep up with the times.
I see Digital Humanities playing a critical role in reimagining both public and higher education in the ways that it can 1) reach broader audiences, 2) increase accessibility to information, knowledge, data, and 3) present such information in a more engaging and easily intelligible manner. The art-major side of me is excited at the prospect of presenting data in creative, unexpected, and multi-media ways. The educational-studies-minor side of me jumps for joy at the idea of making learning more fun and accessible…Because when we are more informed, we are more more empowered to critique dominant power structures, and more motivated to work towards a better future.
What Part(s) of DH Am I Looking Forward to Most?
I’m most excited to explore how I can incorporate art, aesthetics, and/or humor in my project(s). I want to create in a way that takes the viewer by surprise, values simplicity, and invites the viewer to become engaged in something they might otherwise disregard as uninteresting or unimportant.