My Name is Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia, I am an assistant professor of history at Montclair State University. My areas of interest are intellectual history of Africa, historiography, philosophy of history, and historical methodology. My work on historiography and methodology led me to become interested in digital history.  I have also been in charge of teaching many of our prospective teachers, so I have thought a lot about the concept of historical thinking. I am interested in exploring further how I can help my students, and the public at large, cultivate the habit of thinking historically, especially in an environment where most of their historical knowledge is mediated through digital means. 

I am mostly interested in becoming a better teacher in the classroom, but also a practitioner who can help students become better communicators and consumers of history. I am particularly interested in finding ways of using digital tools to help students become better readers and writers. I think digital literacy should complement and reinforce traditional literacy, not replace it. 

One major takeaway from previous courses is how the process of digitization itself can be a useful tool to help students reflect about the sources they use. For example, I am interested in developing assignments that help students create better metadata. Writing useful metadata requires good reading, writing and general critical skills. It also requires students to have an overall understanding of what is the audience and purpose of said metadata. Ultimately, it is a great way for students to understand the different dimensions of a source, and an indispensable first step towards our ability to think historically.

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