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Is Technology Altering Our History?

WINNIPEG, Nov. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Teachers at every grade level are increasingly using an array of electronic devices including interactive whiteboards, tablet computers, video cameras and YouTube to enhance their history classes. The impact of many of these trends on education and learning is huge. The volume of information and the diversity of sources available online has never been greater.  Students are coming into the classroom pre-wired with content, but whose stories are they hearing and is it really history? The role of the teacher is more important than ever, since they have the opportunity to shape the way today's students view, collect and use this newfound wealth of information.

Stéphane Lévesque, Associate Professor of History Education at the University of Ottawa and a speaker at the upcoming Canada's History Forum at the Canadian War Museum will join the conversation with leading educators and historians by introducing his research into how technology is changing the way students learn.  Lévesque and over 150 of Canada's top educators, community leaders, historians, museum curators and content producers will discuss how technology is creating new opportunities, and new threats,  to our ability to access the past and better understand our shared history.

Deborah Morrison, President and CEO of Canada's History remarked, "On the one hand we have an unprecedented and seemingly endless supply of information about our distant past being uploaded online, completely unfiltered, but fully available." Morrison added, "but on the other hand, the records of the history we are making today have never been more precarious. Photos, documents, and first-hand accounts are stored on discs, USB keys, and virtual clouds that can disappear or be manipulated as easily as a password is forgotten.  In this world, the historical thinking process is fast becoming more important than the facts and dates themselves."

On Monday, November 18th at the Canadian War Museum (1 Vimy Place) in Ottawa from 1 pm - 5:30 pm, Canada's History will present the sixth annual Canada's History Forum. This year's topic focusses on 'Is Technology Altering Our History?'

An initiative of Canada's History Society, and produced with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage and Enbridge Inc., the National History Forum will for much of the programme feature students teaching adults, including a special premiere screening of the National Winners of the Heritage Fairs-Young Citizens student video project at the opening ceremonies.

There are still a few seats remaining to attend the event on site but Canadians can also watch a live broadcast of the presentations.  To register and to view the complete program, visit CanadasHistory.ca/HistoryForum

Some of this year's presenters include:

Kate Hennessy (Assistant Professor & media anthropologist at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts & Technology).  Hennessy will discuss the Inuvialuit Living History Project as an example of how new technologies and collaborative research practices are opening up our history to new voices and new perspectives. 

Neil Stephenson (past recipient of the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History) will lead a hands-on iPad workshop with Grade 10 students from Glebe Collegiate Institute. Students will create a new virtual exhibition drawing from a collection of artifacts they identify themselves among the Canadian War Museum's collection.

Dave Cormier (Project Lead for Student Relations Management at University of Prince Edward Island).  Cormier has organized online communities of teachers, published online courses and established practical classroom uses of virtual worlds.  He'll make the case for how online learning rather than traditional lectures is transforming 21st Century classrooms creating new opportunities for museums and other historical groups with content to share.

Devon Elliott (PhD student in history at Western University).  Elliott will conduct a hands-on session with students from Carleton University to demonstrate state of the art technologies such as data mining tools, 3D printers, and depth cameras that will become standard tools for research within the next decade.

About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a Winnipeg-based charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history.  In addition to publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces the Governor General's History Awards to celebrate excellence in the field and encourage more discovery, celebrations and understanding about our rich history and culture.  More details can be found at CanadasHistory.ca.


SOURCE Canada's History




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