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Most of my day was spent away from the convention center, but now that I’m in the COSWL booth in the exhibit hall, I have a few minutes to go online!
This morning I started out early to go to the Alexander Street Press Breakfast. I love that company. They have a few new products that are absolutely amazing (sounding, at least). Carol & Bobbie, I need to tell you about one that would be relevant for our Psychology folks!
The breakfasts typically start with a presentation by ASP about their products followed by a speaker. I have to say that I was just as interested in what’s going on at ASP as the speech! They discussed how changes in the resources that we provide have the potential to radically change how students research. Primary sources aren’t vetted, are messy, they’re about small people and small events, and are personal. Previous researchers had to do extensive work to track them down and tie them together in useful ways. ASP is pulling them together in some of their products and these types of materials are available for a whole new type of classwork. Soon, there will be the ability to use a map to geographically select the diaries/letters you want to examine. In this line of thinking, ASP pointed out that the internet enables new research: once we had to understand what medium might have the best answers to a question, now, we can look at an issue from a specific angle and retrieve various types of information. For example, by searching a name, you can retrieve newspapers, photographs, music, letters, diaries, and websites. For someone who is devouring Everything Is Miscellaneous, this type of talk is right up my alley!
The featured speaker was Pulitzer Prize winning historian James McPherson. He spoke on his specialty: the Civil War. Even though I am not a history buff, I enjoyed his speech and learned from it. McPherson did a great job of putting the Civil War in context, comparing stats from that war with others, and discussing the US as a “union” vs. “nation.” Very good talk!
I saw Jim across the large room, but unfortunately wasn’t able to catch up with him.