"Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices."
Jefferson County History Center - Internet Presence:
One of the first projects that I initiated at the Jefferson County History Center through my graduate assistantship was the maintenance and development of a strong internet presence for the organization. In our world where information is becoming more and more digital and travels to our computing devices at incredible speeds, it is growing imperative for small organizations and businesses (as well as individual professionals) to utilize the available technology and reach out to the communities in which they serve, making connections with past, current, and future patrons.
Click image to be directed to page.
My duties related to the JCHConline.org site involve updates and maintenance of the general information that is referenced within the webpage. Mainly, this involves posting news stories, updating an events calendar, and maintaining accurate information within all of the individual pages. One new feature that I have been working on is the site's digital gift shop. Recently, I have been able to upload information on a number of books that the History Center sells in the gift shop and link these items to a PayPal cart. I have also recently recorded and edited short video clips of some of our more prominent exhibits which I have included as embedded video previews on the JCHC exhibits page. I have also included on the page an embedded slideshow featuring images from all of the organizations exhibits, past and present. My efforts to maintain an appropriate digital presence through the website is a constant ongoing project, and the website gets updated frequently.
Click image to be directed to page.
The Jefferson County History Center has a fairly large membership base. Included within membership is a subscription to The Jeffersonian, the JCHC's print newsletter. I thought it would be a good idea for the organization to start a digital newsletter to reach an even broader audience. After doing some research on the internet, I was able to find a great HTML mass email service that fit all of the organization's needs. The service that I discovered is called MailChimp, a free, web-based mass email generator that allows users to easily create very professional looking HTML based emails and send them to lists of people.
Utilizing this great service, I have been able to craft and deliver professional emails to members, friends, and patrons of the organization. By using this digital service to send out news and other content related to the JCHC, the gaps have been bridged between the infrequent issuing of the print publications that are released three times a year.
Social networking websites a huge part of our digital-age society. It seems as though to reach people today, utilizing websites such as Facebook and Twitter are necessary. One thing that the Jefferson County History Center had not started at the beginning of my employment as a graduate assistant was the creation of an online presence using social media. I took the initiative to create and maintain a Facebook account and Twitter account for the organization. Administrating these pages has given me great practice in modeling appropriate and professional citizenship in a digital fashion. Through both services, I am able to connect daily with members and patrons of the Jefferson County History Center with news updates, historical facts, digital event listings, photographs, and much more.
Social networking sites are used by a majority of students at almost every level of education. Gaining practice in modeling appropriate online interactions and etiquette is a very valuable part of running the JCHC's social media connections. The best way to learn is through practice, and my online responsibilities with the Jefferson County History Center allow me lots of real-world practice in these areas.
Graduate Assistant Blog
Another important way that I try to model and promote digital citizenship and responsibility is through blogging. I started a blog to document and write about my experience working as a graduate assistant when I started working at the Jefferson County History Center. Click here for more information.
© 2011 Nathan J. Pearce