As we discussed in class today this week’s articles addressed the overall theme regarding the future of digital history, its pros and cons as well as the validity of online sources. Two of the articles really struck a chord with me pertaining to this project and what I’ve learned so far.
“A Free and Open Alternative to Traditional History Textbooks,” I felt, offered an explanation for embracing digital history with an open mind. The stigma that is mentioned in the other readings concerning online history sources can often taint the credibility of certain sources. Through personal experience I can attest to being extra cautious around online sourcing. An alternative to traditional methods of teaching and researching is now available to us in this new age. Personally I think that a collaborative digital textbook for history courses meets a cost, accessibility, and work load demand for the typical university student! While being aware of where you are getting your information is important with any history sources, I believe that the more comfortable people become with the digital age even more information will be available at our finger tips!
The second article that made a lot of sense to me was “Strike While the Iron is Hot.” This article discussed the importance of experiencing history. When the historian was able to experience the blacksmith trade for himself he was able to appreciate the texts and artifacts that he had found to a whole new level. Although digital history cannot offer physical hands on experiences for viewers and researchers, it can provide multimedia approaches to a extremely vast audience. With technology viewers of a website can virtually experience many of the same things as they would if they were at that precise location, or at least more so than through a textbook. Those who physically cannot access such artifacts can still “experience” this history through technological means. Therefore, videos, interactive components, photos, and so on can help enrich the research experience much more so than some traditional methods, in my opinion, especially those that cannot physically access such information.
These are just my thoughts on the future of digital history and bringing to light the dynamics of ways to experience history from the readings.