Teaching technical skills online

Here I am, still blogging like some kind of caveman. I guess I should be using Substack or Medium or something, but maybe blogs will come back in style, like other artifacts of the ’00s.

Anyway, in the past, when people asked me whether I could teach my digital humanities classes online, I hemmed and hawed. Tools like web-based visualization software have made it easier to share work across platforms, and heaven knows there are plenty of cloud-based collaboration tools out there.

The thing that worried me was teaching new tech skills, which is a big part of my classes, and particularly my Intro to DH classes. I am super, super picky about how to do this, as I’ve mentioned before. My feeling is, I get one shot to teach the students this new skill, and if something goes badly wrong, I’ve not only missed my shot, but I may inadvertently lead someone to believe they’re not capable of learning the skill. It’s why I teach every single skill myself, rather than invite people to give workshops; I just know exactly how I want it done.

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