Tim Grove’s latest History Bytes column discusses two recent reports that tackle the topic of technology in the future: the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report, Museum Edition and the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project. Grove emphasizes the need for historical organizations to adapt and harness the potential of the information revolution that we’re just beginning to appreciate.
We in the history profession do look backward. We enjoy the past, and we are trained to study it. Looking ahead is not something we are generally comfortable doing. Yet our organizations must do this in order to prepare for the future.
A few trends from the reports that Grove sees as being particularly important for historians:
- augmented reality — how can we use technology to help people experience history more directly?
- a forum for discussion — social media enables multiple voices on every topic; how can we add ours?
- rethinking audiences — how can we use technology to reach people outside our museum walls?
- organizational change — how will technology affect what we consider important and worth funding?