Smithsonian Digital Internship, February 2017

So far this semester, I’ve encountered the struggle of juggling a full-time teaching job with completing projects for the digital internship. Unfortunately for my schedule, there have been no snow days this year, meaning the teachers are just as starved for a day off as the students are. Planning pitch-able story ideas has tested my creativity over the past few months, but I’ve enjoyed flexing that part of my brain. I’m so used to having a set “script” of what I’m teaching on any given day, that it’s nice to think outside the box and try to create new things.

In January, I had my second project, “Lives of Former Presidents” published on the Smithsonian Magazine website. Using StoryMap from Knight Lab again, I created a story-map of the post-presidency lives of the former United States presidents. I found the software simple to use, however, it consumed a tremendous amount of system resources, making it a difficult program with which to work. I made it work, but it isn’t exactly my favorite mapping program at the moment. I enjoyed getting to research and map the lives of the former presidents.

Currently, I’m working on creating an interactive story-map of the Freedom Rides of 1961. I’m using Carto to map and create the interactive. So far, the research has been very time-consuming, but very interesting. In the next few days I plan on getting the map up in a draft format, and hopefully finishing it within the next week or so.

Working remotely is great for my schedule, but it does make it more difficult to feel connected, but my advisor and I are communicating regularly about my progress and different tools to use.

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