This week has been a rollercoaster, but I managed to learn a few things while studying for my Digital History course. The way we are able to research things nowadays has changed tremendously from back before technology was so advanced. There are extremely detailed pieces of history that we can view almost anywhere.
Even though there’s so much out there on the internet, you sadly cannot find every single piece of information online. There are certain things that are hard to commit to a digital format, as the PAMA article goes into more detail about. It takes a lot of time and patience to be able to digitize as much as is already out there, but the knowledge that people are continuously working everyday to expand our reach into archives and history? That is an incredible thought.
The ease of access that Dan Cohen mentions in his article about google has brought us has opened so many doors for higher learning. I am currently a third year English major at university, so it goes without saying that I have to read an awful lot. I constantly struggle finding scholarly articles and citing them. Learning about Zotero this week has absolutely blown my mind. Where has this been throughout my academic career?
Zotero is basically “your personal research assistant.” It is a management software that is used to manage bibliographic data, (which helps me as an English major), and other types of research materials, like PDF files. This helps me get right to the source of what I need to know about a document or article so that I can cite it directly without having to use EasyBib because, let’s face it, they make quite a few mistakes that you have to go in and fix anyway.
Overall, being able to use our technological advances to further my education and academic career has been life-changing. I know people had to do it as early as 15-20 years ago, but I don’t know how I would be able to research and do what I have to do for schooling if I did not have access to the internet and its vast historical data storage.