Twitter presented a unique history lesson this past week, when several Twitter accounts attempted to tweet in real time the sinking of the Titanic on the 100th anniversary of the doomed ship’s demise.
The most impressive of these attempts was @TitanicRealTime, run by the British publisher History Press, and they even added in differing points of view by using unique hash tags: #officer, #Carpathia, #firstclass, and even #BoatNo1. If you followed along the #captain hash tag, you saw tweets like this:
As you followed along, it was interesting to see the differing roles being accurately portrayed.
As the tweets went on–in realtime, mind you–you at first saw the civility of the passengers.
And then saw how civility slowly began to turn to desperation.
And then finally, you read tweets witnessing the final sinking.
Overall, Twitter presented a most compelling way to learn about the sinking of the Titanic.
So, we can take this example and turn it into a truly unique way for our students to study any event in history. Imagine students researching the first lunar landing, and then the students “live” tweeting from several different points of view: #neilarmstrong, #missioncontrol, #mrsarmstrong, #televisionviewer, #presidentnixon, etc.
What about the French Revolution? Imagine the tweets from the storming of the Bastille from a #guard or #prisoner point of view. Better yet, picture the tweets from somebody in the crowd as Marie Antoinette is beheaded… or even Marie Antoinette’s very last tweet: “#marieantoinette – Oh, I have stepped on my executioner’s foot; grace must prevail – Monsieur, I beg your pardon!”
Pretty neat way to get into the shoes of a historical figure and relive an event!
So, while you are exploring Twitter, be sure to be thinking in creative ways to further engage our students and bring history to life!