Week 1: Being and Learning in a Digital World

Part of doing and thinking about digital history involves first understanding and thinking about digital citizenship, identity, and work.  Digital technologies are the “water” we swim in today, but we often don’t pause to consider how best to live and learn in that context.

In this week, we will explore:

  • Introduction & basics of digital technology
  • Challenges of learning in a digital environment
  • Tools to enable better learning

Tuesday, August 27

Course Introduction

Tools for aiding focus and limiting online distractions:

  • Reader View – strips away clutter like buttons, background images, and changes the page’s text size, contrast and layout for better readability
  • Leechblock – extension for Firefox and Chrome lets you specify which sites to block, when, and for how long.
  • Freedom (Chrome, Firefox, iOS, macOS, Windows) for blocking anything you want, anywhere you want


Thursday, August 29

Joining the 1%: Or, Becoming Digitally Creative


  • establishing your own digital presence & identity
  • basic elements that make up a website
  • how to set up a website with an external hosting service & custom domain
  • how to install software on a server
  • basic skills for using WordPress

Note: In this class, we will be establishing an online presence with Reclaim Hosting & installing and learning to use WordPress. Please bring credit card information to this class session to pay the registration fee. Also, WAIT to do this in class, where I will give you a coupon code for a 10% discount!  Finally, you may want to be thinking ahead of time about the domain name you will choose.


Video: “How the Internet Works”

SEOBook Infographic, “How Search Works in 2016

“The Web We Need to Give Students”
“Web-Hosting Project Hopes to Help Students Reclaim Digital Destinies”  Wired Campus blog, The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Sample student sites (please visit each and explore how these students use their domain space):