Friday morning, I attended the Tome Collaborative Course Publication workshop which was part of NYCDH week in New York City. The Workshop was led by Alexei Taylor, a digital creative and instructor at NYU. Tome is a digital publication platform created for academic publishing which can be designated as a personal blog or a collaborative workspace for academic projects. Tome was built as an easier to use WordPress platform and is often used by academics for publishing and course development.
For graduate and undergraduates, one of the biggest challenges they face from the pedagogical model is that often classroom projects are created without thinking about the potential audience beyond the classroom. This model incentives students working in isolation and only having a real academic interaction with the professor and not their peers. Another challenge is that students often don’t have a well-kept record of their academic accomplishments other than the course credit they receive. Alexei build tome with the student in mind. Tome really helps students think of themselves as public content creators, writers, and project builders. Students can use tome for assembling a personal portfolio of their work and use it as a collaborative platform for building a project with peers. One of the projects that I was shown as an example was a creative writing course that was published as a digital anthology. Every student had their own page and their own page design but they were part of the same tome project which could be navigated from page to page.
Tome has many features that makes it very useful for people interested in publishing who may not have the skills to build their own platform. When you register for a tome account, you get a link to the front page which has a default minimal look with a small menu of a welcome page, a gallery, syllabus, and bibliography. You have the ability to delete any of the pages you don’t want through the back page. Tome assumes you may need certain pages for publishing. Through the back page you have the ability to add users to your project, create new pages, add content, edit code to customize the look of your Tome, control your analytics, and many more features. Tome makes it very easy to annotate and cite your work, offering many ways to add endnotes, links, captions and descriptions for borrowed materials. In addition, there are many formatting tools to tailor your work to the look you want it to have.
As I was learning about Tome and all the different publishing features it has, I thought about the project I am currently a part of and how Tome could potentially be used to host our project. This is a new tool that I will definitely be sharing with my project team. It is super easy to learn and super easy to use.