Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Wonders of #Technology

Last night PBS aired the first part of its The American Experience The Abolitionists series. I have the series on DVR and will watch it in the near future (after not having a television for over 5 years, I have discovered the DVR is a new favorite thing of mine... mostly because I am rarely in the mood to watch shows during their actual airtime... add that to my list of "quirks"). My twitter feed exploded with tweets about the show while it was airing (mostly because I follow a bunch of other nerdy historian-types like myself). This one caught my attention:  



Let's take a minute and think about the increasing accessibility of history, sources, and in this case, historians. For interested parties wanting to learn more, they had/have an opportunity to interact with an involved party from the show, a historian. PBS has always been good about providing materials to accompany its airings (educator resources, clips for reviewing, etc). Communicating with the historian via Twitter is a relatively new (and huge) resource. Having a historian jump in while the conversation was happening on Twitter is also huge. Differing social media types allow for the democratization of history- you don't have to be a student or academic to talk to a professor knowledgeable about a subject that aired on public television. You can just tweet at him (or her).

And I think that's pretty darn neat.

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