Something about the idea was familiar. “New App Lets You Report Invasive Species” ran the headline in the OSU Extension website this October. I read on. The article explained that OSU Extension has released a new app for identifying invasive species, including purple loosestrife and Asian longhorned beetle. Aha! That was it – I remembered that we’d had a request in the summer of 2011 to help someone create an app to identify the Asian longhorned beetle. We had a couple of meetings, showed them resources for learning how to make an app, then parted ways. Now, obviously, that early meeting had borne very substantial fruit. The app is available at the home of all invasive species identification apps, Bugwood Apps.
Over the past two years, the Digital Union has fielded over 430 requests for project help. Not all of them are about beetles, invasive species, or building an app. We’ve helped with multimedia assignments for classes, creating videos, making games, building websites, recording digital stories, figuring out how to teach from an iPad, providing equipment to undergraduate researchers, and creating ebooks.
How many of these have gone on to become even bigger and better? How many have become elements in a tenure file, an undergraduate or graduate degree, a fantastic interactive exercise in class? We don’t ask people to cite the Digital Union, the way some granting agencies do, so we have no easy way to track what becomes of the projects we encounter.
What about your Digital Union project? What has become of it since we worked together? Comment below and let us know how our joint work has fared in the world.