July 1, 2013
Beginning today, a free GPS-enabled mobile app and website that puts the history of southern Ohio in the palm of users hands will be available thanks to Shawnee State University associate professor of history Dr. Andrew Feight and students in his Digital History course at SSU.
The app, "Scioto Historical," is an internet-based education tool that can be used on a computer or downloaded to Android or Apple iOS mobile devices. It includes eight historic tours with information provided by Feight and his students who conducted extensive research on the history of the region. The project was developed in cooperation with Cleveland State University's Center for Public History & Digital Humanities and with support from the Scioto Foundation and the Shawnee State University Development Foundation.
"Developing this app has been quite an experience — for me and for my students," Feight, who serves as director and editor of the project, said. "As a historian and an educator, it's exciting to be able to find new ways to share our region's history. It's also very fulfilling to be able to do it through this type of undergraduate research that exposes future historians to the latest methods and practices of digital history."
Scioto Historical's first eight tours include an exploration of sites depicted on the Portsmouth Floodwall Murals, the Scioto Valley and Dunmore's War, Saving Shawnee Forest, Buena Vista and the Shawnee Wilderness Area, The Three-C's in Shawnee Forest, Pioneer Scioto and Adams Counties, the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, and the Underground Railroad.
"The Scioto Valley has such rich history," Feight said. "I wanted to not only capture this history but to share it using new technologies. What we have is something that can be used by local residents, tourists, students, and anyone who wants to know more about the people and events that impacted our region. We're particularly looking forward to working with area schools. This is a tool that can easily be adopted by teachers for classroom and in-field use."
Feight said that at least four new tours will be completed in the coming months including those that cover Morgan's Raid, Pioneer Pike, Ross, Jackson, and Highland Counties, the Scioto Valley Adena and Hopewell mounds and earthworks, and Portsmouth's Bicentennial.
In addition to the research of Feight and his students, Scioto Historical also features original music by Michael Barnhart, assistant professor in SSU's Fine, Digital and Performing Arts department, and a series of historic paintings by Herb Roe, local painter and muralist.
The Scioto Historical website, with download information for the app, may be found at www.sciotohistorical.org. Content on the app and website will be added on a regular basis through Shawnee State's Digital History course taught by Feight as the project continues.