My Journey with Web Technology
I was in graduate school when the internet was first becoming widely used by the general public. Since I am naturally curious about how things work (a trait I inherited from my father, I began teaching myself about HTML and the rudiments of website design in my spare time. Eventually, I developed and published the University of Iowa Department of Classics' first web site (thanks to the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine for preserving those first attempts 😀).
Over time, my interests in teaching and scholarship coalesced with my knowledge and use of technology. I was an early adopter of digital tools and methods for enhancing the learning experience in my courses, but my first experience teaching fully online didn't occur until COVID-19 made it necessary. Although I adapted quickly to making short instructional videos and using both synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods, I discovered that I still prefer working with students in person. That doesn't mean that I will revert to teaching entirely in person. Rather, I plan to continue using technology where it is both appropriate and effective.
All of that put me in a good position to become the director of the Digital Latin Library, a collaborative effort of the Society for Classical Studies, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Renaissance Society of America. In that capacity, I led a team of colleagues to secure funding (nearly $2 million over five years) from the Mellon Foundation to support the development of a resource for finding and publishing texts in Latin from all eras. During that period of funding, we developed a data model for digital critical editions of Latin texts, experimental applications for visualizing digital critical editions, the framework for a finding aid for existing editions of Latin texts, a platform for publishing peer-reviewed digital editions, an authentication system for those editions, and an interactive reading room.
Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash