Category Archives: Technology

Say Cheese? The Dilemma of Photography at Traumatic Heritage Sites

Kaiti Hannah There is an ongoing debate in the field of public history regarding the acceptability of taking photographs in museums. Though history museums seem to be leaning more towards allowing or even actively encouraging photography in their galleries, there are many who object to this phenomenon. Open up any think piece about Millennials and you’re sure to see complaints… Read more »

Open Pedagogy: The Time is Now

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By Thomas Peace I’ve been a rather slow convert to the open-access movement. Though ActiveHistory.ca operates under a Creative Commons Attribution, non-commercial ShareALike copyright license whereby you’re free to repost this (or any other essay you find here) so long as you provide us with attribution and do not profit, this was my sole venture into the world of open… Read more »

Immersed in the Past: Room-Scale Virtual Reality for Public History

Sean Kheraj Last year, I wrote about my early impressions of the possible uses of virtual reality technology for public history and history education. I also led a session in my fourth-year digital history class on virtual reality and its potential for generating a sense of historical presence, an ability to simulate the sensation of standing in past places. I… Read more »

Digital History in the Classroom: Mapping Montreal Migration Stories

Daniel Ross In this post, I’d like to provide a short overview of a recent experience integrating digital history into my teaching. This fall, I taught the course HIS4567, Histoire de l’immigration et des communautés ethnoculturelles au Québec, for the first time at the Université du Québec à Montréal. HIS4567 is a second-year undergraduate history course with a group small… Read more »

The Presence of the Past: The Possibilities of Virtual Reality for History

Sean Kheraj For the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about virtual reality and its potential applications for historians. Can we use virtual reality to better understand the past? Can the experience of virtual reality alter historical thinking? Can we now build time machines, teleporters, and holodecks using virtual reality? These questions may be overly optimistic or idealistic. I… Read more »

DNA And The Quest For Identity

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Stacey Devlin Whether or not family history interests you, it’s hard to escape the recent surge in advertising for genealogy-driven DNA tests, particularly the service offered by genealogy giant Ancestry. Ancestry has been heavily promoting this service through both online ads and television commercials, and it represents a fascinating development for family historians who can now use genetic information to… Read more »

“The water power of Niagara should be as free as the air:” The Past, Present, and Future, of Democratic Energy Control in Ontario

Christo Aivalis The politics of energy are omnipresent in historical and contemporary Canadian society. Who owns energy, how it is produced, and who benefits from its production and distribution has been central to the rise and fall of governments. In some cases, as with Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program (NEP), the regional tensions it inflamed are still evident to this… Read more »

A Historian’s Year with a Chromebook

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by Sean Kheraj Could a Chromebook satisfy the computing needs of a historian? Over the past twelve months, I’ve been using one to find out. Google’s low-cost, Web-based operating system, ChromeOS, is one of the most unique developments in computing in recent years. It is a lean computer operating system based almost entirely around the use of Web applications and… Read more »

Reports from New Directions in Active History: Digitising Childhood Evacuation: A Serendipitous Pursuit of Active History

By Claire L. Halstead As historians, we are increasingly under pressure to make our research “active” and relate to a public audience. This spurs us to discover new methods of engagement and innovative ways to present our findings. The digital revolution or “turn” has encouraged historians not only to use sources available online, but also to adopt digital tools and… Read more »

Digital Outreach and Wikipedia in the GLAM Sector

by Krista McCracken Discussion around the value of contributing to Wikipedia and its use as a resource has been occurring since the establishment of the collaboratively written encyclopedia in 2001. You don’t have to look very far to find someone decrying the crowdsourced material as rubbish or others proclaiming it as the best thing since sliced bread.  In between these… Read more »