As a past Digital Scholar and Mentor of Duke University’s PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, I worked closely with graduate students from a variety of disciplines including Cultural Anthropology, English, and Ethnomusicology to rethink the nature of knowledge and learning in our increasingly digital world.
Teaching in the Digital Age:
While a Digital Scholar in the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, I addressed large questions about the nature of knowledge and the ways in which we can rethink pedagogy both within institutions of higher learning and in the public sphere. During the 2012-2013 academic year, my goal was to assess and improve upon the digital tools at use in classrooms and design new ways of conceptualizing historical knowledge that enhance traditional methods of pedagogy.
In the spring of 2013, I had the exciting opportunity to experiment with new forms of digital knowledge in the classroom, such as collective note taking through Google Drive, during my tenure as a Teaching Assistant for Edward Belleisen’s “American Business History” course, in which I led a 75-minute section every week. My goal was to make my students ambassadors of knowledge and to give them the tools necessary to effectively communicate with their peers, but also with a more diverse global community. I strove not only to encourage an appreciation for the historical forces that shape American life but also foster a vibrant curiosity for tackling the unknown or contradictory aspects of American history. Overall, Digital knowledge enhanced the classroom experience and encouraged my students to draw a deeper connection with the history they engage with on a daily basis through course readings, class discussion, and their own exploration of archival material.
Now, as the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian, I continue to apply and incorporate digital learning into our public programs and outreach initiatives.