The Department of Education released a draft report about big data and education today. It’s called “Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics,” a title that’s unlikely to win any converts to the notion of a data-curious* view of learning. Part of what’s going to get stuck in the craw is that phrase…

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Easter 1982 – thirty years ago! – was spent feeding my latest addiction. Like over a million others, I had acquired the Sinclair ZX 81, which popularised home computing in Britain. It had just one kilobyte of on-board memory; I soon invested in the upgrade to take it up to 16 kilobytes. You used your…

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We asked the captain what course of action he proposed to take toward a beast so large, so terrifying, and unpredictable. He hesitated to answer, and then said judiciously: “I think I shall praise it.” – Robert Hass Praise   I find the Debates in the Digital Humanities volume terribly upsetting. Before I go any further…

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The rapidly growing archive of early modern texts online presents significant new opportunities and necessities for the ways in which we organize it. Addressing such challenges raises important questions for both skeptics and boosters: Are new methods of organization resulting in virtual but less reliable finding aids? Do pressures of modernization encourage resource-strapped organizers of…

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We’re pleased to present the inaugural issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities, which represents the best of the work that was posted online by the community of digital humanities scholars and practitioners in the final three months of 2011. We wish to underline this notion of community. Indeed, this new journal is predicated on…

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I’m having an interesting discussion with Lisa Rhody about the significance of topic modeling at different scales that I’d like to follow up with some examples. I’ve been doing topic modeling on collections of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century volumes, using volumes themselves as the “documents” being modeled. Lisa has been pursuing topic modeling on a collection of poems, using individual…

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I first encountered the idea of ‘uncoverage’ in a blog post on Profhacker by Mark Sample. This phrase neatly encapsulates what I have come to believe. In Sample’s post, he defines ‘uncoverage’ by contrasting it with how we normally use the phrase in course syllabi: “…this course will cover the evolution of American public life…

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