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Digital field pedagogy

Lewis & Clark College has recently launched an initiative in digital field scholarship (DFS), spanning the humanities and sciences in an effort to explore how liberal education is enhanced via concepts of space/place, geolocated fieldwork, and associated devices/apps. Some examples I’m overseeing include an interdisciplinary undergraduate environmental research project, Situating the Global Environment, and a new DFS “sandbox” project for 2012–13 sponsored by NITLE and involving Lewis & Clark and three collaborating institutions.

In our limited HP ThatCamp time together, I’d like to propose a focus on DFS pedagogy (vs. e.g. technology). Here are a few starter questions:

  1. What sorts of conceptual/technical/etc. skills and associated learning outcomes merit prioritization in DFS?
  2. How can we best support both the incremental process and the final products of DFS in a course or other setting? How do student-generated text, raw/processed imagery, etc. ideally enter into the process/products?
  3. How can the field as a site for learning best interface with the classroom, computer lab, online community, one’s own personal learning space, etc.? How can the field best serve as a gathering point for multiple student projects, multiple courses, multiple institutions, etc.—i.e., how can it support greater cross-disciplinary scholarship?
  4. What are the important learning-related opportunities and limitations of digital field scholarship we should keep in mind, as compared to more analog/web1.0/20th-century technologies?

Looking forward to meeting others!…

About the author

Jim Proctor

I’m a geographer and professor of environmental studies at Lewis & Clark, with an eclectic background spanning engineering and religious studies, and research interests in environmental theory, interdisciplinarity, and new learning technologies.

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