The classroom glows with the buzz of production. Like a bees nest, each group understands its task and continues to press on. The Wikipedia group now fully understands the concepts and intricacies involved in working with open source information. Various research groups continue to analyze documents, looking for bits of information to bolster our arguments. The twitter group continues to interact with our legions of followers, constantly providing them with status updates and information regarding the project. Frustration is yielding to the promise of a successful project. Hope permeates the classroom.
This week History Pin struggled with what was the most effective way to get group info out there. They decided that they should use Trello more often. History Pin also found that interclass collaboration was very helpful in lightening the load of work.
This week MapStory plugged in lots of points of alleys in 4 different time periods. Once they figured out how to quickly find and organize our longitude and latitude points they were movin’ and shakin’. This was terrific considering the fact that in the beginning of the week they were having major difficulties in getting their layer to upload to MapStory. They ended up spending whole class periods trying to make it work. Luckliy they figured out a solution to the problem and are now on their way to a beautiful final product.
This week Wikipedia has collaborated with the other class. They plan to edit both the existing Snow's Court and Foggy Bottom pages. Two people within the separate groups have joined together to specialize on a certain aspect of the page. These areas include: living standards, population, culture, etc. This type of work style is far more efficient, and hopefully each sub-team can provide enough information to the page. Now it’s just getting all the information together and putting it on the page
The struggle continues. Groans permeate the classroom as we dive into our research, finding at times that the pool of singular ideological convergence can indeed be empty as we plunge into hard concrete. The wikipedia group struggles with the difficulty characteristic to public source knowledge as they compete with other contributors on their website. Additions have been both helpful and irrelevant. The twitter group continues to provide our legions of followers with updates on our small breakthroughs and various difficulties. The core of our project, the research engine, churns forward, logging hours of research, often with no particular gain. Despite this rather somber evaluation, if progress is to be measured in terms of finding new directions and crossing off dead ends, we are indeed making progress. The erratic magnetic fields guiding our intellectual compasses are beginning to stabilize; we are finding a singular heading. Now we must reassemble our fleet from the strong of gales of uncertainty and reach that golden coast of intellectual expansion.
As we worked on the project for the first week, we had to become acclimated to the format of the project. We have looked at multiple Wikipedia articles to gain a feel for the general formatting, and have looked at Wikipedia’s standards for creating an article. We started by raising questions, including the historical background of the alleys, the living standards, and government interaction. While these questions have not yet been fully answered, we are now on the track to conducting efficient research, which may be frustrating and tedious at times. The open-endedness of this project allows yields both many opportunities and questions. We must go through the documents to get comfortable with the topic, and then try to craft our own story. We tried to format our general article before doing significant research, but we realized that it is too difficult to jump in blindly. In terms of the article of the week, we learned about the parable of the barn. This story illustrates the art of teamwork, and cooperating together to create a respectable work. However, sometimes this work can be susceptible to change. In fact, just as we’re writing this blog, we are undertaking a new form of research. Instead of focusing on multiple allies, we are going to delve in more on the different demographics within the alleys. This type of research is where most of the content is. This may be a challenge, but we’re certain that progress will be made.
This week all the groups focused on furthering their research to help with their method of presentation. The Wikitude group had some difficulty in working Wikitude. They couldn’t seem to figure it out so they decided to switch over to another program called History Pin. They will now use History Pin as their method of presenting their findings. Mapstory and Wikipedia spend their week carefully looking at documents. Mapstory looked at documents with alley addresses, alley names, their latitude and longitude. They gathered their information, put it into an excel sheet and successfully uploaded it to Mapstory after many failed attempts. They have now put about 100 locations put onto the 1912 map. Wikipedia spent most of their time looking at documents with house locations and further researched their streets and alley life. Everyone made very good progress this week.
Today we broke up into teams looking at the different mediums we are going to be using, i.e. Trello, Blogging, Wikitude, Mapstory, Twitter, and starting honing in on a general topic of study. At the moment we are considering doing Southeast Anacostia which will contrasts with the other section’s focus on the west end neighborhoods. We also decided that the time period should be between 1865 and 1935, with a stress on the migration trends, demographics, and reasons for migration. We have started looking at different documents and getting a sense of the backdrop for 1865 when the blacks started swarming the city at the end of the war. I would like to also look into government’s role in the migration, such as the ADA codes and regulations, and the efforts of the presidents to improve the city and move the alley dwellers.