When doing science, you can put nearly everything into a project. Creating a bibliography for a new course can be a project or creating a course itself can be as well. Sometimes however you will try to do a proper project with funding, meetings, goals and all of that stuff. Fortunately, this has happened for a group of people I am part of. We started our 3-year project this April: Digital competencies in Archaeology!
What group you say?
So for a while now, I am (together with Marion Bolder-Boos) a coordinator of a working group concerned with digital literacy in Archaeology. We semi-regularly meet and discuss. For example how we as teachers and students of Archaeology can include more digital literacy in our programmes. Of course, there are study programmes offering exactly that, but most of the “classical” Archaeology programmes do not.
The group is part of a larger conglomerate of groups loosely organised by the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. We were always a group of enthusiasts collecting ideas and forming plans. A while ago however, we were made aware of a grant call that fitted our description really neatly: “Focus Networks. Strengthening networks as innovation-promoting actors”. So we applied for a three-year project and recently got the word that we got the grant!
Digital competencies in Archaeology
So our idea was to create an online hub for digital competencies within Archaeology. This is not to replace any form of Digital Archaeology programmes. But it might function as a first contact to digital things in Archaeology for archaeologists and interested persons. We are thinking of creating some Open Educational Resources in the form of articles, videos and links. These can structure and organise digital applications for Archaeology.
People already familiar with the subject will probably not find something new here. But people struggling with the subject might learn a thing or two. We also want to do two workshops were we evaluate what is needed and which form of presentation might be the most successful one. We will even produce one or two Open Access publications to this topic and are excited about the next three years.
What will happen now?
So this project is more of a side-quest for me, but as co-coordinator, I will help to build up the hub in the next three years as much as my time allows (Marion is actually employed in the project). There will be certainly a lot to do and to talk about. The first point on our programme is to organise a network meeting with the original participants of our working group to discuss further steps. A fact that I have not mentioned yet: We organised ourselves during the Corona pandemic and although meeting for three years digitally, we never met in person. I am looking forward to it!
By the way: The logo on top is preliminary. As soon as we get to work, we will find something more suitable.