Digital techniques for public engagement

The two digital techniques for public engagement include broadcasting and participatory as described by Bonacchi. The one we currently use for the purpose of this project and open communication for students, involves a broadcast approach. It can be described as a way for students to share opinions and information for the interest of the public.

The means of broadcast are beneficial because it can provide a very detailed amount of information that is open for others to comment and discuss. It’s a great way to mention what the project is about. How the Hidalgo county has teamed up with UTRGV for students to be able to learn about public archaeology and work directly at a sight. It provides the name and course number for anyone interested in signing up as a class. Along with the project name and course description, the web page provides an outline of the cemetery. A historical approach to how the cemetery became to be, its previous affiliation and current status. There is also a map to pin point its exact location, to which you can zoom in and view better.

Other than its introduction and history, this is the page to view students thoughts and reflections on key concepts and themes that are learned each week. Its a medium for us to communicate but also to share for the world to see. This would also be a great place to post pictures of daily activities and interesting discoveries at the cemetery. This can include objects or unique grave sites that are unlike any others. Pictures of students from every semester, community partners, tools and equipment used for data collection. Sometimes a photo alone can demonstrate a lot to the public who may not be as inclined to read. It can also help with people who don’t speak/understand English, to share some things in Spanish as well. I was a little surprised to not find a bilingual source and much more photos to share the work at the cemetery.

How might the project move towards more collaborative, co-creative, or hosted methods of engagement?

Volunteering would be a form of contributory participation to build and complete data collection. What was started gives interest to students, teachers, family and the rest of the community who might like to help out in this way. Especially through data collection because it is more simple to complete and understand, rather than having to explain a lot. A fast and simple introduction to kobo toolbox would be very efficient. I think it would be a bit more difficult to encourage the public to be more collaborative in terms of organizing data through software and open access, unless there was high interest or if they are a direct community partner.
By hosting events and sharing the project from news sources, articles, blogs, we could organize gatherings or meetings for the community to be involved. They can give their thoughts and ideas that may benefit the project in a way for them to be co-creative and participate.

What benefits can 3D technology provide to a public archaeology project, and what are the potential pitfalls? Should we integrate 3D technology into our project, and if so, how?

I am personally not a big fan of 3D, but the beauty of technology is that it is ever changing and improving. 3D technology in particular, can present an enhancing experience since we live in a world where it is being incorporated more. It may be more time consuming, but once the data begins to be organized better, I believe it can add a nice detail for the project. Even if it’s only a few photos to share.

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