Wikipedia and the Malleable Past

I will focus on one of the two questions (highlighted in bold) below:

  • What are the challenges we face as history educators with presenting the past in the digital world?
  • How have digital tools made it easier to teach about and help our audience(s) engage with the past?

As a caveat, I’m not claiming to be a history educator in the traditional sense of the word but in my taking this class and as a history major, I have realized some challenges in the historical digital world.

Challenge number one is making the historical documents available to the public so that then said public can use them to their benefit. Some items are in the public domain and some are not which makes it difficult to discern that fact. The legal language that states whether something is or is not, is sometimes confusing to the researcher.

Challenge number two is not taking the historical item out of context and making sure that the audience analyzes it in the appropriate place and time period.

Challenge number three is that with so much information out there in the world, being able to weed through it and understand what each source is saying to come up your own conclusions can be difficult.