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Correcting for Presentism in Student Reading of Historical Accounts Through Digital History Methodologies

Fri, April 28, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Floor: Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 3


Digital history is becoming a central part of the higher-education history classroom. Researchers who have integrated GIS, text mining and network theory into their humanities and history research also tout anecdotal observations of improved engagement, deeper historical thinking skills, and career skills in history classrooms. This paper seeks to add an empirical account of leveraging digital tools and digital history techniques in a history classroom. We build on activity theory and demonstrate that incorporating science reasoning and digital-history tools can help students create better historical context for their primary sources, an important but under-developed skill for many undergraduate history students.