The first article I read was “Strange Facts in the History Classroom: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Wiki(pedia) by Christopher Miller. I almost felt like this article could have been very similar to our own digital history class…all one had to do was substitute the words ‘digital history’ for ‘wikipedia.’ While I am generalizing a bit, this professor talked about how his disdain for wikipedia turned into one of interest and finally centering a class around using it as a resource for students while also making sure they saw not only the positive side of it but also the negative aspects of using wikipedia as a source and reliable encyclopedia. I know Professor McClurken has changed some things around since he last taught this seminar, and I am sure the next time he teaches it he will have learned more and be able to improve upon this seminar. I guess I had always thought that history doesn’t really change…but one of the more thought-provoking quotes was when he wrote, “a way to expose them to the idea that history is “created” rather than “discovered.” This got me to thinking about the distinction between discovered and created – history is written by those who are in charge, who have won. While more sources might come to light that haven’t before, history is something that is written and made; not discovered like a new mineral or cure for some disease. It puts a different perspective on things, doesn’t it?
Another article, H-Net: Digital Discussion for Historians by Matthew Gilmore provides an interesting insight into how historians can keep in touch with new technology. I think this is a great idea, because what better way to utilize something and not become outdated but to have the chance to contribute in a big way to something that is quickly making other technology obsolete?