Amanda  Sikarskie

  • Title / Position: Assistant Professor, Public History
  • Twitter: @sikarskie

I currently teach museum studies (including a graduate seminar on Museums in a Digital Age) at Western Michigan University. I received my PhD in American studies in 2011 from Michigan State U., and from 2008-2011, I did project development and social media management for the Quilt Index, The QI is a digital archive that provides preservation and access for images and metadata of 50,000+ quilts.

  • How do you teach THAT?


    Greetings, THAT Campers!  I teach a graduate seminar on “museums in a digital age” and undergraduate courses in public history and museum studies at Western Michigan U.  I try to incorporate digital aspects of museum work into my teaching whenever possible, covering topics such as content management systems, metadata, virtual worlds, museum websites, social media for museums, in-gallery interactives, grantwriting, etc, etc.

    Finding materials for humanities and technology instruction can be a tricky enterprise, mainly because it requires looking in numerous and non-traditional places.  I find that use a mix of traditional/academic/print readings, conference papers (mainly from past years’ Museums and the Web), TED talks, and cool museum tech-y YouTube videos.  

    Course organization can also be a challenge.  Should one organize by type of technology (eg, augmented reality), by broad tech topic (eg, virtuality), by broad non-tech topic (eg, interpretation and learning), etc?  Finally, finding institutional (and even student) buy-in can sometimes be a challenge.  I feel as if I need to keep re-iterating my case for the incorporation of digital technology throughout my courses (not just in a ‘technology unit’).

    So, I’d like to talk with others who teach at the intersection of the humanities and technology.  How do you teach THAT?  What sorts of readings do you assign?  How do you organize your courses?  How do you make the case for teaching THAT to your institution and to your students?  I’d love it if a Twitter-based ‘How do you teach THAT?’ support group or some such thing came out of this session.  Anyone else have thoughts on coming together and talking about teaching THAT?

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