Week 1

The theme for this week is 'getting started'. My goals for this week were:

  • to introduce you to how this course works, and importantly, why it is arranged the way it is. My goal is to teach you how to learn, while also exploring the history of the internet and its broader historical antecedents. This was the point of Monday's class - slides at: https://shawngraham.github.io/hist1900/assets/slides/jan9
  • to equip you with a framework to help you read like an academic and begin to extract useful information from the readings. I framed 'theory' as a way of looking at the world that prompts us to ask some kinds of questions rather than other kinds of questions; a theoretical framework helps us identify what counts as 'important' when we listen to a lecture or read a journal article. This was the point of Wednesday's class - slides here: https://shawngraham.github.io/hist1900/assets/slides/jan11

(The slides will always appear at a similar location (with the date always following a short form, eg jan11, feb1, mar8 etc.)

You all have been completing the tutorial level, which walks you through setting up a few research tools that we will use in this course. Over in the class discord, there has been some great discussion and mutual support getting through a couple of the rough edges. Things we've discovered so far:

  • everyone should update all of the plugins in Obsidian before they try to configure the Hypothesis and Zotero note annotation setup. So - click the cogwheel icon at bottom left of the Obsidian interface, and go into the 'community plugins' settings. Hit the 'check for plugin updates' button; once it runs, if there are any plugins to update, it'll change to say 'update all'. Hit that. That should solve most issues you'll run into.
  • Some windows users might find that nothing happens when you try to run the Hypothes.is extraction (ctrl+shift+h). In Discord, I have pinned some messages and screenshots in the 'tech help please' channel that shows you how to fix this.
  • When you run the Zotero annotation extractor, it might seem like nothing has happened, or you get some kind of strange error message. Check the 1-inbox folder in your vault - if the extractor has worked, you'll see a note in there. Check that note; if it has content, then everything is good and you can ignore the error message. If there's no note, check the pinned messages in Discord.

Finally, why not annotate this page using Hypothesis with some of your thoughts on the most interesting or challenging or worrying things you've encountered in this week's materials?