Presenting to an audience is an important tool to have and is integral to success in any field of work. In my anthropological education I have given a handful of presentations in front of classes and those have all been rewarding experiences. I chose to use my final project for Hominid Fossils because of a few reasons.
Presenting to an audience has been a practice for thousands of years, the mediums of presentation have changes as society and technology have changed. Today people get more information every day and at a quicker rate than ever before. Everyday people engage in presenting to an audience when they send a tweet, post a picture on Instagram etc. In many of my classes we have started using different means to present information.
In Hominid Fossils we were tasked with creating an online exhibit for ancient hominids. I was assigned to do the species Homo Neanderthalensis. The next task was to choose notable specimens and any associated tool technology. After choosing these specimens we had to insert metadata for each specimen essentially, I made a label for the specimen that you would find in a museum.
Using Omeka in particular allowed for our means of presenting allowed me to take the material a step further, having taken classes that utilized 3D models I was able to embed 3D models into a few of my specimens allowing the viewer to get a more interactive experience.
Using an online platform allows for a broadening of your audience, when doing a presentation in class you are likely to only reach 20-30 people but by putting information online in a reachable platform you can engage more people. Putting information and media online allows for it to be easily shared amongst peers and other researchers. The information in the exhibit is fairly basic while at the same being very comprehensive which allows the learner to gain a lot of essential information with only a few clicks of a button.
This site would be most effective used as a learning tool for someone who is trying to acquire rather basic knowledge about hominid fossils, it is very helpful in the since that I use pictures and interactive models for people who may not have access to seeing the fossils themselves or even casts of the fossils, digital outreach like this can open doors for many people who may have no had opportunities to engage with this material previously. Using a digital platform to present media is already a regular practice but the fact that many classes are starting to use a approach where a presentation or project like this one serve as a filler for a final paper show a shift in the academic community. A final research paper will likely be read by two people, a student and a professor. Allowing for a final project that is put together online allows the composer to likely engage with a larger audience and spread their information farther than every before.
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