: Based on what you have learned in this course, how do you think digital methods will change the practice and/or ideas of history specifically and research in general? Give at least one specific example.
To regurgitate the question back as an answer, based on what I have learned in this course, I think that digital methods of preservation and documentation will change the practice and/or ideas of history specifically and research in general by A: speeding the process through mediation B: democratizing information and C: emphasizing new skill sets. I will go through each of these separately and try to bring them together.
Through the use of Facebook, twitter, blogs, and the countless other applications that will undoubtedly be created in the near future, people have and will continue to see more rapid transfer of information than at any other time in our recorded history. No longer do you have to wait for the town crier, the film reel, or the radio address to deliver the news of the world. In any given instant ideas can be spread throughout the globe in just a few keystrokes. Which leads to the democratization of information.
No longer is information held to the breast by specified experts. Each and every person who has access to the Internet can become a newscaster, a deliverer of revolutionary circumstance, and a prognosticator of potentialities. In old Leninist terms, this is a turn toward primitive democracy in that experience matters less, knowledge only holds shared and use value, and everyone has an equal say. While the process has still been retarded from full flourishing due to capitalist appropriation, the passion is springing forward in movements like open source.
As far as new skill sets, the need for a digital education has been fostered through the proliferation of technological gadgetry. The youth has been spoon-fed a steady diet of phones, televisions, gaming systems, iPads, iPhones, and the like. This has created a whole new class of tech driven professionals whose job is to maintain the infrastructure that enables all these devices to function, and in order for these jobs to be filled there must be a systemic overhauling of the way we manufacture educational opportunities. Of this I will leave only questions.
To put them all together, the digital medium of preservation and historical research has profound implications in the field and will have long lasting benefits for society as a whole. People do and will see increasing abilities to express their situations, gather support, and harness the collective talents of their global village. It will be faster, it will be more democratic, and it will involve skill sets undreamed of in times past. It will be brave and new and non-dystopian, if we can only get past this militarized state apparatus that seeks only destruction.