While we’re still figuring out the specific layout of our site, both Avery and I agree that we’d like to create something visually compelling. Ideally we’d like to incorporate as many mentally stimulating elements as possible, meaning we’ll need technology which can capture clear images, audio, and visuals. Fortunately for us, our campus library has plenty of media technology available for checkout: iPads, charging equipment, video cameras, photo cameras, MP3 recorders, laptops, calculators, projectors, sound systems, microphones, tripods, cables, card readers, and blue and green screens can all be taken out for student use. While we most likely will not need to use all of these items, it is beneficial to know that we have options in abundance. The video cameras, microphones, and tripods will be especially useful if our interviewees grant us permission to film our discussion. Once we have this data on film/audio, we can edit it in the library’s Video/Audio Editing Studio. We have access to an Experimental Tech Studio as well, but for the needs of our project I believe the Video/Audio Editing Studio will be much more useful. GCSU also has access to Lynda.com, an online training library with thousands of available software tutorials. I am especially excited about this resource, as someone who is not particularly tech savvy but wants to be able to do tech savvy things. Hopefully Lynda.com will teach us how to incorporate some new features or programming into our site.
There are also plenty of digital tools beyond what is available on-campus which could help us create interesting visuals, especially when it comes to displaying data in new and interesting ways. Gapminder, for instance, is a digital tool which creates colorful, interactive charts and graphs. In relation to our case, we could track different reasons why the Harry Potter series has been previously banned or challenged. By using a graph instead of a whole page, we can add an interactive element to our website and save our text for more important topics, or those which require more in-depth explanation than is available in a chart. Another benefit of using this tool to track past bans on or challenges against Harry Potter is that, since we plan to contextualize our case in a study of the rise of the religious right in the 21st century, we can survey popular a motivator religion is for seeing the books contested.
Another digital tool which might prove useful to us is textexture, which creates a visual map out of a piece of text. This tool could be useful for highlighting the most pertinent information within our primary sources, as well as annotate them with helpful notes for the reader. While we might not use this feature on every source on our site, implementing it in a few key places could be a unique way of conveying this information to visitor. For example, we could introduce the key players of the case, significant dates, and important arguments by using textexture on the State Board of Education’s summary of the appellate case.