Friday, May 13, 2005

The end of the semester

Graduate students have finished the class I taught this semester in creating, managing and preserving digital assets at Syracuse University. So what did they learn? The 15-week online class allowed them to learn about the various aspects of a digitization project from a variety of readings as well as online discussions. Of course, they looked at completed digitization projects, talked about them and critiqued them. And they thought about how they might apply what they've learned to specific situations.

Of all of the topics covered, it stands out to me that they learned that:
  • Digitization is more than technology. That was a big lesson. They were perhaps relieved that the class was not all about technology and also overwhelmed with all the topics that were covered.
  • Copyright is very important. Most students have little knowledge of the copyright law and how it impacts us, let alone how to apply the rules of copyright to a digitization project. The readings and the assignment that focused on copyright really go them thinking about the law and Fair Use.
  • Vendors do not exist everywhere and that often they are difficult to find. Students became sleuths in trying to locate vendors in their geographic region.
  • This class didn't teach them everything. There is more to learn, especially if any of them want to get into a specialty area like metadata creation. (This was not a nuts-n-bolts metadata class.) There is also more to learn because the field keeps changing and growing.
  • There are job possibilities for them. Yes, they do wonder that.

It has been a long and interesting semester. Now may they all go out and continue their education by finding interesting project that will use the skills they have, while allowing them to learn more.

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