Sunday, November 16, 2008

There might be hope for my artistic side yet.

I openly admit that I'm kind of lacking in traditional artistic skills. I think my sister got that gene. She routinely makes homemade birthday cards and scrapbook albums as presents that blow my store bought cards out of the water. That's one of the reasons I was kind of excited by the idea of digital scrapbooking. After some examination of the resources available and some thought digital scrapbooking could easily be useful in other areas than just assisting the artistically challenged.

Digital scrapbooks can easily be applied to various historical projects. Detailed photo collections and traditional scrapbooks have long been a standard feature in archival collections. Digital scrapbooks offer many of the same advantages as the digitization of photographs. They are more accessible, potentially easier to preserve and reflect the increasing emphasis on technology in society. That being said they do of course have some of the same pit falls as photo digitization.

Digital scrapbooks also have the potential to be made into interesting history projects for students. I'm sure everyone at some point or another had to a project on the Vikings, Natives, or Jacques Cartier. From what I remember, these projects were in the early years a mass of construction paper, pictures, combined with some paragraphs of type. Considering the amount of photos, archival material and resources available online it seems ideal that this information be dealt with in the same medium in which it is available. It would also allow students from a change to explore the range of digital sources which they may not be exposed to otherwise. There is a ton of options for personal creativity and a variety of open source "freebie" software out there to help people get started.

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