Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Question Of Community Based Research and Digital History

The end of the semester gives academics the chance to decompressed before they set off to do summer research. For those of us involved in community based service learning, it is also an important time to review and plan for new projects. Class evaluations make it clear that students benefit from the project by the end of the semester (during the semester they do not love the process). Recently, I completed a faculty development workshop that provided me with information on how to make the service learning research more fulfilling for students and community partners. I consider myself fortunate because Rollins College has several faculty members involved in community based research that really affect community and stimulate student learning. I have learned a lot from Rachel Newcomb and Rachel Simmons, both of whom use blogs to promote student reflection and stimulate community interest. Newcomb's efforts to help the Forgotten Farmworkers of Apopka and Simmons' community art projects are both really sterling example of community engagement. They are not alone on campus, so that give me many great people I can "borrow" ideas from. As I review this semester's effort, I realize I have the foundation for great content that will supplement the Winter Park Historical Association. Working with a local historical society is natural fit for a history department and I think we are provide needed support for community organization that is overlooked too often. Look for more information on community projects and reflection for everyone involved--the adventures in digital history never stop:o)

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