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tv   Digital History  CSPAN  April 22, 2022 1:42pm-2:52pm EDT

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view of what's happening in washington, live and on demand. keep up with livestreams of floor proceedings and hearings from the u.s. congress, white house events, the courts, campaigns and more from the world of politics all at your fingertips. you can also stay current with the latest episodes of "washington journal" and find scheduling information for c-span's tv networks and c-span radio. download it for free today. c-span now. your front row seat to washington. any time, anywhere. our next featured session is called "making history accessible through technology." this panel will explore how presidential sites, libraries, and historical organizations can incorporate innovative technology into their educational and digital resources to reach a broader audience while creating better
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experiences for visitors and learners. this conversation features presenters who represent technology companies and museum spaces as well as individuals with insights to new trends in educational technology. now, i have the great pleasure of introducing our moderator and a dear friend, teresa carlson, president and chief growth officer of splunk and vice chairperson for the board of directors for the white house historical association. [ applause ] joining teresa are our panelists, ed o'keefe, chief executive officer of the theodore roosevelt presidential library foundation. jean-claude brizard, president and chief executive officer of digital promise. dr. jamila moore pewu, assistant
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professor, digital humanities at california state university, fullerton. and gary sandling, vice president of strategy and chief content officer of the thomas jefferson foundation in monticello. please enjoy this discussion on history and technology as well as how different digital platforms can be used to make our past more accessible and readily available to you all. thank you. [ applause ] >> good morning, everyone. already an exciting day. how many got here early? did you go last night to the panel, oh, my gosh, unbelievable, huh? so inspiring. [ applause ] i just went home last night, back to the room with my head spinning on what these individuals had done and that we got to look across 40 years of presidential information from their chiefs of staff.
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it was just unbelievable. so i hope you enjoy our panel today. and it's about making history accessible through technology, which is near and dear to my heart, being a technology executive for the last 23 years. and in this session we are going to explore innovative ways that presidential sites and libraries can incorporate cutting edge technology. if you think about what's happened during covid, it's even more important that we allow accessibility virtually through history. and it's one of the big things we've been trying to do more and more at the white house historical association. so i'm excited. you've already met all our panel ists. we have amazing individuals today with such a great depth and breadth of experience. before we get started i wanted to share one quick thing about myself. i am from a really teeny, tiny town called nancy, kentucky. and i was sharing with someone, i can't -- my parents were both
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teachers. my mother was the first female administrator in the county that we lived in. and i can't remember a day in my life that we were not involved in the political process. my parents were always, whether it was a board of elections for the school board or the local county attorney or the governor or the president. i was dialing numbers i think at age 6. my parents were republicans, and we were dialing, we would go and dial, you know, and call people, knock on doors, the groundbreaking feet on the street kind of thing. but i never dreamed i would get to go to the white house. and when i actually got to go, i couldn't believe i was there. and one of the things that we -- our goal, one of the goals of the white house historical association is making the white house accessible to every individual. because the white house is the people's house. it's great that presidents get to live there.
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it's their home for the time they're there. but it belongs to everyone. and that's really one of our big goals. and i just wanted to share, i got the great privilege, my dad passed away 11 years ago and he never got to go to the white house, but i got the great privilege, three years ago, before covid, taking my 90-year-old mother on a private tour of the white house. it was one of the most amazing things i've done. to watch her, she was in good health, but she would not get in a wheelchair. she walked every step. we took her up the presidential elevator. i just had to share that because i think the libraries and all these other sites are so important to states and individuals, where the presidents were born, where they had a history. and i have think that's what you're going to hear about coming to life here. so with that i'll jump in. all right. so let's talk about what kind of happened during the pandemic. many of the sites, they weren't open to the public, they were restricted hours, they limited
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children, if you got there you had to wear a mask. even the students and historians really couldn't show up to do their work every day. and what i would like to ask you is, how did you use technology or in this case the digital promise, because i'm going to go to jean-claude, and how did you use that to promote technology and close the gap? i asked jean-claude as he got started to tell you how digital promise got started and what they're about, why they're there. >> thank you. so a bit of history, we were authorized by congress in 2008 as part of the higher education act under george w. bush. we were launched in 2011 under president obama. and as you can see, you look at my board, my board has to be appointed by congress. so we're very nonpartisan, a very bipartisan organization. now we're a global nonprofit. we do a ton of work in the u.s., and about 40 plus states, and about 15 countries around the world. as you can imagine, given who we
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are, we were created as a national center on events information and visual technologies and research. we have a massive team of people who are learning scientists, who are technologists, educators working across the u.s. and around the world. as you can imagine, when the pandemic hit, we leveraged a lot of what we knew and what we were created to do to support teachers and students and superintendents. we have this amazing construct called the league of innovative schools. it now has a membership of 125 school districts around the country. we just met in cincinnati, looking at the role of technology, in enabling powerful learning. we did things like hosting a ton of webinars to support practitioners, to really understand how to leverage technology, how to leverage what we know about one to one technology and in the homes. for example, you know, we saw that learning management system, lmss, were becoming more or less
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ubiquitous around the u.s. the question is how do we leverage that kind of full understanding, to learn how to support kids who will be receiving it at home. not only the important thing was to look at what parents, parents have now a view into now a viewe classroom they never had before so the question is how do you support parents and really understand what the kids are learning, how they're actually learning. next i add what we'll talk about, we have an amazing structure called the verizon innovative building schools program, it's a partnership with verizon going back five years spent nearly $400 million in direct and donation to support 550 schools across the u.s. in demonstrating what it's like to bring like devices like ipads, chromebooks to the classroom, what content goes into these devices, more importantly how do you train teachers to really leverage that technology. these schools had a seamless
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transition into learning now back into inperson learning, we show the world this is what it looks like in practice and the example what can happen for these kind of schools. that's great, i love that program, was kind of like why don't i know about this? i really love, it seems you pivoted from on-sight gallery space to digital spaces. can you talk about how you use digital during this time? >> so i teach a lot of students in public history how to integrate technology into public history work, so for me, it's a natural out look to extend that to historic sites and organizations looking to develop online presence or to develop their, bring their collections to a wider public using technology. so at the time of the pandemic i was actually working with the
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historic site in bridge port connecticut and we were building their back end repository, a digital repository, because a big part of their capacity building was owning their narrative and owning their story and they had things spread across multiple laptops, hard drives, and so that was what we were working on. once the pandemic hit, they said cease and desist, we need online presence, the website would crash with maybe 50 visitors so we switched to creating a website that was kind of in the future for them but we created it right at the moment and the key part of what i emphasized was similar to what jeanclaude noticed is people, parents were looking for materials to enhance engagement but also to familiarize themselves with local histories and stories so
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ended up creating the first phase of the website by building out, really just making the primary documents available, having a place to store them, putting some of those images out. we had a brick and mortar, as i call it, exhibit, that had been on display and linked with a lot of literacy programs and lolgs initiatives to train students so we weren't able to move all of that online but were able to get a lot of the images and background story behind that exhibit on the web. >> that's really exciting, and, you know, it's just so interesting to kind of hear you all talk about the digital pivot that i think so many people actually had to make, but can i ask you what types of materials you're finding that's working best for a digital audience? and where do you see the digital audience evolving? and i'm going to start with gary if i can, and i don't know, how
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many of you have been to monticello before? so it exhausts me when i go and see what president jefferson did. i mean i'm always so -- i'm excited to see what gary is doing now to see how he's turning that into a digital asset. so i think we like everybody else had to make this pivot and scramble to see how we kept relevant content. at first it was just let's get something online. you know we built a website in 1997, the first year we had online presence and as many of you in this field know, for a long time, there was a decade probably a back and forth about in the museum well does building a website prevent people from visiting, that kind of argument went on a while, seemed to really be a lot of evidence to that and now digital is so ubiquitous, went from secondary
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to us to primary and began to think about who these audiences are, this is always, there is no such thing as a general audience, there just isn't. right. we have constituencies and some make up the bulk of our, the people engaged with us as opposed to other and see we were trying to find, you know, we created resources for kids and families when they were at home. we did livestreams so just started like a lot of folks did, weekly live streams, twice a week at first, we had some support from the neh, from cares funding to do that we sort of pitched for a grant but now built that into a sustainable long term strategy so once a week we still do a live stream, it gives us much wider taurnt to talk about a variety of topics, perhaps harder to do in on-site experience or exhibition, brings voices to the table you might not otherwise hear about and last year had about a million views in 2021 of those live
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streams so what we're trying to figure out now is how do you take that data and those emails and all those things you leverage out of that and deepen that engagement, that's the question we're wrangling with now but that's really, you know, what we did is create more short-form, and i think as all of you know, that's tough in our field, right, being concise, short-form content, videos, podcast and see live streams. >> gary, what platform are you using for your live stream? >> we use stream yard for our live streams and that, and again we talk to colleagues, it was sort of we called folks at other institutions, you know, how we learned, what we thought would work best, really had to deal with trial and error everyone was under going at that point. other thing i'll mention quickly is the first day of the pandemic we had already been experimenting with zoom, we knew was zoom was before march -- >> i think we all do now, right.
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>> before march 2020, we knew what zoom was and had been piloting a live virtual tour for school groups in february, sort of out doors wifi connections weren't great but built infrastructure for wifi six or seven years ago. and so from day one we could offer live virtual tours, were able to pivot the first day we closed which was great, and we've learned a lot along the way. >> that makes sense and now there's so many, during covid, like linked in, live twitter, instagram, there are so many ways i think you can try multiple things. i like that you do because you don't really know exactly what's going to work and i think in a digital world you'll want to hit multiple audiences so you can't really have one thing, you have to try multiple things. let's go through, you're in a big project right now, really big project, you and i met this morning, again, president roosevelt is another one. i think we should have a contest like who got around more place and see did more, roosevelt or
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jefferson, i think that would be a really great -- >> throw down. >> how we have presidents unrun at the washington nationals, we have to -- >> yeah, only one gave a speech after getting shot. >> appreciate that. >> so talk a little bit about what's your plan, how do you use the digital assets in your planning process. >> well teresa, thank you so much, begin with gratitude to stewart and nina, i know you've been planning this event two years and we're all here in person, live, such a pleasure to be here with you, waha has been such a huge supporter for the project which owes gratitude, dr. stacy in the audience from dickenson state university, thank you from dsu who got this idea started ten years ago and in the last two years, remarkably during the pandemic probably due to digital, we have really rocketed to where we are now on the cusp of acquiring the
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land on which the future site will be situated in the bad lands of western north dakota that happens next month, ground breaking 2023 and we will open, this is a perfect segue into lunch on the 26th and what's interesting about the pandemic, we're not pivoting to digital, we're born in digital. we're a digital-native museum so from the start, i think one, the association with dsu and theodore roosevelt center done a remarkable job of digitizing 70,000 records from the archive of theodore roosevelt and we helped facilitate a grant through the melanie walton foundation of $10 million to the theodore roosevelt center to continue that tremendous work and work in partnership with them and then for the museum itself, i mean, it just affords us an incredible opportunity to think about the digital native
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experience from the start. i mean our platform is leadership, citizenship and conservation, and our goal is to bring people, yes, to western north dakota to get out into nature and to experience theodore roosevelt national park, to go to the ranch, the cradle of conservation, but maybe we get senate hundred , several hundred thousand or million to visit, so there's an audience to reach there but 7 billion people on the planet so we think if this is a pilgrimage and a platform, the platform is where we think we can take leadership, citizenship and conservation to a great wider audience. i'll end with one specific example. we think of this as a conservation library, sort of what reagan is defense, theodore roosevelt is to conservation, one of the one signature issue to many accomplishments, that lends itself to getting out
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doors and nature and that might be the opposite of say, digital, but we're working with interesting augmented reality companies who know life is going to live with a device at your side or in your pocket so how can you actually use theodore roosevelt and the presidential site to come as a way to give tr -- let tr be an avatar of the out door experience, a guide to all national parks or what you're looking at in all the areas of our state parks and other areas so really looking at this as a distributed digital site from the start. >> well it's the meta verse, everybody knows about the meta verse, right, and that's really what we'll be able to experience. so real-time polling, if you could do a digital, just you didn't have to go there in-person but you could do a digital, real-time walk through of this museum, would you go? would you do that digitally? would you be open to doing that? so i love that because i think,
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you know, stewart' going to kill me, but this idea of a pass port for every student to get to every library, get from the white house circle association as you reach these peaks because if we could reach all our students or me i would love to go through them, and could do in person or digitally, i think would be a great way to do that . >> a bit to that, one that speaks spisksly to the vr technology, we have a partnership with the u.n. called my world 360 so we actually have young people around the world submitting videos of their work, their life, where they live, that builds a level of empathy you could -- you can't buy. so this idea of bringing the sites to people versus just coming to the sites i think is an amazing thing to do. how you curate that with the social studies or other subject areas and integrating into the curriculum for teacher and see
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principal is fundamentally hardest. one last push is we tend to force school administrator teachers to play general contractor which is they have to curate these piece and see make sense of it. last panel talked about partnerships. the more we can do that in providing shovel ready tools for teachers to actually use, the easier it is for them to actually make use of it. one quick example of that, we're working with a civics network right now, pulling in, facing history, one platform with tools from all the civics organizations, think of netfliks sort of play book you can use and on the back end a learning science engine that tells a teacher this is a part of learning science you're addressing, a part you maybe actually want to consider in building a lesson or unit of study, that is invaluable for education. >> really quick, i think one thing we're thinking about is not only putting those tools in
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the hands of teachers but students, children, are creators now. so they're all -- >> great idea -- >> they're editing live on their devices and they like to put together pieces of visual, very visual medium, so we're thinking about inside the museum experience, learning from all the wonderful presidential sites that exist, but how can they learn from doing. and theodore roosevelt's a wonderful example but let's face it, if they come out and cite facts and figures from theodore roosevelt's life that doesn't really imbue them with the spirit of tr, we want them not to just learn about but from roosevelt's example and take that from the digital world to give them pieces of the great story so they can put together their version, tell their story through this example. >> yeah, i love that idea, because if you think about learning today, i do think students even for me, i'm a visual learner and to be able to
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create something where they can put that into their world, how does it relate to who they are at every level, and i love you can do that. their ability, if you can let them, you know, find a student in every classroom that can be the leader and walk the classroom through and have that dialogue and i think in a digital world it's much more available. so dr. pew, in your world, have you thought about these ideas of how you bring more individuals into that experience digitally? >> yeah. so i was talking to gary said this is what i think about everyday. yeah. so one of the things that, you know, this conversation brings up is the issue that we all face, when we engage digital tools and technologies which is building digital literacy skills and so that's one of the areas that i emphasize, both in my teaching and outreach is, you know, the technology is there and as you said, the meta verse is here, so what we need to do is take a step back and really
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hone digital literacy skills, media literacy, information literacy, but we can do that, excuse me, using the technologies at the same time. so again, it's that idea of thinking and doing simultaneously. one of the ways that i'm actively trying to bring more people into this space is i'm serving as co p.i. on an andrew melon grant call you had the digital ethnic futures consortium and the large purpose of this grant is to support the work of faculty, librarians, and students who want to engage the intersections of ethnic studies and what we call the digital humanities, but could very much be digital tools, scholarship, broadly. so my emphasis in that is really
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to create intentional pathways into the digital public humanities. so not just assuming that students may take one or two courses and then be equipped to go out and work at one of your sites but to really allow them the opportunity to hone that through both curricular and co-curricular experiences, including one i'm piloting now which is taking students from a minorityized community within a university and bringing them on into this creative technology collaborative in which they're actively working in one of our on going digital public humanities projects which is creating a data story-telling and mapping of black-owned businesses throughout orange county, california. >> i love that. >> so yeah, creating projects like that because i think you're right, students are also going to become the practitioners tomorrow. and the more they can see
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themselves reflected in the practice, i think the better the practice becomes. >> yeah. and the last panel, one of the things they talked about, i am, you know, a huge fan of i-civics. i just love that program and teaching civics to all of us, still, great curriculum. but if you consider taking that kind of curriculum and making sure everybody understands their ability to participate in the democratic process and why that matters to each and every individual, it changes the world. >> i think it's also a matter of equity and representation, i mean dr. pew sounds like your work is clearly advancing this and what we can, what's been interesting about tackling theodore roosevelt 100 years after the president is gone from earth is we have a philosophy we will humanize not lionize tr and the five tribal nations of north dakota allowed us to engage in an intentional dialogue of whose
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story is being told and how is it being told? because often, i think, these institutions are seen as places where a story or a version of the story is being told and not the whole complicated story and history, as was alluded into in the previous panel is hard, history is complicated. museums are supposed to do hard thing. and i think what's been refreshing and really encouraging about our effort is that we then with a historic figure can engage in really complicated dialogues with communities who haven't been heard and allow them through our work to tell their story. >> yes. >> and we have complicated topics throughout our history that we have to take on. slavery, the things we've -- like we have to take these topics on and things change over time and we have to address them head-on in each and every one of these sites . and i want to talk about, dip into something kind of for a moment, what can be the dark side of the technology world when you're trying to put these
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things up. so we have to worry about cyber security, we have to worry about protecting our data, we have to make sure we're responding and one of the questions that came from the audience last night was how did you, with the former chiefs of staff, how did you deal with the press and the media? well over this period of time, technology changed, right? went from not really having twitter, even great smart phones and definitely wasn't in the white house until president obama got there, he was the first to actually bring technology in which changed even the thinking in the way the white house operates. i remember them fishing out old computers and bringing in ipads which was like crazy, crazy to do that. for you, you had to think about that in your sites and the world you're living. how are you addressing, one, security, of your data and information, and making sure your sites stay up and two, i'll say, how do you respond when there could be negative press
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which is things you'd have to do. are you preparing for that? i'll start with you, doctor. >> sure can. so to the first part about data security, one of the questions as we built out tools even online for students was to make sure we're compliant with all the laws regarding what information you can or can't collect -- >> ferpa. >> exactly, so there was that layer of consideration, protecting the information and data of people, we also have, you know, ticketing data base that has 150,000 transactions in it annually that has to be securitied as well as the educational kind of asset so we were hacked in 2017 so had to deal with this problem firsthand, so one, putting all your eggs in one basket, you got to have hosting services in different places with appropriate degrees of security, it's an important part of that
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and beefed up our i.t. team to, you know, make sure we have, we did penetration tests regularly on our website, things like that, to look for potential vulnerabilities, but then, you know, how to handle media and press. so we're no stranger to controversy in terms of our interpretation of jefferson and of monticello and before social media was kind of there was one way to do that and since social media there's of course very different ways, you have to respond much faster and you have to be prepared to engage directly on the plat for the peoples when necessary to do that. i know everybody has that issue, right, we put out a statement this week about ukraine and we made the point that our investment committee of our board of trustees had had adopted a motion to have the outsourced investment firm that manages our portfolio to divest
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itself of any assets of russia. >> i'll clap for that, good job. >> so, you know, we made it -- we don't usually make statements about what our investment committee what the board of trustees decide, we did in this case and immediately on twitter, went it went up, just, one, two, you know, clearly, and of course, then you have to decide whether you engage and often you don't, but when you do you have to work out in advance what you're prepared to say and i think that's, that and just kind of maintaining good media relations -- that's always a good idea, but in a digital era i think it's really incumbent and these platforms give us a voice to talk to people we might not have otherwise talked to even if we don't necessarily agree with what -- >> right, freedom of speech, we have it in our platforms now, to all extremes, but i'm really
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impressed with what you're doing because you do have to respond in nano seconds if you're going to engage. like if you let these things, it's the one big technology thing that most folks miss in your press and media, you have to engage or not, you got to decide and then you got to have your response ready to go. and you need a team 24/7 to be doing this and this is one of the big things that technology has changed the world in. who else wants to respond to that? >> let me be first to say, thank goodness twitter did not exist during theodore roosevelt's age, we would not be building a presidential site, but two quick things, i think on fund raising, since we're a presidential site not yet in existence, we have had to think a lot about security relative to the very many names, many ways that people want to donate now from
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venmo, paypal to crypto, if you want to be successful in fund raising you have to be prepared like a presidential campaign where you have bundlers probably bringing in the bulk of your actual fund raising but if you don't have popular support, you're not a popular site. so the means by which people can donate and the ease by which they can and that has to be lockjaw secure. because that is their data, their financial information and that is the trust you are building with them as an organization. you know, and i think in terms of publicity side of it, 100 years after the president has left the earth you have an opportunity i think to intentionally engage in a dialogue. we, the theodore roosevelt presidential library foundation was asked by the roosevelt family and american museum of natural history to accept on a long-term loan the equestrian
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statue stood outside mih for years, controversial, but the reason we did is it is one, we can help facilitate a difficult conversation and remove it from a contentious place of public view, the composition is problematic. the context of where it was was bauschicly nonexistent and there was no consent on central park west in public view for people to decide whether they wanted to view the statue or not. we said we can intercede here and one, remove it from that location, decision of the city and then engage in an intentional dialogue with the five tribal nations, with black americans to talk about potential recontextualization of the controversial object. again, if you're going to go there, be prepared to go the
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distance. you do the hard work to have the dialogue and discussion to be done. >> the spectrum of individuals you need to communicate with has really changed. you're not just talk to get a board of trustees or the individuals, you're now talking to not just your nation, but the world who has opinions on this and we all have to think on analyst global scale. so let me ask you all and kind of going back to the topic of securing your data and really making sure. one of the things i had the privilege to do with starting a not for profit business, one of the big reasons we did this is for that fundamental reason, we saw a lot of not for profits didn't know how to use technology to advance their mission and so proud so many more are using this, but when it comes to talent, one of the things i always heard is we just can't get talent, it's so hard, and by the way that's everywhere now, but can you talk a little bit about how you're approaching the tech talent to be able to keep up? so who would like to start?
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>> happy to. you got verizon, they're tech. >> well, based the salaries of these tech folk, very expensive. i live in california so see all the high salaries paid to tech folk, as you can imagine we hire a ton of ph.d. computer science et cetera. and at times hard to keep these individuals. we can't match the salaries of a google or facebook. few things we found so far that's been helpful, one is because we are national, folks can live almost anywhere in the us of a, that allows us to keep people so you can live in texas, kansas, wherever you want to live as long as you come to dc twice a year for example, that seems to really have worked. the other one is we find really helpful is the social mission of the organization. a lot of young people want to help, want to do social good. a filter for that to work, those
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live at stanford, m.i.t., those places, we put in graduate students coming out sometimes first job they have is with us. they spend three to four years, we'll take it, you know, go on to make a ton of money someplace else. often they'll come back frankly to digital promise because this that social sort of construct calls them back to the work but again, finding young people, we have a ton of them getting a bunch of ph.d.s all want to do social good. that seems to work. >> i love that, doctor what have you found? >> to piggy back off of that, i think my approach because we're in the setting where we're training people to go and find these jobs is really been to train humanity students, those already invested and interested in looking at humanistic questions the historic sites provide with tech skills which is an oxymoron to some of them,
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they're like why are we learning python and i have to kind of say well, you know, you don't have to learn it in and out like a data scientist would but enough to work with a data scientist in the future and i think that's where i'm coming in with i think we can do better in higher learning, creating really multidisciplinary opportunities for students in the humanities to connect with students in the field and in computer science and engineering so when they come out of these programs, the humanity students are already thinking, how can i use technology in new and exciting ways to advance a particular mission? >> yeah. >> and then the stem students are thinking, at the same time, how can i apply my skills towards these types of programs
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like digital promise or even to, you know, working on a project at your site? and i think i was just earlier having a meeting this week with one of our computer science faculty and he and i were trying to put our heads together to think of how we can create a course and maybe a data camp but he was saying this exact thing saying i can train students on the technology but you have the stories that make it matter and if we can put those together we can really do something amazing. so that has been the approach and if i can go one little tangent, i will say, i think tapping into regional comprehensive universities, not just because i work at one, but they, the majority of college students in the united states attend regional comprehensive universities and they're not necessarily getting the same
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access to whether it's digital humanities, opportunities to engage in digital scholarship, and that's one of the reasons why we are pushing this digital ethnic futures consortium because we're missing an entire potential talent pool and we really need to kind of create opportunities and pathways through which they can develop skills and also use those once they leave. >> i love what you said is something i really haven't heard before which is time together to really important things, one is the digital skills they need to learn but two is tieing it to mission, doing it at the same time. like do it in real time because they're learning the technical skills, it can be short or lodge depending what you're doing, but then tie it into real solutions and i do find today they want, you know, for me, i didn't want to just code a blue button. i wanted to know you're coding for purpose. so you're actually teaching them purpose. gary, what are you doing?
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i heard you say earlier you hired more people, beefed up your security, what about your talent pool? >> i think in some ways, the question about talent is also true for people, i think for burgeoning kind of professionals in the museum field. they want your mission and your vision and your values to really align with something important that they share. and i think so for us, more generally, we're in the process now of looking at how we articulate these better. how do we talk about what our, not just our mission, i mean everybody has a mission statement that can usually trot out and visions as well but values, what are core values and i think the better we align those to say this history, this inclusive history is worth knowing because it helps us to understand not just who we were but who we need to be, what we can become, what we aspire to be, together, and so i think,
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you know, that -- that's a kind of conceptual idea about that and i think for us, honestly, in terms of talent, we try to beg, borrow and, you know, everybody we can. university of virginia is a good partner on certain digital projects so they're center, their digital scholars lab is a tremendous resource for things like 3d, spacial analysis, scanning, we created 3d objects, one of the most compelling objects for me at monticello isn't anything to do with jefferson, actually, it's a piece of chinking excavated long ago i think in the '80s so clay placed between logs in a house, you know, to seal it up, and you can see the finger prints of the person who put it there. right. and that's been exhibited but we have 3d, made 3d models of this,
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for example, the exhibition, original doesn't have to be, and you wouldn't know it unless you could compare by touching the objects so certain things like that, having partners particularly in academia, i think is really helpful, but honestly, for us, we're still pretty small-scale. we're not, you know, this is a question we still, i don't think beyond finding those partners, we had to develop a lot of it in-house so i created the first manager of digital learning at monticello in 2014 and that took a while, and that was from someone who worked within the museum a long time who had some relevant background but the idea of teaching everybody python or being conversent is kind of like if you have done any work building a house, i don't know if you've done like any work remodelling it's a lot easier to have a conversation with a contractor if you know a little bit about what you're doing even if you can't do it yourself so i love that idea, you know,
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something i think we have to explore more. >> when i was at the sma, every individual in my organization, 10,000 people, i made them all take the first cloud computing course and pass it even my executive assistance had to do it and so many of them came back and said my gosh i'm so glad i did this because even with the basic course your job, move up the skill like $20,000 in saul sorry just the first basic course of cloud computing tech. so tell me what you're doing in the new sight. >> i think this is the single biggest opportunity for presidential sites, tech talent, digital future, you all said it so eloquently i won't repeat it. i mean learn the past, know the future. so we're living through the great resignation, people are voluntarily leaving their jobs to go to more fulfilling fields, that is obviously an advantage for these organizations but we also have a philosophy at the tr library that nonprofit is a tax status not a business plan.
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>> you're here. [ applause ] >> so we are developing a content studio which i think is highly unusual for a presidential library at its outset, the content studio is working with partners in augmented really, virtual reality, talking about doing film and television, looking at digital platforms and different ways of bringing in revenue to the organization, spreading the message of the organization, and not always requiring everybody to visit the actual site, to be a part of the tr library, including those in from the beginning. and it's not too late if they already exist, does give us, i think, an advantage because, you know, really, i said earlier maybe what the reagan library is to defense the tr library will be to consciouser vague, conservation and sustainability, one of the aspirations is to be the most sustainable museum in
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north america, and many the world, we're in western north dakota, second only to the world' leading energy production, and that gives us a really interesting conversation with the energy industry about the transition we're all in. theodore roosevelt who would have had 1 foot in the present and one eye in the future would have certainly been a part of that dynamic discussion and so i, you know, there are issues beyond the history, what the history represents that i think each presidential site and each organization can think about and say where can we reach a larger audience for that current discussion? and it's probably going to be through technology, tech talent, partnerships and digital. >> and you really do have a unique opportunity from the ground up to create a most innovative, you can create something that's very tangible and easy to manage with new tooling you can bring on.
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i think one of the things i love you pretty much all said is you can use that local talent. you have built-in talent with your universities that you can go use and with that i'm going to make a connection to partnerships. because we start talking about partnerships. you know, i'd love to know how you all think with each of your sites about partnerships and how do you, how do you manage them and go get more? so gary, let's start with you again. >> yeah, we've had over the years, partnerships with several institutions and nonprofits and again, one of the first, very fruitful ones in 2012 was with the center for history and new media, george mason university, in terms of building a website, for teachers, actually, that contained -- it was based on an exhibition that we had at monticello and how they could utilize those primary source documents both as as text but a
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objects so those kind of partnerships come through the networking in the field. partnerships with, that are, i'd say partnerships with for-profit entities are always a little more difficult sometimes and there's been cases where we have found, you know, things that work well through, you know, networks of our trusties, actually, are very good kind of source for those ideas, partnerships with, also are people who, you know, want to pitch you a lot of things. have to vet those dutifully, but i think partnerships through networking have been really helpful to us in terms of advancing our scale or focus or particular tech -- you know, particular technology and the other thing i'd say is we've done a lot of -- so we built an app in 2015 about slavery at
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monticello and that app, we had funding that allowed us to go to developer and see make small bets because they'd say here is this feature that's going to be great and we'd say if we gave you this much, you know, not a lot of money can we prototype that and test it first? can we see it work on site? and if it doesn't work well, we went through three developer before we found the one we wanted, not exactly partnerships but helped us think how to test andit rate before we adopt. >> yeah, do you, have one person who manages all partnerships or do you have multiple like parse it out? >> so we've attempted over the last year, my role in the organization, changed to what i have now in part to do that, help centralize some of those partnerships but they're still distributed, i mean i have
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research colleagues in archaeology especially who do all kinds of technical through the digital archaeology archive comparing slavery so they've built the data protocols the backend, this method for allowing sites across the southeast and caribbean actually to do this. some of which are also presidential sites. so they're not all in one place at all. we have a lot -- they're distributed kind of based on goal commission. >> so jean claude let me ask you, how do you think about partnerships and manage them? >> yeah, so we do a lot of work with partners because by ourselves we can't eat the entire elephant, but two things we look for, one is actually solving a fundamental challenge, would it be regional, local or national, focus on that and then see how we bring what we call a value network of partners together to solve that problem for a group, or something that has a dot work force for example, right now actually doing work in dallas allowing
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regional pathways looking at the educator pathways from early learning to being a school principal, how do we work with the industry, the partnership in dallas here, school systems, et cetera. to create a pathway for young people to go all the way up so that kind of value proposition is what we look for. the other one is what we call mutualism which is for a partnership to actually work, both have to benefit. if they don't, it's not going to sustain, so what's in it for you, what's in it for us, so the impact is primary. the second effect is making sure all partners are benefitting from the partnership. >> yeah. do you have, i'll ask dr. pew, do you have technology partnerships in particular you've tried to drive, because sometimes i know tech companies can be hard to work with and you have to manage a bunch. >> yeah so when you said partnerships right away i was thinking oh my goodness, so thankfully through the digital ethnic futures i was able to create a position, part time,
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but still a position for someone to help manage the partnerships because before, it was all me. and i was getting like very excited but overwhelmed so one of them that we did is the partnership with actually a student-run nonprofit called bit project and theyer students who are pursuing degrees or recently completed degrees in computer science and in software engineering and they are looking to nontech folks, with those same skills. so we partnered in 2020 to design a curriculum that actually integrated narratives or actually existing projects like the slave voyages project, the freedom on the move project, into data science curriculum for humanities or nontech folks, i'll put it that way. >> that's good. >> yeah, so i was just going to
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say though, to bounce off jean-claude's statement, i think what we've seen is we do a lot of community-engaged digital public humanities work so managing partnerships where we have like funders and foundations that partner with us, but then we also just have community members and their local like libraries or local kind of organizations that are just kind of cultivating and retaining the local history. and so we recently did one with a performing arts center in costa mesa but they're all varied and what i think you pointed out is knowing that kind of mutualism is important and then also knowing that you're going to have different partners for very different reasons but partnership is definitely the path to go on. it can lead to, you know, grants, can lead to new
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initiatives, could lead to recruitment. so i just, yeah, i can't emphasize the necessity enough. >> i love that. what about you? one speed round then to take questions. >> because i know we want to get on q&a so i won't take long, first, raise your hand if you worked for the tr library -- okay, we have four of them here. and they have been instructed they are not to leave dallas with a single business card. they can't get on the plane if they have a business card left so meet them, talk to them, we are in the business of partnerships, we can't survive without those partnerships and there's a guy associated with the tr library over there too, joe wegan, get to know him too. >> i love that. by the way, i have allergies, i promise, it's not covid. okay. this is a speed round and they don't know what i'm going to ask them but after talking to murray i had an idea for each one of them. could you tell me a book you
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would recommend to the audience to read to learn about your area, something you get super excited about and i'll start with ed because i know he knows the answer because he gave me two this morning. >> this is it's challenge with theodore roosevelt, obviously the edmond morris trilogy is fantastic, beginning with the rise of roosevelt, if you want a good beach read, can't go wrong with "river of doubt" we can go on and on, nontr subject, i would say "these truths". >> quickly, there's a book called" think again" i forgot the authors name that really teaches people how to step back and rethink. it uses the blind barrier as a reexample why we need to rethink sometimes. >> love that. >> the digital black atlantic came out last year, i have one essay, so i am plugging it, but i think it gives an overview of how these discussions are being had specifically within african,
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africana studies, black studies. >> awesome. >> so i guess the thing about jefferson biography i would love to go with john mecham's book, "art of power" great book talking about how jefferson used as john says, the medium of his age effectively to communicate ideas and ideals to affect change. >> that's a good one. >> that's true. i'd say cal newports deep work, because i feel overwhelmed by emails and i refuse to let the i.t. people put the -- like a long time i would let them put microsoft teams on my computer because i don't want that blankety blank chat function working so how to create space to think i think is a real challenge for all of us and i found this book to be, i don't know that i really practice it enough to preach it but found it inspirational. >> so mine i will say if you haven't done "wine in the white
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house" with fred ryan it's fun, maybe even fireside chat with a group of people we could do. let's take q&a, who has some questions for us? >> hi my name's christi from the rutherford b. hayes presidential museum in ohio, thank you for your commentary, thank you, i wanted to quickly mention i see partners here who worked with us on a project last year when, you know, schools were not allowed to do their tours of presidential sites anymore, we partnered with some groups on a program called road to the white house and many of us were closed so this was a way to have a strong digital commitment but now i heard all of you i think it could have a stronger digital component but connected about 10 sites, eight presidents in ohio we gladly share with a couple of other states, i see indiana over there, harrison was a site we partnered with, jenny there with first lady and see i don't know
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if my other ohio compatriots are here, but we called it "not" ohio's road to the white house because we wanted to this to be a test case and enlarge it not only because of covid but we wanted life beyond that, as a great way to connect sites and during the manning for that came up with an idea called the program, the leader in me, eight leadership tenants based on the eight habits of highly effective people which you may be familiar with so it became more than a pass port program is what we wanted it to be more than to be, it had real meat and content to it so partially, i do have a question. i know, i know, but my point is also pr because we would love to have a couple of you or all of you eventually be part of this project but knowing that's how we're connecting to each other do you have recommendations on a platform or digital aspects to
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incorporate into this kind of a program? thank you. >> i will say there's a great platform called composer and i can maybe share offline more about that, it's that netflix kind of digital piece that brings a lot of, especially civics content into one place for teachers to actually access, a place you can put for example all the tools and solutions you have and shouldn't cost you any money whatsoever, called composer. yes. >> anybody else? more thoughts on platforms. if not, i got a couple thoughts for you too. thank you for that. next. >> good afternoon, my name is trisy messer with the calvin coolage presidential foundation, thank you all for being here. one of my earliest memories of american presidents and technologies was going to disney world and want to get go to the hall of american presidents of all things there and true to form when i went to the hall of
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presidents mr. coolidge was there and in true character, remained silent. but mr. coolidge had a lot of things to say and i'm looking forward to the day we may actually have hologram technologies truly interactive where we can learn more about each of our president and see dare i say, may even be a capability in the white house to summon up anyone of the presidents who may be a counselor in a time of crisis when they have unique knowledge. so do you know of any efforts through places like m.i.t. or other georgia tech who may be working on creatic holographic presidents? >> yes. so i'll just say very quickly, local projects is the interpretive form within where working did the greenwood rising, with the race massacre, museum in oklahoma, did legacy of justice museum in alabama,
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did media for 9/11, along architects in new york, fabulously creative, on the cutting edge of technology, "local projects" would be my recommendation. >> the whole concept of meta reality is getting there so this can curate any content, frankly, this idea of making history alive and rich, especially for young people so it's not as the last panel pushed, boring, but really exciting to actually engage. so there's a lot of work going on. >> the blinking on the company -- the platform is going to be called reach and it's produced through noni be la penia considered the godmother of vr and basically her company designing this platform so that people without a computer science or softwear engineering background can create augmented and vr kind of
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environments so that, i think they're accepting people for beta testing now. >> i would say one of our big goals with the white house historical association and council on history is to continue to have an augmented reality world, i'd love to be for people to go through the white house in an augmented way and presidents actually kind of walk out, to your point, and say did you know this happened or this happened? and we are already there, that can be done, we just have to find the right companies to put it together, but it's very -- it's not a technology issue anymore. it's a pro-serve, how do we do it, how do we fund it kind of a project, if that makes sense. thank you, great, by the way. >> we need to make the technology cheaper for folks -- >> or make them do it in kind, as much as possible, have them put it together and we provide the support to fund it afterwards. >> great afternoon. i'm nate from the clinton foundation, i've got two questions.
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one, how do you define a virtual visitor? it's been quite controversial, a one second view, a reach, a click, then secondly, any advice how we evaluate the effectivity of your online resources? surveys or a unique thing we should be looking for as success in digital learning. >> i'll jump on that. one of the things we've begun to really do is use google analytics to see how people are interacting with the different tools and solutions we have a great platform called navigator we get 11,000 educator hits a month and finding from south africa, from australia, from the philippines, but to your point, we're trying to see if they're spending three minutes, 20 minutes, four seconds, and why it is actually happening so we can modify the experience to engage people better. so right now, we saw the analytics. we can't ask those folks yet because again the privacy issues
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but we're seeing schools of education in south africa actually accessing then the question is how to actually change the experience to get folks to stay longer. >> i couldn't agree more, it's measured engagement not visits. >> because they only click for a second so got to be time on they spend -- and mostly, almost every application now that you run should have analytics with it and then you can roll it up through a tool like google analytics which allows you to see what did they click on and then what did they stay on, if that makes sense. >> and how they got to the site too. >> i'm allison holland i created and host a podcast called the kennedy dynasty podcast and completely different here because i didn't come from a history background at all, i was in marketing, i clicked a netflix documentary one night
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squfs hooked so i'm teaching people history and how important it is to learn and i realized in my audience a bit, people come for an episode and stay to learn about the new frontier, so i'm curious, what are some of your guys' plans and strategies getting this content out to people like me who just need the little spark, who need to click it. >> you're going where the audience is, what you're doing, allison, i think is what every presidential site needs or is to be doing which is to create content not in the form we enjoy consuming it, but the audience does and put it on the platforms and places where they're likely to not just have to seek it but to find it, and social media is not a network of channels you choose, it's content that is curated to your lining. so we need to put content in the places where the audience is
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consuming t wants to consume it and in the form they want to consume it not the way we do. >> anybody else -- >> go ahead. >> i was just going to say one exercise i have students do, digital story-telling is phenomenal. there's so many ways to do it. can go a long way, and one thing i challenge students to do, especially students who like to write and be verbose, give me a digital story telling i can post to instagram that walks me through two minutes in history. that's it. and sometimes that's the spark some audiences need, they see that and then they're coming back for more. >> i like what you're doing in terms of connecting different generations with an earlier generation, even if it's fashion or, you know, time-bound like the gilded age, going back and connecting from today, yesterday to today and i think that's a really good strategy.
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>> last one down to one minute 50 seconds. >> thank you, i'm samantha hunter gibbs at white house historical foundation and since we're having this great conversation making history accessible with technology i would point out in the booth, we have available talk oculus headsets vr emmersion into the white house and the public spaces there, i invite you all to check that out while you're here. [ applause ] >> yeah, part of the great work tina's doing. so if you will join me one more time in giving our panelists a big round of applause, and thanking them for their time. i just want to say thank you all for taking the time to come and please give us feedback on other topics you'd like to know, digital or tech, i know anita
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would like to be back as well so thank you all again, and enjoy the rest of the day. >> american history tv, saturdays on c-span 2, exploring the people and events that tell the tell the american story. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, the final part of our episodes first ladies. we'll look at their time in the white house can be p and the issues important to them. this week, we'll feature melania trump. >> i'm very excited to have you today with me. thank you in advance for sharing your stories and your thoughts about your struggles and try kumps. i want to help children everywhere to be their best. so, with your help, we can achieve positive results. >> and a discussion about hollywood's take on history with the creator of historians at the
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movies. exploring the american story. watch american history tv saturday on c-span 2 and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online any time at c-span.org/history. . >> c-span now is a free mobile app featuring your unfiltered view of what's happening in washington. keep up with today's events from hearings from the u.s. congress, white house events, the courts, tam pains skr more from the world of politics, all at your fingertips. you can stay current with washington journal and plus a variety of compelling podcasts. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. download it for free today.

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