One very important time period in history which is often overlooked is the history of medieval Sicily. Sicily, at this time, was conquered by Arab invaders from North Africa, who brought Islamic and Arabic culture to the island. Muslims would rule Sicily for around 200 years, only to be conquered by Norman invaders during the eleventh century. Once in power though, the Normans chose to adopt the Arabic/Islamic culture in Sicily, rather than destroy it. With this action, many Arabic forms of art, literature, and scholarship would become part of Christian-European culture as well. These influences would help to generate ideas in Italy which would ultimately spark the Renaissance movement.
I have used several digital products to create new forms of information about Muslim Sicily. One way in which I did so was through the use of Google maps. With this tool I created two maps which used geographic data to depict the conquest of Sicily by both Arabs and Normans. It is useful because it allows viewers to actually see where battles took place, and where invasions were launched from. This product could be very usefull for historical presentations for the fact that it allows one to select a location and write a description of it. This would be helpful for pinpointing the locations of certain events, locations, etc. Another digital product which I used was Google Chart Wizard. This program allowed me to create graphs which shared certain statistical data about Muslim Sicily. These numbers help to give insight to the history and impact of Muslim Sicily in ways which could not be found simply through a book. Through the use of computational tools, I was able to analyze certain information about the role which Muslim Sicily holds in the scholarly world. What I learned is that it is not a widely researched topic, as there are relatively few books pertaining to it. This shows that more information needs to be put out on the subject of Muslim Sicily, as it is a very significant time period to European History.
The security and preservation of my digital information may prove to be somewhat of an issue down the line. None of the products I created are saved to my hard drive, and I do not believe they can be. I do have the URL’s saved though, but these are only good for so long as the websites are still up and running. If Google were to suddenly go down, I would not be able to access a majority of my products. The best thing to do is to keep my accounts updated, and to check up on them regularly to ensure that the digital tools are still working. Another possibility is to print out copies of the maps and charts. This would cause these products to lose their sense of interactivity, but it would still allow for information to be presented and to get across. In terms of security, I am the only one who can access my account. To keep this up, I should change my password regularly and keep an eye on my account to make sure nothing funny is going on with it. One reason for concern is the fact that my products are open to the public, and it may be at risk for this reason. This can be easily solved, as all I would need to do is change the settings so that only certain people can see my graphs and maps.
Below are my digital products: