We are extremely happy to officially announce the launch of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool. Taking place from May 31st to July 1st (2011) on the campus of Michigan State University, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool will introduce students to the tools and techniques required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.

The CHI Fieldschool is a unique experience that employs the model of an archaeological fieldschool (in which students come together for a period of 5 or 6 weeks to work on an archaeological site in order to learn how to do archaeology). Instead of working on an archaeological site, however, students in the CHI Fieldschool will come together to collaboratively work on several cultural heritage informatics projects. In the process they will learn a great deal about what it takes to build applications and digital user experiences that serve the domain of cultural heritage – skills such as programming, media design, project management, user centered design, digital storytelling, etc.

The CHI Fieldschool is built soundly on the principle of “building as a way of knowing” (or “hacking as a way of knowing” as some call it). The idea behind this principle is that students develop a far better understanding of cultural heritage informatics by actually building tools, applications, and digital user experiences than they do with passive analysis and commentary. The added benefit is that by building tools, applications, and digital user experiences, students also have the opportunity to make a tangible and potentially significant contribution to the cultural heritage community.

It is extremely important to note that the CHI Fieldschool, while geared primarily towards students (both undergraduate and graduate), is also open to non-students – specifically, professionals working in the field of cultural heritage, the digital humanities, information science, informatics, user centered design, user experience design, etc. (the #alt-ac crowd – as it has come to be known)

For more detailed information on the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool, check out the full description. To apply to the CHI Fieldschool (entrance is by application only), go to the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool Application.