Conference: Distributed Ignorance and the Unthinking Machine: The Challenges of Teaching History and Computing

Under the rather provocative title, the Association for History and Computing, UK branch, has gathered a day-long conference that explores the role and uses of information (computing) technology in higher education history teaching and research.
Of particular interest is where such things as digital history methods belong. Should they be taught? At what level? How? Should students be ‘absorbing’ this information on their own? How will students, when they become researchers and teachers, know how to apply digital history methods if these skills are not taught?

Presentations include:

  • Postgraduate Research Training and ICT: the Roles of Computing in the PhD
  • How do you know it is true? Digital Diplomatics for the History Syllabus
  • Using ICT in degree-level history teaching: issues of progression and differentiation
  • ‘It’s not what you know it’s the way that you know it’ – key skills in history and computing

The last item presents the result of a study that has found widespread use of digital materials among history students and researcher, “but far more limited use of computer applications to explore historical issues and even less training in the creation of historical research material in electronic and digital format or advanced ICT methods.” They conclude that there is a clear need for work in this area, particularly in the creation of digital history methods courses.

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