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“In essence the study of history is essential to the development of the global community, in that it tells the story of the triumphs and mistakes of man. In the study of history one learns of a people, great civilizations, and about the past. Learning history is therefore important because through studying the growth of a people one can acquire many life lessons and valid instruction on actions to avoid.”-Nahila K. Joseph

 Prior to taking History 291 I was  rather sceptical and questioned the importance of digital history and its relevance to the historical word. However, rather than passing judgment I decided to join the course and   I found that my reservations were premature for a number of reasons. For one, we are living in a global world for that reason historical minds from all over the world are able to come together and contribute to the historical community in ways that we have never seen before. Overall, providing a more rounded and unbiased version of historical data. In addition, technology has become central to our day to day lives and for that reason we are evermore dependent on it.  Social networking sites, blogs and audio/ visual devices to name a few have taking over our lives and as historians we need to take advantage of that. How can we expect to keep historical study alive and departments like this one, if we remain oblivious as to what is going on around us. Today, there are approximately 500 million twitter users, which mean that more and more people are on the web and are not visiting places like museums and library’s.  As historians we feel that historical data would lose its credibility if we revert to technology and the internet for our sources however, we have seen through digital archives such as “Occupy” that this has not been the case. Advancements in technology have allowed historians to improve the way in which they document artifacts and keep records. Through the use of digital archives we have seen that historical events have been able to reach a wider audience and thus been able to spark the interests of everyday people as to the study of history. Yes, it is true that we have become very dependent on technology and therefore it has caused us to become very lazy as a society however, we have seen that there have been a lot of positive things that have come out of the study of digital history. This semester has allowed me to expand my knowledge as a historian and given me the tools to compete in today’s technological driven world.  Through the use of various tools like Program Historian, Google Earth, Voyant, Python and Audacity etc I was able to explore a world in which most historians frown upon  and  to afraid to expose themselves to. Nevertheless, if not for this course I would have been completely at a disadvantage in my future. I truly recommend this course for anyone who has any misconceptions about digital history because whether we like to admit it or not, they both go hand in hand and are essential for the future!

 

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