Diving into the Digital Humanities

Third LIA Blog

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This summer, I created a website. Inspired by The Asian American Education Project, I was determined to develop a digital resource that focused on the student. When moments of inspiration strike me, I often don’t turn back. My attitude is always, “I’ll figure it out, somehow, someway.” Or, in the wise words of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, “What? Like it’s hard?” 

As a technologically-challenged individual, developing a website involved a very steep learning curve. The site interface was not user friendly, not to mention I lacked experience in the digital humanities. I had so many ambitions for this site yet execution was a hindrance in the beginning. Before plotting out aesthetics and content, I had to learn how to create the site in the first place. I watched hours of YouTube videos, consulted WordPress’s help guides, and consulted my tech-savvy, computer science friends.

It took about a month before I finally got the bare bones of the site running. I then began to plan out the organization of the site. We often look at websites, and they are deceptively simple. However, there are often many hidden structures that are necessary, but the user takes for granted. So used to being the user, I had to get accustomed to changing perspectives. As the creator, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in creating the site itself. I had to constantly remind myself that I was making this for others, not just myself. 

After I obtained a full understanding of the technicalities, I explored graphics and aesthetics. For me, it was important that aesthetics play into the curriculum’s content. I matched the images I took from archives with key concepts in each module. My goal was to keep the curriculum engaging for a variety of different users, ranging from the trained educator to the average person who may not be so interested or familiar with Philippine literature. Everything plays into each other. As a perfectionist, I always had to ensure that links weren’t broken, and everything was within citation guidelines. With so many moving parts, I was nervous that the site wouldn’t be completed on time. However, after many late nights, I finally finished it and I’m thrilled to share it with all of you…in the next blog post or two.

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