The week of 13 September 2021 was a busy one for the folks of The Alexandria Archive Institute. Between leading the first pilot seminar in our professional development services curriculum and our Data Literacy Program researchers presenting in the First Teaching and Learning in Archaeology and Heritage Conference (TLAHC), we did a lot of great teaching and learning ourselves.
The best part of all of this is that both of these events were scheduled around the same time! So besides getting snippets of each other’s practice runs, or watching google docs suddenly blossom into essays, we’ll have to wait to share in each other’s triumphs.
However, as participants and presenters in these sessions here were some of our highlights.
Eric: I dedicated most of my time during this week to meetings about archaeological publishing. Part of my work centered on preparing the publication of measurement data for bones from an individual guanaco from Argentina (a project led by Dr. Guillermo Luis Mengoni Goñalons and Dr. Dolores Elkin). These guanaco bones have become a key reference for zooarchaeologists working in South America, and their availability as citable Open Data will be a big help for the community of researchers working in that region. If you guanaco check them out, visit the data publication here !
Leigh: Over the past few months, we’ve started to build a curriculum of professional development services around data literacy. For me, the most rewarding part of this project has been working with colleagues to design workshops that address the particular needs of their communities. Last week, we launched the Digging Up Data Workshop Series for the American Society of Overseas Research, a program developed in collaboration with their Early Career Scholars Committee. This kind of workshop will become one of our core professional development offerings moving forward, so we really value having the opportunity to workshop our workshop and to learn from the communities that we’re aiming to support.
Meghan: I’ve always felt like the odd one out amidst my friends and academic colleagues because I…really love teaching. I LOVE it. I can happily teach any class, any subject, any time. Combine this love of teaching with a passion for ethics and best practices in archaeology, and the TLAHC was an amazing experience for me. I ended up with a long list of articles to read, and just had a few old favorite books delivered (replacing copies that managed to get lost over the years as I moved internationally and lent things out.) The conference was encouraging, and friendly, and something I really found refreshing––it was positive about students. Nothing hurts my teacher-heart more than educators being pessimistic about students. I’m so thankful we got to participate.
Paulina: My favorite part of the TLAHC was getting to hear so many people excited about teaching. While everyone acknowledged that there are problems in the way archaeology has been taught, everyone in the conference was chanting that. It was also great to hear how all the presenters felt that teaching could help change the field. From removing grading, to bringing in truly diverse examples, and encouraging our students to utilize their lived experience in their learning outcomes, there was so much to work with and work towards that I felt encouraged by the work currently being done in the field.
Sarah: Last week, everything suddenly got real! Everyone on our team was online, participating in various conferences and workshops and being recorded for all to see. We had such overwhelming interest in our ASOR Digging Up Data Workshop Series that I had to adjust our Zoom account to allow for more participants– hooray! I also spent some time working with Leigh to coordinate another workshop series, Data Conversations: Good Practices, Ethics, and Outreach, which kicked off yesterday in a brown bag talk for the Archaeological Research Facility. I’m really looking forward to seeing how these two different workshop series play out, given their different participant communities and professional/academic settings.
The first workshop in the Digging Up Data series can be viewed here.
Take a chance to check these out in case you missed any of these great events!