Dr. Kelly wrote in Teaching History in the Digital Age, “It is a bit disheartening to realize that more than 100 years ago historians were already warning their peers about the problems of lecturing.” I, too, find this information troubling. I’ve also been thinking about my own experiences both teaching and learning during my BA, MA, and now PhD processes. In my experience, incorporating the digital can sometimes just mean, “slap a powerpoint up there so they aren’t bored.” (Which, we all know how well THAT works!) But how do we get students to utilize the wealth of sources available to them? How can we assist them in being creative with their historical understanding and analysis without creating an altered document (like the Nuremberg video). I used to teach 4th graders, and although we could not give them digital means to learn history, we DID want them to be hands on. All of the exhibits that we had for our museum were required to have some type of interactivity. Can’t this also be applied to teaching history to older students with digital means?
I, for one, love the idea of letting students go on their own to find their sources, with guidance on how to choose a good source beyond “use .edu.”I love the idea of giving more choice than “use what I give you.” Isn’t that part of the historical process? Why are historians so fearful of changing how we teach students history, and why is there this ongoing theme that these new concepts are scary? All they can do is enhance our understanding of history even further.