Sept. 21: Knowing your Digital Audience(s): Blogs, “Creepy Treehouses,” and Podcasts.

Being a public historian in the 21st century requires you to engage with many different audiences using a variety of platforms and media. Finding a tone and style that suits your personality and your intended audience is not easy.

In this class we will discuss how we can attract the right audience, and mistakes to avoid, in the classroom, in museums, and online. We will discuss our recent blog posts, and then work on designing the class podcast(s).

Engaging Students:

M.G. Siegler, “Bill Gates: In Five Years the Best Education Will Come From the Web,”TechCrunch, 6 August 2010.

James Cote, “The Digital Native DebateAn appraisal of pedagogical and generational claims.” Changing Landscapes of Childhood and Youth in Europe, Lynne Chisholm and Vassiliki Deliyanni-Kouimitzi (eds.) (pp. 86–109). Cambridge Scholars Press: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2014.

Jeffrey Young, “When Computers Leave Classroom, So Does Boredom,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 20 July 2009.

Jason B. Jones, “The Creepy Treehouse Problem”, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2010.

Peter Seixas, “The Purposes of Teaching Canadian History,” Canadian Social Studies 36:2, 2002.

Attempts to Build an Audience:

Arts Participation Leadership Initiative

The Guardian, “Can a museum without walls attract a wider audience?”

The little city of Framingham, MA’s Historical Society


Cohen, “Professors Start Your Blogs,” (21 Aug 2006)

Deevybee, “A Gentle Introduction to Twitter for the Apprehensive Academic,” BishopBlog (14 Jun 2011)

Kaufman, “An Enthusiast’s View of Academic Blogs,” Inside Higher Ed (1 Nov 2007)

Kotsko, “A Skeptic’s Take on Academic Blogs,” Inside Higher Ed (1 Nov 2007)


At some point in this course everyone is required to try their hand at podcasting. Have a listen to these examples and decide what form your podcast will take. We will also visit the computer lab and learn how to use the microphones and software.

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg Directed discussion of a topic with a panel of experts.

BBC History Extra Interviews, Lectures, and History News.

Shakespeare’s Restless World Documentary Style

A list of 10 History Podcasts

PLAY: Audacity

SoundCloud, PodOmatic, Garage Band.

Sept.21 Slides including Peter Seixas’ Historical Thinking Skills

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