In recent years undergraduate students at Cal State LA have created digital history projects, taking advantage of new communication technologies to present and share historical analysis and research. Digital history is an alternative form of interrogating the past through visuals, music, and emotional triggers to make a historical argument. Several professors include digital assignments in U.S. History survey courses as well as an upper division course on Labor History offered at Cal State LA. Creating digital history projects allows students to explore in greater detail a historical topic that interests them.They keep students engaged in the class during the last third of the semester when many of them lose focus. Instead of independent research, students gain experience working as part of a team to complete a multi-stage project. The assignments range from public service announcements to museum exhibits.This makes the study and production of historical knowledge a group effort that promotes community, boosts attendance, and keeps students enthusiastic about showing up to class. Digital history serves as a bridge between teaching, research, and student outreach challenging traditional analog based academic analysis.
Digital Projects: Fall 2018 Labor History with Dr. Angela Vegara
Digital Projects: Fall 2018 U.S. History,1877- Present with Dr. Dawn Dennis created "We are the West, Too!" Exhibit at the Autry
Working in collaboration, Cal State LA students became urban historians, and photographed people, landmarks, parks, streets, religious space, and buildings that represent community and identity. These students attempted to answer the larger question of, "How do images shape the understanding of communities in the West?"