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Technology and the HistorianTransformations in the Digital Age$
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Adam Crymble

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043710

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043710.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Building the Invisible College

Building the Invisible College

Chapter:
(p.107) 4 Building the Invisible College
Source:
Technology and the Historian
Author(s):

Adam Crymble

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043710.003.0005

This chapter shows how historians learned technical skills, focusing on the changing self-learning ecosystem. The chapter considers the two key problems facing self-learners: what to learn and how to learn it, arguing that many resources focused too narrowly on specific how-to instructions, making it difficult to build up a contextual understanding of the problems technology could help historians solve. Despite the shortcomings, beginning with statistics textbooks (1970s), through software reviews (1990s), and dynamic programming environments (2000s), as well as a myriad of workshops, summer schools, and unconferences, this chapter highlights the thriving and dynamic community supporting colleagues through self-learning. This dynamism was in contrast to a relatively poor provision offered by universities, leaving many to turn to the “invisible college” for support.

Keywords:   self-learning, invisible college, statistics, programming, unconference, summer school, technical skills, pedagogy

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