The last blog already. And what better way to start it then with a quote from Margaret Mitchells Gone With the Wind? For this last blog I want to summarize what I have been trying to do with all these past blogs.
When I started to do the course Digital Media, Society and Culture the class was told to do all these blogs. I immediately started thinking about what I wanted to do all these blogs about, because I wanted a concept that surrounded all these blogs. A common theme, so to speak. Since I am a student of Ancient Cultures of the Mediterranean World I immediately thought of that type of topic. Eventually I wanted to use these blogs to show people the possibilities of ancient history in the digital world that already exist. And not only that, but also show that it’s a lot of fun really.
After the introductory blog I had blogs that focused on a different aspects to show the full range of possibilities. To look back there were a couple of categories that I did. Serious stuff for learning and entertainment were the most important. In my second blog I already mentioned I lot of initiatives that I personally love. I talked about ORBIS (The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World) that enables you to find out how travelling in ancient times was like. What were the costs and how long did it take you to get from A to B? My third blog was more serious and specific. I talked about how to translate a dead language using the internet (the best websites can be quite hidden).
But besides these serious blogs about learning I also focused on the entertainment industry. Usually academics don’t take those seriously as a real means to learn. The past years there has been a shift in that though. Certain academics (not a lot yet, but still) have really taken a shine towards stuff like games and movies as a means to learn. A really nice example of that is (for me) Assassins Creed. I went to a lecture a few weeks ago that had the game and a couple of historians. One person explored the game a bit while the historians talked about the historical accuracy of the game. And this is exactly the direction that history should go to I think. Using these digital means can really make the material come alive. Plus it is also a great way of learning. The historians at that lecture really taught me a lot that day. You not only have an explanation, but there is a visual example that comes with it.
I hope that with these blogs I have accomplished my goal to show a different (less dusty) side to history. I think the possibilities for the future are endless and that in the coming years there might come a big shift in how we study and look at history. This shift will probably will soon come for high school students since f.e. games are a good way to get a good overview. For the more specialized education I don’t know yet how long it will take to really use digital means (if it’s even coming). But after all these blogs I think we can all say that the stuff that is online creates a lot of possibilities for the future.