Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
  1
Share on Facebook
  7
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  1
9 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
6 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Teaching History to a Digital Generation

Become a Fan
  (21 fans)
By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Funny 3   Well Said 2   Supported 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H4 9/5/11

opednews.com


History by Earth Giants
The test results are in, and they're damning. We've raised a generation of children who think the Magna Carta is a condom for braggarts.

Our usual reaction to that ignorance is blithe contempt, a dreary, "kids today" sigh that makes us feel better about being old at the price of sounding ancient.

But if we don't find a way to teach the digital generation our history, they're doomed to repeat it. And nobody deserves that fate.

We baby boomers liked to think we started history when we came on the scene, as if all time to that point was merely prologue for our Big Entrance.

But if we think we crowned history, the current generation has no historical consciousness at all. And it's not because the kids are stupid. It's because we haven't taught them properly.

We can't teach them because we speak two different languages. We speak analog with our throats, they speak digital with their thumbs. If we don't want our civilization's collective memory to vanish, we're going to have to translate.

Any effective translator must use terms the translatee understands. This generation understands blogs, texts and tweets.

Let's say we want to teach the kids about Columbus. We can't use books; kids don't know what they are. We can't use doggerel like "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." The kids will think that's a song from "Finding Nemo." If we want to tell Columbus's story, we need to put it in a tweet.

"Chris1492 @NinaPintaSantaMaria. Didn't sail off end of World! Still looking for the gold. Shout out to Isabella! Epic win, girl! #EarthIsRound."

Tweeting our way back in time, we find Julius Cesar, fresh from his campaign in Gaul.

"JulesTheFirst @EmperorToBe.com. I came, I saw, I pwned."

Advanced students could study The Federalist tweets @HamiltonMadisonJay.gov. Those interested in gothic studies will find kindred spirits in Colonial America: "Ride needed to BurningWitch in Salem. Will kick in for oats."

Some historical events are too complex for 140 characters; a tweet won't do. But a blog will.

INSIDE NEWTON'S NOODLE: Sir Isaac Newton's blog.

July 20, 1666

"Smoking hot today, so I'm hiding under this tree, snagging some Z's, when a apple bonks off my head. Naturally I think it's Leibniz who threw it, because he's still steamed about me taking credit for inventing calculus.

"But then I suddenly realize, OMG, that apple fell on me! Whatever goes up, must come down! I just discovered gravity, my peeps! I RULE!"

Next Page  1  |  2

 

San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on Amazon.com, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Broken Unions, Broken Nation, and the Lie that Keeps us Broke

Republican Autoerotic Asphyxiation

The Short, Sad Life of Greedaholics Anonymous

"The Memoirs of the White House Janitor." By Cosmo "Ace" Willingham.

How do you know if you're an artist?

What do we lose if we "lose" in Afghanistan?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

For example, when we say friends, we mean one thin... by Allan Goldstein on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 7:46:33 AM
Fenugreek without a prescription!  Hilarious.... by JGStakeholder on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 11:52:42 AM
Gosh, no doubt your regime will work, but don't th... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 12:07:48 PM
I especially like "A History of Britain" with Simo... by Mike Preston on Monday, Sep 5, 2011 at 12:21:04 PM
And this is precisely why conservatives are defund... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011 at 6:25:15 AM
I ran this past some genuine high school students.... by lwarman on Tuesday, Sep 6, 2011 at 11:03:51 AM