12. Playing with the Past

A Model of Play

A Model of Play (click through to download as large PDF)

Next week, we will be talking about exploring history through games and play–computer games in particular, but also play more broadly. What place might games and play have in teaching history? Or public history? Or even historical research? We may also talk (in a limited way) about mobile digital devices and their implications for public history. What happens when the digital escapes the internet? Continue reading

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11. Teaching Continued

Hi everybody! I felt we ended our class last week with lots more to say on the subject of teaching history–both why and how we do it–so I’d like to continue that discussion this week as well. (We’ll combine our discussion of “Games and Play” and “The Real World” into Week 12, and any spillover from that will be taken up in our final class on Week 13.)

Our readings, therefore, are everything we didn’t talk about last week. Please read anything you didn’t get to. Be sure to read the pieces by Peter Siexas, Michael Wesch, and Mills Kelly. If you are at loose ends, you can also work on your grant application or get a head start on Gee’s What Video Games Have To Teach Us, our non-online book reading for next week.

Blogging prompt: In the spirit of Web 2.0 (and not because I am being chased through a South American tomb by a giant rolling boulder of work), I will outsource this week’s prompt to your classmate. L. On her blog this week she asked people to share their stories of how they got interested in history. So how did you? I encourage you to tell the story on your own blog (and then post a link in L’s comments) or post it directly on her site.

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10. Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age

In week 10, we’ll be discussing the teaching and learning of history. How are history education and pedagogy changing in the digital age? Or are they? How could digital tools be used to change the teaching of history? I’d like to get beyond a simple discussion of “technology good” vs. “technology bad” to talk about how technological changes give us the opportunity to think creatively and critically about the whole enterprise of teaching history. What kind of history classrooms do we want to build? What, ultimately, do we teach history for?

(I also wanted to remind you of the next talk in the Centre for American Studies’ Speaker Series. This Tuesday, Nov. 16, Michael Arntfield, a PhD candidate at FIMS and a London police detective, will give a talk entitled “Last of the Gunfighters: The L.A.P.D. in American Culture and Myth.” The talk is at 3:30 pm in SSC 9420. Much as I’d like to come up with some spurious connection, the talk really isn’t related to our class material. But Mike is a good speaker and a fascinating guy, and it would be great to see some of you at his talk. If you have any questions, please let me know.) Continue reading

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08. Open Access and 09. Here Comes Everybody


Michael Wesch, “The Machine is Us/ing Us,” 2007.

Hi, everybody. Here, once more, are the readings for tomorrow’s class (no additions – I’m just reposting them) plus the readings for next week’s class, assuming there are no disruptions to our schedule.

Even at this 11th hour, there’s not much I can say about the possibility of a strike. I strongly support the faculty union and believe that the things we are fighting for will benefit you and the university in the long run. That said, I am very aware and sorry that you will be the ones most affected by a strike and I hope that serious disruption to your semester can be avoided. Continue reading

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Grant Application Assignment

Hi all. Here is the grant application assignment for this course, posted now in case of any disruptions to our schedule. These hypothetical grant applications will be due on Wednesday, December 15 (one week after our final class).

Continue reading

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08. Open Source and Open Access

Hi everyone. So sorry for this delay again in posting these readings. I want to say more about them and also to post a blogging prompt / assignment, but in the interest of putting these readings in front of you as soon as possible, here are the readings for week 8 with no special bells and whistles:

We may also say more about some of the readings from week 7 as they apply to questions of copyright, access, and intellectual property, and their implications for public history institutions.

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History 9850 Presentation

Here are some links (mostly to online databases available at UWO) for my presentation tomorrow in History 9850: Method and Practice and History about online research. History 9808 students, you can cheerfully disregard this post! History 9850 students, feel free to browse around the rest of this blog–it is (if I do say so myself) full of good links and readings on digital history today.

History 9850 students, please feel free to email me or drop by my office (SSC 4084) if you ever have any questions about this stuff.

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07. Museums, Libraries, and Archives in the Digital Age

Next week (and for a few weeks to come), we’ll be turning from historical research to more public history, and in particular to some of the institutions that house, present, and preserve historical knowledge. How are museums, libraries, and archives changing in the digital age? What pressures are they under? What opportunities do they have to remake themselves? What kind of public history institutions do we want to build? Continue reading

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Tool Report Schedule

Hi all. Sorry for the delay in getting this and the readings for next week posted. Here is the schedule we settled on for our in-class tool/app reports, which will begin next week with Sarah. (Thanks, Sarah!)

  • Oct 20 Sarah on Simile Timeline
  • Oct 27 Terran on Mendeley & Joanna on Qiqqa
  • Nov 3 Jennifer B on Delicious, Caitlin on H-Net
  • Nov 10 Pamela, Adair, & Kira on Flickr (and similar communities/resources)
  • Nov 17 Annique & Luvneet on Google Earth
  • Nov 24 Jenn N & Craig on Sketchup
  • Dec 1 Michelle on Layars, Brent on Yahoo Pipes
  • Dec 8 Leigh-Ann on Zotero
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06. New Kinds of Answers

Napoleon's March to Moscow, by Charles Minard, 1869

Following our discussion of “new kinds of questions” comes a discussion of “new kinds of answers.” Will digital tools like data visualization, GIS and mapping software allow historians to make new kinds of arguments? To see new patterns in data or to present those patterns in ways that they could not have been expressed before?
Continue reading

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