The Department of History and Humanities Technology
The rise of the internet has transformed organized human communication faster and more importantly than any set of events since the invention of printing with movable type. It is de facto an already vital part of our world, destined only to increase in importance. Yet there are few institutions tackling this problem head on. The Department of History is proud to be at the forefront of efforts to integrate historical scholarship with the expanding fields of humanities technology and new media. Graduates of MSU’s History Program have significant opportunities to develop very marketable and vital skills in new media, project management, and outreach through networked communications and multimedia.
Through collaboration with Michigan State’s MATRIX: The Center for Human Arts, Letters & Social Sciences Online, Department of History faculty and graduate students are able to incorporate cutting-edge resources into their research and teaching. The close association between the department and MATRIX also allows faculty and graduate students to develop their own skills in creating and maintaining educational websites and digital repositories. Michigan State is also the home of H-Net, an international academic organizaton that offers over a hundred email discussion lists along with the leading online repositories for book reviews, job postings, and academic announcements.
Every summer, the Department of History offers several online courses, designed for off-campus, lifelong learning, and teacher education students. Class participants can access course materials, streaming video, and discussion pages via a broadband connection from anywhere in the world. Courses are designed and maintained by Department of History professors and graduate students, with the help of MATRIX: The Center for Human Arts, Letters & Social Sciences Online.
The Department’s American History faculty are using new technologies for inservice professional development of elementary and secondary teachers through several major projects. Two grants from the US Department of Education support faculty involvement in professional development in the Ingham Intermediate School District and in the Battle Creek Public Schools. Faculty and graduate students are using new audio search-and-edit tools created at MATRIX to help K-12 teachers develop innovative lesson plans and integrate new media directly into their teaching. Faculty members are also collaborating with colleagues in the College of Education to revamp the preservative social studies and history curriculum for teachers through a major Carnegie initiative, Teachers for a New Era.