Sunday, April 11, 2010

Historical Twitter

After yesterdays post I decided it might be fun to see if there were any sites or projects out there that used “Twitter” for historical events. After a little searching, I found a site called The site contains what is mainly one liners and humorous thoughts from various “famous people”

While they do not have actual lessons on the site, I think that it could be used as a base and it would be easy for a teacher to take a concept and have students develop tweets from different groups of people during an event. Students could explore how different groups would react to an event and the spin they put on it with their tweet. Are they happy about what has happened? Upset? Confused? Students could explain the reason behind the tweet and why this character would have reacted that way. It is just another way to try to get the students to connect with concepts and content on another level, which is always our goal as educators.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Social Media and History

As I sit here working on some homework for my class that I am taking, I have Twitter and Facebook both on in the background. Seeing the updates pop up in the background it reminds me of how much these tools have changed the way that we live now. Information comes across these sites almost instantly as they happen, and spreads across the world so that by the time they hit the nightly news they are old and people have moved on to the next thing. For example, when I woke up this morning and logged on the first posts I started to see were about the plane crash in which it was feared that the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski along with his family and top military leaders had been killed. As the events unfolded pictures and videos of people going to the capital and mourning began to surface, and updates on others that were killed, along with what may have gone wrong started to appear. This is history as it happens, and something that you can never again get is the true raw emotions and reactions that the world has as an event happens. Future writings will leave out certain facts, or twist an event to affirm what the author believes happened, and how it affected Poland as a nation. What cannot be twisted whether they prove to be correct of not is a person’s real-time reaction to an event such as this. Imagine what it would have been like if people would have been there and able to use social media to twitter about the Gettysburg Address as it happened, or were able to post pictures to their facebook wall of Paul Revere’s famous ride. What would the initial reaction of the people of that time be? It is something that we will never know about these historical events, however as we become a more connected society and world the chance to see and learn from each other becomes a more valuable tool. So this makes me wonder in an age where students and people are learning in an instant, why is it that so many teachers still will not embrace this technology?