As an instructor of a World Civilizations course with the University at Buffalo, Singapore Institute of Management program in Singapore, I often find that students look for opportunities to interact with historical narratives, texts, and content through habits common to digital media. They express and debate their opinions, display a preference for sharable materials, and articulate personal connections to people, stories, and ideas. In short, students employ a complex network of digital tendencies to create value from material and practices that are unfamiliar and seemingly insignificant to their major fields of study.
The purpose of the current research is to examine more deeply the potential connections between students’ perceptions of historical significance and their use of digital media platforms (such as Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.). The focus will be on digital tendencies and use of digital media, such as a preference for participation or conditioning to “like” or “dislike” something, rather than the ways digital historical content (such as blogs and webpages containing historical content) impacts students’ perceptions and articulations of significance in history.