Monthly Archives: March 2011

Historian’s Eye

Screenshot of Historian's Eye websiteBeginning in 2009 as an effort to capture the historic moment of President Obama’s inauguration in photographs and interviews, Professor Matt Jacobson’s Historian’s Eye project has evolved into a website presenting a collection of 1000+ photographs and an audio archive addressing Obama’s first term in office, the 2008 economic collapse, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, the BP oil spill, and the seeming escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide. In addition to catching these moments like fireflies in a mason jar, the project seeks to encourage a new relationship to history itself—a mental habit of apprehending the past in the present and history-in-the-making.

Professor Jacobson has introduced the Historian’s Eye website as a primary source in his Formation of American Culture challenging his students to similarly pursue this kind of relationship with history. The Instructional Technology group worked with Professor Jacobson to produce the website and explore how it is used in his teaching.


iTable Comes to the Service of George Washington

Stace Maples from the Yale Map Department touches the iTable to play an animation.Barnet Schecter will kick off the George Washington map exhibit in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall on Wednesday with a talk titled “America Transformed: From George Washington’s American Atlas to the 21st Century”. The title refers to Schecter’s research, but is appropriate considering what you’ll find when you walk in the room. Immediately next to maps drawn by Washington himself is a 42-inch touch display that visitors can use to explore animations providing geographic context for some of the maps in Washington’s atlas.

Staff from ITS and the Map Department watch an animation on the iTable.

Dubbed the iTable, we originally put the multi-touch display together as an experimental lecturing device for professors who heavily use Google Earth in the classroom. It is now used for exploratory learning in informal learning environments. The Library’s Map Department came up with the idea to use the iTable to introduce an element of interactivity to their exhibit and worked with us to configure it for their needs. Swing by the SML Lecture Hall and check it out.