The Digital Historian Project

An Experiential Learning Partnership between the UGDSB and the DCMA

DHP Graduate reflections


"The Digital Historian Project is definitely a scary thing for people to get out of their comfort zone and sign up for. To leave my friends behind and enter a completely new program was something that for most of the year I resented. However now as the year is coming to a close I can honestly say that I am happy to have met these people and to have made new friends. My friends from school were not going anywhere, but I would have never had got to meet these new, interesting people had I not taken this course. It also put me in a situation where I met different flavours of people that I would otherwise have not met which is nice.

To learn in a way that is completely digital was also something that I was not so into at the start of the semester. Personally I struggled a bit with this component of the course. However even for someone like me who isn’t necessarily the best at computers the digital aspect was in no way unmanageable. If you have a problem with the internet or D2L it is not the end of the world and there is always a way to fix it. Whether that means handing in your assignment through email rather than the drop box or making a paper note for the day there is always a solution.

Grades were my biggest fear in this course because it was just so different. However just because it was different doesn’t mean that it was very

The DHP gives students the opportunity to work and learn outside the classroom giving them a hands on experience working with real primary sources and artifacts. This is critical in understanding our history and seeing how it impacts us today. It was academically challenging and rewarding knowing that my research would actually matter to people outside of the classroom. It was kind of scary leaving my school to join a new program with all new people but I’ve enjoyed my time in the DHP a lot more than I thought I would and have done things I would never have gotten the chance to do at my regular school. Joining DHP was a risk but it certainly paid off in the end."

 -- Taylor (digital historian 2015)

"I think that the DHP is an amazing program for teens to have a better understanding of their History. We have been provoked to look at History in a different perspective, ultimately changing the way we view Canada. We’ve been given the chance to learn about Native History in Canada, as well as the issues they struggle with. I think that we’ve all received an education on where our generation needs to go to make Canada a safer place for all Canadians.

I will admit, I had a bit of a struggle getting away from my Home School and friends. Although we were at OD every two weeks, I still wasn’t seeing my friends that often. It was hard at first, because they were all together continuing on with their own lives, and I would only hear the updates over text, or several weeks after they happened. But, I learned how to connect with my friends at school, and still be involved with their lives, while making new friends in the DHP. I can safely say that I feel that the DHP kids have become a little family, and will be weird to not be seeing them every day next year.

Another thing I had to get over was the technology. I’m not much of a technological person. I have the skills on the computer of someone's 90-year-old Grandmother. But with the DHP, I was able to get used to doing ALL my work on the computer, and I really don’t want to go back to school where my work is half digital and half paper shoved in my locker. It’s been great figuring out how to do such intense research as well. Instead of lightly skimming through articles like in my other classes, I was researching for hours on all of my projects. It was quite often for me to have thirty tabs open of different essays, articles, websites, and videos of the things that I was researching.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the DHP. I think that that the way we learned History, was practical, VEERRY interesting, a lot of fun, and a great experience."

-- Riley (digital historian 2015)

"Reflecting back on my semester as a Digital Historian I would say that  it has been a  tremendous experience.   I recall the excitement that I felt  when I was accepted into the program and when it actually started I couldn’t of loved it more.  I have an understanding of history that I would never of been able to get if I was in a regular classroom.  I understand so much more about Native culture and history and i’ve been able to experience what it’s like to handle artifacts and infer local history.

I definitely feel like a stronger student and I really do appreciate the value of hard work.  The people in this course have been absolutely amazing, I couldn’t imagine a better group of people.  I’ve been able to work and travel with some spectacular people whom I am so lucky to have met.  

During the course I have had to learn how to use computers and really unfamiliar websites.  At the beginning the technology was the hardest part  to figure out.  I now am used to the technology and it is very easy to work.  Leaving  the school added to the experience, I was away from all my friends and it made me more independant.  I was really excited to learn at  a museum though so I wasn’t too distraught that I had to leave.  The Digital Historian Program has been the highlight of my academic life."    

-- Hannah (digital historian 2015)