Questions on Teaching History

The ask of teaching history has a few issues that need to be addressed in order to be effective. The first is how to get the students to think about history as something other than a series of randoms facts and events. One of the ways I can think of to do this is to highlight that history is more about the story of what happened, rather than this thing happened then and was followed by this.

Another key question has to do with the design aspect of teaching: how to go about telling this story. In my work in the Digital Humanities this has two parts, how to structure the content and what technology will be used. Most of my work to this point has been in using Omeka, which brings in a wide range of metadata for an item and presents it in an exhibit alongside content. Other examples I’ve seen are network analyses that show the connections between people, places, and events.

One main question about teaching history is how to get the students engaged in learning history. This goes hand-in-hand with my first question, but it also highlights how they are still learning how to do history. One of the things I personally include in my projects is to have a wide range of media: photos, videos, text, etc. I do this because as a student of history myself, having too much text based material (especially in an online setting) can become cumbersome.

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