Responses to Perspectives Online

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 I think this is a great idea, because what better way to utilize something and not become outdated but to have the chance to contribute in a big way to something that is quickly making other technology obsolete?


This entry was posted on Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 10:47 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


3 Responses to “Responses to Perspectives Online”

  1. b4ssm4st3r Says:

    I definitely agree with the importance of keeping up with the times. Especially today when technology is changing it is important to know what is going on so that you can contribute.

  2. Caryn Says:

    I also read Miller’s article. I am glad that you brought up the idea that history is “created” rather than discovered, because I think that is something that gets lost with many students. I read this book called Non Campus Mentis…it is a collection of blue book essays and term papers from a Western Civ class in West Virginia over a number of years…anyway, the title of one essay caught my eye, “The End of History, the Age of Now”. Does history ever really end? I think that it just continues because, as you noted, we are creating it every day. If you ever have a chance to read this book, its pretty funny and a bit disturbing! Here is a link if you are interested.

  3. cwright Says:

    Hey Mackenzie, I too read the article about Wikipedia. Just like the professor, I have also changed my mind about Wikipedia. For the longest time I refused to uste it believing that it was an unreliable resources. Now, it is one of the first tools I use when I begin my research. I would never cite Wikipedia in a bibliography, but I do use it to get a general sense of the background information and to locate sources. I think that is the best way to utilize Wikipedia and other online public content.