Voices of Sackville: Project Update 3/30/16

This week, I have continued researching and re-envisioning my site. In addition, as I was reading more about oral history this week, I realized that my site shares some of the same goals as oral history sites. While I do not have audio or video recorded interviews (nor am I actively collecting interviews) with the individuals I am discussing, I do have many of their personal memoirs, journals and letters. This gives me access to some of their recollections about Sackville in their own words. Both my site and oral history really focus on telling the stories of individuals in their own words. Because of this focus on individuals and their stories, I am really leaning toward restructuring my site around the individuals instead of events (like I mentioned last week).

Another one of my goals for this site was to provide interactive gameplay to appeal to fourth and fifth grade students (ages 9-11). Since I am making good headway on my content, I decided to start thinking a bit more concretely about what this might look like. In an ideal world, I would love to have some sort of ongoing activity that they could earn points for doing specific activities or answering questions. The points would accumulate as they went along. But, as I have not idea how to do this (and I’m not even sure it is possible in Omeka), I might have to stick to self quizzes. I am also exploring how to create a “What If?” decision making wheel. This would have a specific event or choice that the user would have to consider, and then would be able to see what advice or insight the individuals featured on the site might “give” the user. This should help the users see the wide variety of opinions on how to handle the particular situation and let them compare their own ideas to the opinions held by the individuals in the past. Once I get my content in order, I think my biggest challenge will be creating these “games” or activities in outside software and then embedding them into my Omeka site.

Right now, my next steps are:

1) reorganizing the navigation of my site to reflect my focus on individual historical actors

2) finishing writing “exhibit labels” and adding them into my newly redesigned page structure

3) developing games or activities in outside software

4) embedding the games into my Omeka site

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