My 4th blog


This time I am going to blog about the article, called “A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age” from December 14, 2012.

Learning is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. [1]


Now, in the digital age learning can be digital. When we speak about e-learning there are a lot of options: work with digital tools using a computer, cell phone, TV or DVD; a possibility of getting consultations, advice, evaluation from a distance teacher; creating different communities in social networks having a common educational activity; a twenty-four-hour delivery of digital teaching material; learning and popularization of innovative pedagogical technology; a possibility to develop learning web-resources; a possibility to get modern knowledge at any time and any place; accessibility of higher education for people with special needs. Internet has made it possible for everyone to be a student, a teacher or a creative collaborator at virtually no cost. For the reason that this moment can be fragile, the opportunities for students in the electronic world should be protected. That’s why was “A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age” created.

Our broad goal is to inspire an open, learner-centered dialogue around the rights, responsibilities, and possibilities for education in the globally-connected world of the present and beyond. [2]

The Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning is not written by learners but by a group of twelve: educators, technologists and journalists. The document appears to be written for online students, for example taking MOOC (Massive Online Open Course).

The most important rights for students are: the right to access, the right to privacy, the right to create public knowledge, the right to own one’s personal data and intellectual property, the right to financial transparency, the right to pedagogical transparency, the right to quality and care, the right to have great teachers, the right to be teachers.

First of all, everybody has a right to access and privacy. Learning should be affordable and available. Learners have the right to work, network, and contribute the knowledge in public and then to share their ideas in visible ways. Students have the right to care, diligence, commitment, honesty and innovation. All students have the right to have great teachers with a great experience.

There are also some principles to which the best online learning should aspire. These are global contribution, value, flexibility, hybrid learning, persistence, innovation, formative assessment, experimentation, civility and play.

It is really important that online learning is easy to get from everywhere on the globe. Everybody should have many options for online learning in a wide range of best learning environments. Students should have the opportunity to revise and relearn until they achieve the level of mastery they desire in a subject or a skill. Online education should encourage play that will allow students to achieve and perfect new skills and to experiment with moves.

In my opinion this document is a good idea to motivate online learners all over the world.  But only if students were engaged in this discussion. Students have a right to decide what do they really want from online learning, otherwise the Bill of rights and principles is a request that each student has to obey.  If people around the world have the safety and health and opportunity to learn, then they can express what kind of learning would be valued by them in their contexts.







Evaluate a DH project/database/edition/archive of your choosing

In my third blog I am going to introduce a new digital project about the First World War (WW1)

WW1 digital project is coordinated by Europeana, an internet portal that acts as an interface to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. [1]

A unique collection of documents connected with the First World War „Europeana 1914-1918“ is available all around the world. On the 29th of January, 2014, this project was officially on. The Berlin State Library supported the project. The staff from 8 European libraries and archives digitalized more than a half of a million of sources from that time.

“Europeana 1914-1918” gathers personal documents, diaries, letters, cartoons, maps, photos and film documents related to WW1. It contains 400,000 rare documents, digitized by 10 state libraries, 660 hours of unique film, 90,000 personal papers and memorabilia over 7,000 people.

The most fascinating function is that everybody can upload their own material and share the memories with other people. There is also a browse option (letters, diaries, photographs, films, official documents and postcards). You can narrow it down by adding the keywords or choosing the source. It is also possible to search from New Zealand, American, Australian and Canadian sources. There should be also no problems with choosing the language – English, German, Italian, Danish and so on.

One of the weaknesses of the project is a limited simple search box. For example, I searched for “people” in all Europeana results in letters, I got 136 results and it wasn’t possible to keyword search any further.

My Second Blog

As We May Think by Vannevar Bush, July 1, 1945, The Atlantic.

What are the advantages of using science, thereby creating new tools? First of all, science helps a man to control certain things in our environment, secondly, science and technics improve our food, clothing and houses. They increase our knowledge of our own biological processes, so it helps to be partially independent from diseases. They clarify the interaction of the physiological and psychological functions, promising improvement in our mental health. Science provides faster communication between people, it allows you to store and record ideas, to extract ideas from the records and manipulate them the same way that knowledge evolves and changes along with the life of humanity, and not its individual members. We are plunged into the world of science, so one has to make an effort to build a connection between different fields of knowledge and to progress in science. From a professional point of view, our methods of transmitting and interpreting research results completely outdated and are totally inadequate for the purposes they are used. But nowadays there are new powerful tools that can fundamentally change things. Cameras that can record events and objects so quickly and in such detail that they completely change our understanding of the scientific record. Calculating machines of Leibniz and Babbage were unique. But their mass production was out of the question. Even if Pharaoh knew how to build a car, then this car would crash in one of the first trips. The current level of mass production allows the production of such records to be based on the affordable price and accessibility.

 In the article “As We May Think,” which appears in The Atlantic in 1945, Vannevar Bush expresses his concern for information storage.

The author tells about the progress in photography, cinematography and television. Dry photography, facsimile transmission, microphotography. If the progress in this field continues so quickly, the material for the microfilm Britannica would cost a nickel and it could be mailed anywhere for a cent.

Vannevar Bush pictures a future investigator in his laboratory. In the process of movement he photographs and comments what he has observed. “Time is automatically recorded to tie the two records together. If he goes into the field, he may be connected by radio to his recorder”.

According to the author, a scientist is not the only person who works with data and explores the world, using logical processes. Every time when one uses logical processes there is an opportunity for the machine.Bush distinguishes the difference between data storage and mental processes. Our brain manipulates data with the help of associations, creating a web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. Considering a future device, the author names it “memex” – a device that help a person to store all his books, records and communications with other people. “Memex” looks like a desk with a keyboard, buttons and levers. One part of the desk is microfilms, the other part – the mechanism. All the books, newspapers, pictures can be easily and immediately obtained and dropped into place. There is also a transparent platen on the top of the memex that leads to all the notes, photographs and other things. This system uses a scheme of indexing – when the user wants to get an access to a book, he taps its code on the keyboard and this book or a page appears before him. The user can also tie two and more items together, he needs just to build a trail, to name it, to insert the name in his code book and to tap it out on his keyboard.

Vannevar Bush predicted many kinds of technologies, such as hypertext, personal computers, the Internet, the World Wide Web, speech recognition and online encyclopedias.

My first blog

This is my first blog. Here I am going to write some words about myself and explain my point of view to digital humanities and all its components. I hope, I will do my best and improve myself everytime.

I was always interested in humanities at school – English, History, Literature.  Then upon the recommendation of my schoolteacher, I was enrolled in English classes at one of the language schools in my city. With my strong work ethic and innate curiosity, I faced the challenge of learning a new language. The less I knew, the more I wanted to learn. After graduating from secondary school, I entered the philological department at Tomsk State University. There, I chose to study translation along with its additional components, such as literature, and linguistics. Additionally, my research interest lied in study and thorough analysis of speech strategies and tactics on material and data provided by journalists, as well as online and paper-based resources (e.g. The White House Official Website, “The Washington Post” and “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”). This all provided me with necessary informative and academic tools that helped to elaborate on the final thesis “The Image of US President Barack Obama in Russian and English-speaking media sources.”

Frankly speaking, this is my first time meeting Digital Humanities so close. This course at Darmstadt University has opened to me new sides of DH, that I could never thought of. Of course, I had to deal with digital tools quite often during my studies at university, but I had never thought of that as a field of studies. When I started to study Humanities, I did not recognize it as Digital Humanities in spite of using digital tools.

Nowadays it is impossible to live without digital tools, especially when it concerns scientific work. I used different tools, such as e-dictionaries, SDL-Trados, programs for content analysis of texts. It is also necessary in both literary and textual studies. One can process a huge amount of data, starting with digital paleography and finishing with distant reading. Digital methods of visualization help to present different processes, such as architectural history of a city, language changes, geography of a style or register. Digital Humanities form new models of thinking based on synthesis of information technologies and achievements of humanities.

I am convinced that the digital age has brought a revolution to the scientific world.  Digital Humanities with all the tools is a great opportunity to all the people who have to deal with researching. Digital Humanities can answer social, cultural, historical, philological questions, and that’s all with the help of new technologies. It also makes possible new kinds of research.