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Hashtag history : historical thinking & social media in an undergraduate classroom in Singapore

Author: Heather L Bennett
Publisher: Madison, New Jersey : Drew University, 2019.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Drew University 2019.
Edition/Format:   Computer file : Document : Thesis/dissertation : English
Summary:
Sociocultural influences such as family, nation, and personal identity impact undergraduates students' approaches to history in the classroom. In the digital age, social media is an equally powerful force shaping students' perceptions and understandings of history. Social media frames students' reactions to historical content, guides what they pay attention to, and provides a vocabulary for expressing connections  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Heather L Bennett
OCLC Number: 1098059382
Notes: Vita.
"Digital Tools: Further Reading" (pages 64-66).
Digital dissertation is accompanied by supplemental files and video. Available at dissertation.heatherlbennett.com.
Description: 1 online resource (67 pages)
Details: Available in PDF via World Wide Web from Drew University.
Responsibility: Heather L. Bennett

Abstract:

Sociocultural influences such as family, nation, and personal identity impact undergraduates students' approaches to history in the classroom. In the digital age, social media is an equally powerful force shaping students' perceptions and understandings of history. Social media frames students' reactions to historical content, guides what they pay attention to, and provides a vocabulary for expressing connections between past and present. The habits fostered online impact students' practice of historical thinking, but thus far historical thinking research has not fully addressed the role of social media in undergraduate students' articulations of history. In an effort to fill this gap, I investigate a dataset of 11,454 tweets and 74 blog posts publicly produced by the 150 undergraduate students enrolled in my Spring 2017 World Civilizations course offered by the University at Buffalo, Singapore Institute of Management (UB-SIM) program. I use students' tweets and blog posts to explore the role of three social media trends on two historical thinking skills. Affective response, the attention economy, and visual media cultures common on the web conditioned students' practice of historical empathy and historical significance. I view these social media habits as both beneficial and detrimental to students' historical thinking. Like all technologies, social media offers affordances and constraints. When educators and historians focus on only one aspect of social media's influence, we fail to fully recognize the complex webs of understanding our students bring to their study of history. In "Hashtag History," I employ digital methods and tools as well as traditional close-reading methods to make sense of students' approaches to history. I collected all data for the project using web scraping and then cleaned, compiled, and analyzed the data using R packages, mainly tidyverse and tidy text. Data analysis methods included sentiment analysis and word frequency studies as well as coding and close reading. The full version of this project is presented as a digital dissertation available at dissertation.heatherlbennett.com.

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