How 4 colleges use futuristic tools to protect the past

While technology and history might seem like odd partners, high-tech tools can help historians preserve artifacts and educate students, Meghan Bogardus Cortez writes for EdTech magazine.

Bogardus Cortez rounds up four ways historians are using technology:

1. Decades of preserved lectures

Kansas State University uses lecture capture to record and preserve class lectures, guest speaker presentations, and historical footage spanning three decades, according to a profile of the archive in Campus Technology. Thousands of hours of content are now available through the school's cloud technology, Bogardus Cortez reports.

2. A virtual walk through history

The Democratization of Science project at University of South Florida seeks to preserve the cultural and natural history of the Middle East, writes Bogardus Cortez. Researchers use 3D imaging to create a digital visualization and virtual reconstructions of museum collections, archaeological sites, and ancient landscapes, according to Herbert Mascher, anthropology and geosciences professor at the institution. The project preserves a record of historical sites threatened by political unrest in the Middle East, Mascher says, but it also allows students to virtually explore sites they wouldn't otherwise be able to access.

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3. Tweets are history, too

Students and archivists at Washington University in St. Louis are creating digital preservations of today's significant current events through an app, Bogardus Cortez writes. It started out as an online collection of content about the controversial shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Today, Washington University partners with the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities and the University of California Riverside to work on the app, which will create "digital artifacts" of current events, such as blog posts and photos, writes Bogardus Cortez.

4. Explore the Louvre from home

The Department of Art History at Pennsylvania State University created a Visual Resource Center, which is a database holding a digital collection of 80,000 high-resolution images of artwork. Art history graduate students scan the images and color correct them to prepare them for uploading into the database, Bogardus Cortez writes. "We've been able to reach so many people through the digital images," says Carolyn Lucarelli, the center's curator (Bogardus Cortez, EdTech, 5/17; Kelly, Campus Technology, 3/15).

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