Tuesday 4 February 2020 – Digital History in the Classroom: Panel Discussion – Clare Rowan (Warwick), Rob Houghton (Winchester), James Baker (Sussex)

This seminar is 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, 4 February 2020, in Foster Court Room 235, UCL. Foster Court is off Malet Place, part of UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus, London, WC1E 6BS (not at our usual Senate House venue). It will also be livestreamed on YouTube.

Session chair: Richard Deswarte

This seminar will be a panel discussion examining and debating digital history in the classroom considering digital practice, methods and skills in teaching. We will have three expert speakers presenting short 15 minute papers followed by an open discussion and debate. 

James Baker Programming Historians at Sussex

One hour each week in a lecture theatre at the University of Sussex, first-year undergraduate historians are taken on a journey from doing history in the digital age to doing digital history. This isn’t about teaching 150 first-year historians to code. It is about confronting them with the technologies that mediate their access to the past, giving them the critical skills to navigate this mediation, and building their confidence in using computational approaches in their historical work. In this short talk, Baker will discuss this award winning work at the University of Sussex – a collaboration with Dr Sharon Webb, Lecturer in Digital Humanities – and its intersections and tensions with the ethos and approach taken by the Programming Historian: a novice-friendly, open-access, multi-lingual, and peer-reviewed publication that Baker works on with an international team of historians and digital humanists.

James Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex.

Rob Houghton – Digital Gaming in the Classroom

Rob will consider the teaching of medieval history through digital gaming based on his experience of teaching the module The Middle Ages in Computer Games at Winchester, his work as a research a research consultant for Paradox Interactive on Crusader Kings, and his ongoing project Playing the Past: Making Better History Games for Learning and Research which is developing stronger teaching techniques through games and demonstrating their potential as outputs and tools for the study of history.

Rob Houghton is a Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester and is an editor of The Public Medievalist.

Clare Rowan – History, Digital Storytelling, and Wikipedia

Clare will present the challenges and benefits of two digital initiatives in teaching ancient history to undergraduate students. The first explores the use of digital storytelling (in a seminar and as a piece of assessed work) in a compulsory module on Hellenistic history for second year undergraduates. The second explores how a larger initiative in the discipline (the ongoing creation of female biographies on Wikipedia by the Women’s Classical Committee UK to address gender imbalance) was introduced as a first year seminar to foster independent research skills and critical thinking.

Clare Rowan is an Associate Professor of Roman History and Numismatics at the University of Warwick.

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