There are a few elements that have remained constant in the teaching of history stemming from the late 19th century. The most established is that of ‘Historical Thinking,’ where the act of doing history is more than reciting a list of facts and dates, it is the telling the story of what happened. One of the issues with teaching this concept is that teachers of history already know how to do this, and struggle with showing all the bits and pieces that go into creating the story (the types of sources, where to find them, creating the story from the pieces, etc.).
The main thing that has changed over the last century is access to sources and information. The World Wide Web has allowed information to come out of the back rooms of libraries and museums and into people’s homes and office. The act of finding a primary source has become infinitely easier, and historians are now able to use those sources in brand new ways. The creation of online exhibits, using 3D printers to make replicas of historical objects, creating videos and uploading them to YouTube, the list continues to grow. These types of activities provide opportunities for teachers of history to break out of the mold of simply reciting facts, and to have history become an active part of the learners’ experience.