For my final project, I proposed the creation of an online resource that collected data related to local NYC cultural institutions that would hopefully make it easier for educators to use local material and collections in their classrooms. Some of my favorite classes and learning experiences from my past involved using material from my local community to understand concepts in more personal and interactive ways. I think this type of resource can help educators engage their students with their surroundings and teach them to care about their communities.
The project’s end result will be a website that contained four elements. The first, a map displaying the location of the various cultural institutions across the city. The second, an information page for each cultural institution mapped. Third, a blog where users and educators can communicate and collaborate. The final element is a repository where users can upload helpful content like lesson plans, teaching guides or example projects. The first iteration of the project will only focus on a select few institutions that concentrate on the history of NYC.
While composing the final project grant, I struggled with creating a project timeline that was achievable within a semester. I have never worked on a digital project from start to finish, so I did not have a good idea of how long aspects of a project usually take. However, I think working through the timeline helped me think about my project more concretely. I realized that I knew some parts were not going to be practicable within a semester, so I pushed those to be included in additional iterations of the project. Additionally, grant writing was a new style for me and I found myself looking over various examples to gain a better understanding of how others have written successful grants. Overall, the experience led me through the process of conceptualizing and proposing a digital project. I learned grant writing is much harder than I believed and creating a project timeline requires much thought and honesty with oneself.