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tv   Digital History  CSPAN  April 23, 2022 2:13am-3:24am EDT

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classroom setting and you literally help them understand by doing it building these controversial. questions and how to turn it into appropriate inquiry without it becoming hostile debate in the classroom and giving them the primary documents that they need they can speak for for those in the past. and right now i'm looking at the monitors and it's going over time over time and program and program which i'm going to do, but i'm going to i'm going to legal green you're okay until it turns red orange stewart gets the cane and pulls me off the diets here a little leave you with with just this an example of how studying history can get students excited and interested in making a difference. so some years ago our students in chicago. wanted to look at the mississippi burning case of 1964 for three individuals from chicago went down to mississippi to register voters and were
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brutally murdered and no one was ever arrested or tried. there was no justice for that. that occurrence students wanted to look at that so they dug in and they read through 2,000 pages of fbi transcripts. they interviewed the families of each individual who was murdered and they got an interview with edgar ray killen who at the time was the alleged murderer or even though he was never arrested or tried for it at that time and after they they did then he wanted to talk to anybody, but he's talked to these three 16 year olds. after they went through all of that and they went to their teacher and said justice can be served there really is evidence here. and a good social studies teacher said what are you going to do about it? and so they turned over their material to the fbi. they lobbied the governor of mississippi. they went on the hill and talked to congress the case was
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reopened and edgar ray killen went to jail. history works thank you so much.
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so for our next feature session, it's 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 research better 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 a 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.
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if joining teresa are our panelist ed o'keefe chief executive officer of the theodore roosevelt presidential library foundation. jean-claude brizzard president and chief executive officer of digital promise. dr. jameela moore pew assistant professor digital humanities and new media and history at california state university fullerton and gary sandling vice president of strategy and chief content officer at 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.
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good morning, everyone already an exciting day. love the panels. how many got here early? you see any did you go last night to the panel? oh my gosh and believable, huh? so inspiring i just wow, 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? essential information from their chiefs of staff it was just unbelievable. so i hope you enjoy air panel today and it's about making history accessible through technology, which is at 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 and if you think about what's happened during covid, it's even more important that we allow accessibility virtually through history and
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it's one of the big things that we've been trying to do more and more at the white house historical association. so i'm excited and you've already met all our panelists we have amazing individuals today with such a great dip in breath of experience. and before we get started, i just 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 remember my parents were both 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 six at the my parents were republicans and they were we were dialing we
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would go and dial, you know, and call people knock on doors, you know, the groundbreaking feed 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 at the white house struggle 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. 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 the white house, but i got the great privilege of like 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 ever done and to watch her and she would not she she is she was in good health that she would not get in
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wheelchair. she walked every step. we took her up the presidential elevator and i just had to share that because i think the libraries and all these other sites are so important to stay in individuals within where the presidents were born where they had a history and i think that's what you're going to hear about coming to 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 children everybody if you got there you had to wear a mask. even the students in historians really couldn't show up to do their do their work every day and what i'd 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 into close the gap and i asked john claude as he got started to tell you how digital promise got started and what what they're about why they're there. well, thank you so a bit about
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history. we actually authorized by congress in 2008 as part of the higher education act under george w. bush. we're launch in 2011 under president obama and as you can see look at my board, my boys actually appointed by congress. so we're very non-partisan. we're very bipod as an organization. we're now a global nonprofit we do a ton of work in the us. it's about 40 plus states and about 15 countries around around the world as you can imagine giving who we are in our name, by the way. we're created as a national center on advanced information and digital technologies research. we have a massive team of people who are learning scientists who are technologists who are former educators what you work with schools across across the us around the world. so as you can imagine when the pandemic head, we leverage a lot of what we knew and what we're created to do to really support teachers and principles and school superintendents. we have this amazing construct called the league of innovative schools now as a members of 125
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school districts from around the country. we just met last weekend cincinnati looking at the role of technology in really enabling what we call powerful learning so we did things like hosting a ton of webinars to support our practitioners to really understand how to leverage technology. how do we leverage what we know? one technology and in the homes, for example, you know, we saw that learning management system lms's becoming more or less ubiquitous around the us the question was how do we help school districts really leverage that kind of full understanding do we understand how to support kids? well, maybe sitting at home, but no really important thing was to look at what it did for parents parents had now viewing to the classroom. they never had before. so the question, how do you support paris? you really understand what the case of learning how they actually are learning last thing. i'll add this so much more we can talk about we have an amazing structure called the verizon innovative learning schools program bills. the head of the program is actually here in the audience.
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so partnership with verizon going back five years where they've spent nearly 400 million dollars in in kind and direct donation to support about 550 schools across the us in demonstrating what it's like to bring like devices like ipads chromebooks to the classroom. what content is devices more importantly? how do you train teachers who really leverage that technology these schools had a seamless transition? into distance learning into hybridling in the backing now back into in-person learning so that we leverage quite a bit to tell the world. this is what this looks like in practice and this is the example for what actually can happen with those kinds of schools. that's great. i love that program and i was kind of embarrassed. i didn't really know about it and i was like, i don't know about this dr. pew. i really love it. sounds like you all pivoted from on-site gallery space to digital spaces. can you talk about how you use digital during this time? ah, yes, so i teach students a
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lot of graduate students in public history how to integrate technology into public history work. so for me, it's natural outreach to extend that to historic sites and organizations that are also looking to develop their online presence or their to develop their bring their collections to a wider public using technology. so at the time of pandemic, i was actually working with the historic site in bridgeport, connecticut, and we were building their back-end repository a digital repository because a huge part of their capacity building was owning their narrative and owning their story and they had being 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 an online presence their website would routinely crash with maybe 50 visitors. so we immediately switched to
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creating a website that was kind of in the future for them, but we created it right at that moment and key part of what i emphasized was that you know similar to what jean-claude noticed is that teachers parents were looking for materials to enhance student engagement, but also to it familiarize themselves with local history and stories. and so we 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 an on a brick and mortar as i call it exhibit that have been on display and have been linked with a lot of literacy programs and local initiatives to train students as docents. and so we weren't able to move all of that online, but we were able to get a lot of the images and some of the background story
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behind that exhibit on the web. that's that's really exciting. i you know, it's 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 that you're finding that's working best for a digital audience. and where do you see the digital audience evolving and i'm gonna start i'm going to start. gary if i cannon, i don't know how many of you have been to monticello before have you been? so it exhausts me when i go and see what president jefferson did. i mean, i'm always so tired. so i'm really excited to hear what gary's doing now to turn all that into a digital asset. well, yeah, i think we you know, like everyone else we had to make this kind of pivot and scramble to think about how we kept relevant content and we start so at first it was let's just let's get something, you know online. we you know, we built a website
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in 1997. i think was the first year that we had an online presence and as many of you been in this field probably know for a long time there was probably for a decade there was a lot of back and forth in the museum feel about we'll just building a website prevent people from visiting. you know, that kind of argument went on for a while. there's really seem to be a lot of evidence to that a fact and now of course digital so ubiquitous. it's an engagement tool and it went from being maybe secondary for us to primary and we began to think about who these audiences are right. i mean this is always there's no such thing. there is no such thing as a general audience. there just isn't right. we have constituencies and there are some that make up the bulk of our the people who are engaged with us as opposed to others and we were trying to find, you know, we created resources for kids and families when they were at home we did live streams. so we just started like a lot of folks. did we started doing weekly live streams twice a week at first we had some support from the neh from cares funding to do that.
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we sort of pitched for a grant but we've now built that into kind of a sustainable long-term strategy. so once a week we still do live stream it gives us much wider opportunity to talk about a variety of topics that are harder to do perhaps in an on-site experience or an exhibition. it brings fresh voices. so we bring people to the table that otherwise you might not hear about and last year we had about a million views in 2021 of live streams. so what we're trying to figure out now is how do you how do you take that data and that those emails and all those things that you leverage out of that and then deepen that engagement? yeah. that's i think for us the next you know. kind of question. we're wrangling with now, but that's you know, really what i think we did. let's create more short form short form and i think as all of you know, that's tough in our field right being concise short-form content videos podcasts and live streams gary what platform are using for your
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live stream we stream yard for our okay for our live streams and that and again we talk to colleagues, you know, it was sort of we called folks at other institutions. you know, how we learned what we thought would work best, you know really had to do with some trial and error that everyone was undergoing at that point other thing i'll mention quickly is the first day of the pandemic we had already been experimenting with zoom. we know what zoom was before i think all day right. yeah, we all do now, but before march 2020, we know what zoom was and we had been piloting a live virtual tour for school groups in february sort of outdoors. wi-fi connections weren't great, but we we did build an outdoor infrastructure for wi-fi six or seven years ago. and so from day one we could offer live virtual tours. we were able to pivot the first eight weeks closed. yeah, which was which was great and we've learned a lot. yeah, that makes sense. and you know now there's so many during covid like linkedin live
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twitter. i mean 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 gonna work and i think in a digital world, you're gonna want to hit multiple audiences so you can't almost really have one thing. you have to try multiple things and let's go to you you're in a big project right now really big project you and i met this morning. i'm again president roosevelt is another one. so maya, i think we should have a contest like got around more places and did more roosevelt or jefferson. i think that would be a really great road i could do how we have that we have presidents, you know rent at the washingtons nationals. we have to have something yeah only one gave a speech after getting shot appreciate it. so talk a little bit about what your plan how are you going to use the digital assets in your planning process? well teresa. thank you so much. i just want to begin with gratitude to stuart and anita anita. i know you've been planning this event for two years and it's we're all here in person and life.
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thank you pleasure to be with you. the w hha has been a tremendous support of the theater roosevelt presidential library project which owes a debt of gratitude dr. stacy corder is in the audience from dickinson state university. thank you to dr. cordary dsu who got this idea started about 10 years ago and in the last two years remarkably during the pandemic probably do to digital we really rocketed to we are now on the cusp of acquiring the land on which the future site will be situated in the badlands of western north dakota that happens next month. we will have a groundbreaking in june of 2023 and we will open this is a perfect segue into lunch on july 4th, 2026. and and what was interesting about the pandemic and you know, we're not pivoting to digital. we're born in digital. we're a digital native museum and so from the start i think one the association with dsu and
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the theater roosevelt center. they have done a remarkable job of digitizing 70,000 records from the archive of theodore roosevelt, and we helped facilitate a grant through the robin melanie walton foundation of 10 million dollars to the theater 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 about the digital native experience from the start. i mean our platform is leadership citizenship and conservationship and our goal is to bring people. yes to western north dakota to get out into nature and to experience theater roosevelt national park to go to the elkhorn ranch the cradle of conservation, but maybe we get several hundred thousand or several million to visit. there's three million at mount rushmore and 4 million at yellowstone. so there's an audience that we can reach there but there's seven billion people on the planet. so we think of this as a
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pilgrimage and a platform the platform is where we think we can take leadership citizenship and conservation to a much wider and greater audience. i'll end with one specific example, you know, we think of this is a conservation library sort of what reagan is to defense theodore roosevelt is to conservation. what is the one signature issue of the many great accomplishments when that lends itself to getting outside getting is getting in nature and that might be the opposite and say digital but we're working with some really interesting augmented reality companies who know that life is going to live with a device at your side or in your pocket. and so, how can you actually use theodore roosevelt and the presidential site to come as a way to give tr b let tr be an avatar of the outdoor experience a guide to all the national parks or what you're looking at in all the areas of our state parks and other areas. so so we're really thinking of this as a distributed digital
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site from the start. yeah. what's the metaverse? everybody knows about the metaverse, right? and that is really what we're gonna 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 like open to doing that? so i love that because i think if you know stuart. try to kill me, but i have this idea of doing a passport for every student everybody get to every library and you get something from the white house circle association as you reach these peaks, right? because if we could get all of our students or me, i would love to go through and you can do them in person or you could do them digitally. i think it'd be a great way to do that. just want to be too that the two programs one in particular that talks very specifically to the er or vr technology. we have a partnership with the un called my world to 360 so we actually have young people
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around the world submitting videos of their work their life where they live that builds a level of empathy that you could not actually you can buy. yeah, so the idea of bringing the site to people versus just coming to the side. i think it's an amazing thing to do how you curate that with the social studies or the other subject areas in integrating into the curriculum for teachers and for principles. i think the one last page by may i would love to push here is that we tend to force school administrators of teachers to play general contractor, which is that they have to curate and find all these pieces and make sense of it last panel talked about partnerships the more we can do that in providing shovel ready tools for teachers who actually use the easier it is for them to actually make use of it. just one quick example of that. we're working with a civic network right now pulling in feet are facing history. you'll learn i civics one
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platform that has tools from all these civics organizations think of a netflix like sort of playbook that you can use in kabul on the back end. there's a learning science engine that tells a teacher. this is a part of learning science. you actually addressing this part you actually maybe want to consider in building a particular lesson or unit of study that kind of stuff is invaluable for for education. i think i can really i mean john quad one thing that we're thinking about is only putting those tools in the hands of teachers, but students children are creators. they're all they're editing live on their devices and they like to put together pieces of visual puzzles. very visual medium, you know, it's so we're we're thinking about inside the museum experience learning from all of the wonderful presidential sites that exist, but how can they learn from doing the theater roosevelt's a wonderful example, but let's face it if they come out and sight facts and figures from theater roosevelt's life
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that doesn't really imbue them with the spirit of tr. we want people to learn not just about but from theater roosevelt's an example and then take that out into the digital world where give them pieces of the great story so they can put together their version that will create tell their story through this example. i love that idea because if you think about learning today, i do think students even for me. i'm a visual learner i was and to be able to create something where they can put that into their world. how does it relate to who they are at every level and i love that you could do that their ability if you could let them, you know find a student every classroom that could 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? yes. i was talking to gary said this is what i think about every day.
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yes. so one of the things that you know, this conversation brings up is the issue that we all face whether 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 my outreach is that you know, the technologies there and as you said the metaverse is here, so what we need to do is take a a step back and really 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-pi on an andrew mellon grant that is called the digital ethnic
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futures consortium and the entire purpose of this large grant is to support the work of faculty librarians and students who want to engage 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 to create intentional path. days 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 to 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 that i'm piloting now, which is taking students from a minoritized community within the university and bringing them on into this
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creative technology collaborative in which they are actively working on one of our ongoing digital public humanities projects, which is creating a data storytelling and mapping of black loan businesses throughout orange county, california. i love that. so yeah creating projects like that because i think you're right students also. are going to become the practitioners tomorrow and the more they can see themselves reflected in the practice. i think the better the practice. yes, and the last panel one of the things i thought they talked about. i am, you know a huge fan of icivics. i just you know, love that program and teaching civic stairs to all of us still they have just great curriculum, but if you consider that taking that kind of curriculum and making sure everybody understands their ability to participate in the democratic process and why that matters each and every individual it changes the world. i think it's also a matter of
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equity and representation. i mean dr. pugh it sounds your work is clearly advancing this and you know what we can what's been interesting about tackling theodore roosevelt a hundred years after the president has gone from the earth is we have a philosophy that we will humanize not lionize. yeah, you are and building in western north dakota where there are the five tribal nations of north dakota have and out us to engage in an intentional dialogue about whose 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 is was alluded to in the previous panel is hard history is complicated museums are supposed to do hard things and i think what's what's been refreshing and and really encouraging about our effort is that we then with a historic figure can engage and really
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complicated dialogues with communities who haven't been heard in allow them through our work to tell their story yes stars, and we have complicated to topics throughout our history that we have to take on slavery the things that we've been doing 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 i want to jump into something kind of the for a moment. be the dark side of the technology world when you're trying to put these things up so we have to worry about cybersecurity we have to worry about protecting our data. we have to make sure that we're responding and one of the questions that came from the audience last night was about how did you with the former chiefs the staff? how did you deal with the press and the media well over this period of time technology changed right you went from not really having twitter even great smartphones, and it definitely wasn't in the white house till president obama got there. he was the first actually bring
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technology in which changed the even the thinking in the way the white house operated. i remember them pushing out old computers and bringing in ipads, which was like crazy with like crazy david do that. but for you you have to think about that in your sights in the world that you're living. how are you addressing one security of your data and information and making sure your sights stay up and two i'll how do you respond when there could be negative press which is things that you'd have to do or you preparing for that can start with you? oh, yeah, very sure can so to the first part about security data security, you know one of the questions we had as we built out tools even online for students was also to make sure we're compliant with all the laws regarding what information you can or can't yep exactly with ferpa. so, you know there was that layer of consideration protecting that the information in data of people. we also have you know, ticketing
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database that has 150,000 transactions in it. annually, it has to be secured as well as the educational, you know kind of assets so we were hacked in 20. eight twenty seven twenty seventeen, so we had to deal with this problem firsthand. and so have we done it? well, you know one, you know, put all your eggs in one basket. so host hosting services and different places that have different purposes, right the appropriate degrees of security. it's an important part of that and beefed up our it team to you know, make sure that we have you know, we do penetration tests regularly on our website things like that on to look for potential vulnerabilities, but then you know the con 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, it was kind of there's one way you could do that and since social media, there's of course very different
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ways to do they're you have to respond much faster and you have to be prepared to engage directly on the platforms when necessary to do that. i know everybody has that issue right and like how much we put out a statement this week about ukraine. we made the point that our investment committee of our board of trustees had had adopted emotion to have the outsourced investment firm that that manages our portfolio to divest itself of any assets of russia or its. the plateau you know, we we made it. we don't usually don't make statements about what our investment committee so, you know, what the board of trustees right? we did in this case and immediately on twitter, you know, sort of you could just like when it went up i just wait like one two when 1,2 clearly 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
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in advance what you're prepared to say. and i think that's that and just good kind of maintaining good media relations in the digital. i mean, that's always a good idea right but in a digital era, i think it's it's really incumbent and these platforms give us voice to talk to people we might not always have. otherwise talk to you even if we don't necessarily agree with what's right freedom of speech we have it in our platforms now go to all extremes, but i really am very impressed by the way with what you're doing and how you're because you do have to respond in nanoseconds 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 needed team 21st seven to be doing this and this is one of the big things that have technology has changed the world in. who else wants to respond? can i mean let me just be the first to say thank goodness. twitter did not exist during
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theodore roosevelt's age. we would not be building a presidential site that i think i would say tooth quick things. i mean on fundraising since we're a presidential site that is not yet in existence. we have had to think a lot about security relative to the very many mains many many ways that people want to donate now from yeah, i mean venmode paypal to crypto. yeah. i mean if you want to be successful in modern fundraising at a presidential site or maybe in general, i think you have to be sort of prepared like a presidential campaign where you have bundlers who are probably bringing in the bulk of your actual fundraising, but if you don't have popular support, you're not a popular, right? and and so the means of by which people can donate and the ease with which they can and that has to be lockjaw secure. yeah, because that is their data that is their financial information and that is the
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trust that you are building with them as an organization, you know, and i think in terms of the publicity side of it, you know again a hundred years after the president has left the earth. you have a opportunity i think to eat to intentionally engage dialogue we we were the theater roosevelt presidential library foundation was asked by the roosevelt family and the american museum of natural history to accept on a long-term loan the equestrian statue that has stood outside of amnh for 80 years controversial not exactly the thing you want to do as you're raising funds for a new presidential site, but the reason that we did it is because one we could 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 basically non-existent and there was no consent on central park west and public view for people to to decide whether they wanted
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to view the statue or not. we said we can intercede here and one remove it from that location, which was the decision of the city and of am and age and then go in engage in an intentional dialogue with the five tribal nations with black to talk about potential recontextualization of a controversial object again, not not necessarily if you're going to go there then be prepared to go the distance. yeah, do the hard work to have the dialogue and discussion that needs to be done this the spectrum that of individuals you have to communicate with has really changed and i think that's what you are talking about that you're not just talking to a board of trustees or the individuals you're now talking to not just your nation that the world who has opinions on this and we all have to think on almost global scale. so let me let me ask you on kind of going back to the topic of securing your dad and really making sure one of the things i had the privilege to do with starting or not for profit
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business at aws and 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 i'm so proud that i see so many more using this but when it comes to talent one of the things that i always heard just can't get talent it is 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 he would like to start but i'm happy to okay also have something with verizon you got verizon. they're technically the salaries of these tech books. we're very expensive. i live in now. i live in northern california. so i see all the high salaries being paid to tech folks as you can imagine. we hire a ton of phds computer science etc and that times hard to keep these individuals. we can't match the salaries of a google or facebook when you come to the engineers a few things we found so far has been helpful one because we are national
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folks in live almost anywhere in the catholic us of a that allows us to keep people and so you can live, texas, kansas wherever you want to live as always you come to dc twice a year, for example, that seems to really work other one is we be helpful is the social mission of the organization a lot of young people want to take the hill. they want to do social good as you filter for that it tends to work last thing we do is actually live at stanford and mit in this places. we couldn't graduate students who are coming out. sometimes the first great job they have is with us. they spend they give us three to four years. we'll take it. they'll go on and make a ton of money someplace else often. they'll come back quickly to a digital promise because again that social sort of construct calls them back to the work but again finding young people we have a ton of the begin budget phds. all technologies really want to come and do social good that seem to work. i love that doctor he would be
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found. so actually just the piggyback off of that. i think my approaches. because i'm in the setting where we're training people to go and find these jobs has really been one to train humanity students those who are already invested in interested in. looking at these humanistic questions that are historic sites provide with tech skills, which is an oxymoron to some of them because they're like, whoa, why are we learning python? and 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 you got to learn enough to be able to work with the data scientists right in the future. and i think that's where i'm coming in with i think we can do better in our institutions of higher learning creating really multi-disciplinary opportunities for students in the humanities to connect with students in the
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stem fields and in computer science and and engineering so that when they come out of these programs the humanity students are already thinking, how can i use technology in new and ways to advance a particular? mission yeah, and then the the stem students are thinking at the same time. how can i apply my skills towards these these types of programs like digital promise or or even to you know working on a project at your site and i think i just was having a meeting earlier 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. he said, you know, i can train students on the technology, but you have the stories that make it matter and if we can put
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those together then we can really do something amazing. and 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, right and they're not necessarily getting the same access to 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 then also use those once they leave i love what you said is something i really haven't heard before which is time
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together to really important things one one is the digital skills. i need to learn but two is tying it to mission doing it at the same time like do it in real time because they're learning the skills. they have to go learn the technical skills. it can be short or long depending on what you're doing, but then tie it into real solutions and i do find today that they want, you know for me i didn't want to just code a blue bed, and i wanted to know your coding for purpose. so you're actually teaching and purpose gary. what are you you just said i heard you say earlier. you hired more people you 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 for burgeoning. professionals in the museum field they want your mission and your vision and your 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.
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how do we talk about what are not just our mission? i mean everybody has a mission statement they can usually trot it out and vision as well but values what are our core values and i think the more the better we align those to talk to say this history is worth this inclusive history is worth knowing because it helps us 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 you know that that's a you know, kind of conceptual idea about that and i think for us honestly in terms of talent, we we try to beg borrow and you know, everybody we can deal the university. virginia is a good partner on certain digital projects. so their center their digital scholars lab is a tremendous resource for us for things like 3d spatial analysis scanning. we've created 3d objects, you know, one of the most compelling objects. personally for me at monticello
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isn't anything to do with jefferson. actually, it's a it's a piece of chinking that came from that was archaeologically excavated long ago. i think in the 80s so so clay place between logs in a house, you know to seal it up and you can see the fingerprints. of the person who put it there. wow, right and that's been exhibited, but we have 3d up. we've made 3d models of yes for example to use an exhibition so that the original doesn't have to be and you wouldn't know it. i mean unless you could compare, you know by touching the objects so for certain things like that having having partners who particularly in academia, i think is really helpful, but honestly for us we're still we're still pretty small scale. yeah, we're not you know, i mean, this is a question. we still i don't think you know 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 into the position in 2014.
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and that took a while and that was from someone who who had worked within the museum for a long time who had some relevant background but the idea of teaching everybody python. i love you know, or or being conversant. it's kind of like, you know, if you've ever done any work building a house like i don't know if you've ever done can like any work remodelings a lot easier have a conversation of the contractor if you know a little bit about what we're doing even if you don't can't do it yourself. yeah, and so i love that idea, you know something i think we have to explore more when i was at aws. i made every individual in my organ 10,000 people. i made them all take the first cloud computing course and pass it even my executive assistant had to do it and so many of them come back to me and said, oh my gosh, i'm so glad i did this because even with the basic course your job, you can move that the scale like twenty thousand dollars and salary just the first basic course of cloud computing tech. so tell me what you're doing in a new new site. well, i think this is the single biggest opportunity for
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presidential sites tech talent digital future. i mean, you've all said it so eloquently i won't repeat it the the i mean learn the past know the future the social we're living through the great resignation, right 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. you're here. so yeah, so we we are developing a content studio and which i think is highly unusual for for a presidential library that's outset. the content studio is working with partners in augmented reality 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.
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be a part of the tr library and building 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, you know, maybe what the reagan library is to defend the tr library will be to conservation and sustainability one of the aspirations of our life of our library is to be the most sustainable museum in north america and potentially one of the most sustainable in the world. we're in western north dakota. we're second only to the state we are in is the world's leading energy production and and that gives us a really interesting opportunity to have a conversation with energy industry about the transition that we're all in and who theater roosevelt who would have had one foot in the present and one eye in the future would have certainly been a part of that dynamic discussion. and and so i you know, there are there are issues beyond the history or what the history
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represents that i think each. financial site and each organization can think about say where where can we reach a larger audience for that current discussion. 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 the most innovative because you're not having to go back is your point. you can create something that's very fungible and easy to manage with new tooling that you can bring on. i think one of the one of the things i love that 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 gonna make a connection to partnerships because we start talking really about partnerships, you know, if you 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, and we've had over the
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years partnerships with several institutions and nonprofits and again the one of the first very fruitful ones in 2012 was with the center for history and new media at george mason university in terms of building a website for teachers. actually that that contained it was based on an exhibition that we had admonicello. and how they could utilize those primary source documents both the trans-- both both as text, but as objects, right, so you know those kind of partnerships come through the networking that happens, you know in the field partnerships with there are you know, i'd say partnerships with for-profit entities are always a little more. they're a little more difficult sometimes and there's been there's been cases where you know, we have found, you know things that work well through, you know networks of our trustees actually are very good kind of source for those ideas
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partnerships with there are also part. they're also people, you know, people want to pitch you a lot of things you have to kind of vet those very carefully, 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 and you know, the other thing i'd say is we've done a lot of so we build an app in 15 about slavery at monticello and that app we actually had funding that allowed us to go to developers and make small bets because they'd say oh this is here's this feature. that's going to be great and we'd say well if we gave you this much, you know, not a lot of money. we prototype that and test it. first, you know, can we see it work on site and if it doesn't work, well we went through three developers before we found the one we wanted. so things like that. those aren't exactly partnerships. but i mean they've kind of helped us think about how to
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test and iterate before we had done. do you have a do you all do you find one or the other mall works? you have one person that manages all your partnerships or do you have multiple do you like parse it out? so we've we've attempted over the last year my role in the organization changed in 20 to the one that i have now in part to help do that to try and centralize some of those partnerships and court had been but they're still distributed we have i mean i've research colleagues and archeology, especially who do all kinds of technical work through the digital archaeological archive of comparative slavery. so they've built the data protocols the back end this method for allowing sites across the southeast and the caribbean actually to do this some some of which are also presidential sites. so they're not all in one place at all. we have a lot. they're distributed based kind of on gold permission. so jean-claude, let me ask you. how do you think about partnerships and manage them? yeah, so we do a lot of work
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with partners because bowel cells we know we can't right the entire elephant, but the two things that we look for one is actually solving a fundamental challenge. would it be regional local national within the focus on that and see how we bring we call a valued network of partners together you solve that problem for a group of superintendents or something that has with adult workforce as an example right now we actually doing work in dallas and regional pathways. we're looking at the educator pathways from early learning to being a school principle, right? how do we work with the industry the commit partnership in dallas here school systems etc. we create a pathway for young people to go all the way up so that kind of value proposition what we look for the other one is is what we call mutualism, which is that for partnership to actually work both have to benefit. if they don't it's not going to sustain. so what is it if you wasn't if us so the impact is is primary.
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the second fact is making sure that all part is a benefiting from the partnership. otherwise, he doesn't do you have our last dr. pew and ed. do you have technology partnerships in particular that you've tried to just drive because sometimes i know tech companies can be hard to work with and then you got to manage event. yes, so when you said partnerships right away, i was thinking oh my goodness i had so thankfully with this through the digital ethnic features. i was able to create a position part-time, but it's 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 and so one of them that we did is a partnership with actually a student run nonprofit called bid project and they are students who are pursuing degrees or recently completed degrees and computer science and software engineering and they are looking to teach non.
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tech folks the 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 non-tech folks. yeah, that's good. yeah, so i was just going to say though to bounce off of jean-claude statement is that i think with what i've seen is we do a lot of community engaged digital public humanities work and 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 that they're local kind of organizations that are just cultivating and retaining the local history.
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and and so we recently did one with a performing arts center and costa mesa, but that but they're all varied and what i think you pointed out is knowing kind of that mutual mutualism is important and then also knowing that all that you're gonna have different partners for very different reasons, but partnership is definitely the path to go on it can lead to you know grants. it could lead to new initiatives they could lead to recruitment. so right i just yeah, so i can't emphasize the necessity of i love that airport that i know we have one speed round. okay. i know we want to get onto the q&a so i won't take long and just simply say well first raise your hand if you work for the tea our library in okay, so we have with his four of them here and they have been instructed. they're not to leave dallas with a single business. excuse me. sorry you've done they can't get on the plane if they have a business card left, so meet them
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and talk to them. we are in the business of partnerships. we can't survive without those partnerships and there's a guy that it's associated with the tr library over there too, joe weekend. you should get to know him, too. i love that by the way, i have allergies. i promise it's not covid legally. this is the speed round and they don't know what i'm gonna ask him, but after talking to ed this morning i had an idea for each one of them. can you tell me a book that you would recommend to the audience to read about your areas something that you get super excited about? i'm gonna start with that because i know he knows the answer because he gave me too this morning. i mean i this is the challenge with theodore roosevelt. there's so many great books. obviously the edmond morris trilogy is fantastic beginning with the rise of theater roosevelt if you're going you want a good beach read. i mean, you can't do better than candice millard's river of doubt there we can go on and on and on non-trubject. i'd say these truths by jill lepore probably the best read i've had good john class just very quickly.
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there's a book called think again. i forgot the author's name just finished it that really teaches people how to step back and we think uses the blackberry as a great example. so why we need to rethink sometimes wow that yeah, um the digital black atlantic came out last year. i have one essay. and so i am plug but i think it gives an overview of how also these discussions are being had specifically within. african african studies black studies. oh, that's awesome. so i guess for thinking about jefferson biography. i would have to go with meacham's book, you know, john meacham's thomas jefferson art of power. it's a very good book at talking about how jefferson used as john says the medium of his age effectively to communicate ideas and ideals to affect change and i think that's that's true. i'd say not, you know, cal newport's deep work. because i feel overwhelmed by emails and i refuse to let the
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it people put the chat like for a long time. i would let them put microsoft teams on my computer because i don't want that blanket blank chat function working. so like how to create space to think. yeah, 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 i found it inspiration right the lineup for questions, but mine i'm gonna say if you haven't done wine in the white house with fritz fred ryan you got to do it not even do fireside chat with a group of people if we could get you together, so, all right, let's take some q&a who has some cute his questions for us. all right. hi, my name is christy weininger. i'm from the rutherford b hayes presidential librarian museums and fremont, ohio. so thank you so much for all your commentary. i just wanted to quickly mention and i'm looking around the room. i see some partners here that worked with us on a project last year when you know schools were not allowed to do their tours of presidential.
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tights anymore. we partnered with some groups on program called road to the white house and many of us were closed. and so this was a way it had a strong digital component, but now that i've heard all of you, i think it could have a stronger digital component, but it connected there were about 10 sites. we've got eight presidents in ohio that we gladly share with a couple of other states i see indiana over there benjamin harrison was one of the sites we partnered with jenny there with the first ladies and i don't know if any of my other ohio compatriots are here that we're part of that project, but we deliberately called it not ohio's road to the white house because we wanted this to be a test case and enlarge it to include some other presidential sites. not only because of covid but we wanted to have life beyond that. we think this is a great way to connect some of our sites and during the planning for that. we came up with the idea. there's a program called the leader in me, which is eight leadership habits. it's based on the eight highlights of eight habits of highly effective people, which you may be familiar with so it
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became more than a passport program. that's what we wanted it to be more than a passport program. it had some real meat and content to it. so this is partially i do have a question. i might yes we got again here. i know that but 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 that's how we're connecting to each other. do you have some recommendations on a platform or some digital aspects that we can incorporate into this kind of a program? thank you. i would say start with is a great platform called composer and i can maybe share offline more about that. is that netflix kind of digital piece that brings a lot of especially civics content into one place for teachers who actually access is a place where you can put for example all the tools and solutions you have and it shouldn't cost you any money was always welcome composer. yes. anybody else any other thoughts on platform if not grab them afterwards and i've got a couple
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of thoughts free, too. thank you for that next. good afternoon. my name is tracy messer with the calvin coolidge presidential foundation. thank you all for being here. one of my earliest memories of american presidents and technologies was going to disney world and first of all wanting to go to the hall of american presidents all the things there and true to form when i went to the hall of presidents mr. coolidge was there and in true character remain silent but mr. coolidge had a lot of things to say and i'm looking forward to the day that we may actually have hologram technologies. that will be truly interactive where we can learn more about each of our presidents and dare. i say there may even be a capability in the white house to summon up any one of the presidents who may be a counselor in a time of crisis
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when they have unique knowledge. so, do you know of any efforts through places like mit or other georgia tech who may be working on creating holographic presidents? yes, so i'll just say very quickly local projects is the interpretive firm with whom we're working. they did the greenwood rising the tulsa race massacre and museum in oklahoma. they did the legacy in just this museum in alabama the media for the 911 along with our architects now had to in new york fabulously creative. on the bleeding cutting edge of technology hologram visuals and others. so local projects would be my recommendation. is a lot going on. i mean the whole concept of augmented reality i think is getting there. so these folks can curate any content frankly and it's this idea of really making history alive in rich especially for young people. so it's not as the last panel push boring but really exciting to actually engage so there's a lot at work going on.
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it's better pushing somebody's folks security content you're looking for once the i'm blinking on the company name, but the platform is going to be called reach and it's it's produced through on noni de la peña who is considered the godmother of vr and basically her company is designing this platform so that people without a computer science or soft engineering background can create augmented and vr kind of environments. so that i think they're accepting people for beta testing right now and i would say one of our big goals with the white house historical association council on history is to continue to have a augmented reality world. i'd love to be able to for people to be able 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
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technology issue anymore. it's a pro serve. how do we do it? how do we spend it kind of project if that makes it exactly so thank you. that's great. by the way, you'll have to make the technology cheaper for folks social. yeah, or make them do it in kind as much as possible. we will have to support it, but if we can get them to help us put it together and then we just provide the support defend it afterwards. some great. good afternoon. i'm nate from the clinton foundation. i've got two questions one. how do you define a virtual visitor? it's been quite controversial. is it a one-second view? is it a reach? is it a click and then secondly any advice on how to evaluate the effectivity of your online resources it through surveys or is there a unique thing we should be looking for as success in digital learning? i'll jump on that, you know, one of the things that we've begun to really do is use google analytics to see how people actually interacting with the different tools and solutions. we have a great platform called
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learner variability navigator we get about 11,000 educator hits a month and we're finding it from south africa from from australia here from the philippines but to your point we're trying to see this spinning three minutes 20 minutes four seconds, right? and why is actually happening so we can actually modify the experience to engage people better. so right now it's all the analytics we can't ask those folks yet because again, the privacy issues can't go and ask but we sing schools of education in south africa actually accessing a particular tool then the question for us because how do actually change the experience to get folks to stay longer. i think i couldn't agree more john claude it measure engagement not visit. yeah because they can only click second so it's got to be time on that. they spend on one or one 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
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allows you then to be able to see what did they what did they click on? and then what did they stay on if that makes sense? so and how to enter? yes the site too. yeah. where did they come from which is good import parts of the world if you look at their ip addresses, which is nice, i'm allison holland i created and host a podcast called the kennedy dynasty podcast. it's about their history and legacy and i'm completely different here because i don't didn't come from a history background at all ops and marketing. i clicked a netflix documentary one night and was hooked and that's what happened. so now i have a real passion for teaching people about history and how important it is for our generation to learn and i've realized in my audience a little bit that people come for an episode about carolyn beset style and stay to learn about the new frontier. so i'm curious. what are some of you guys's you know plans and strategies for taking this awesome digital content that you have and putting it out to people like me that just need that little spark need to click it and then have a whole world opened up to them. you go where the audience is. i mean what you're doing alison is exactly what i think every
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presidential site is or needs to be doing right is to create content not in the form that 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 serendipitously find it. i mean that that's the big difference in our social media is not a network of channels you choose it's content that is curated to your liking and so we need to put content in the places where the audience is consuming. it wants to consume it and in the form that they want to consume it not not the way we do anybody else for good. oh, i was just going to say one exercise that i have students do digital storytelling is phenomenal. there's so many ways to do it. i can go a long way and one thing i challen. to do is especially students who like to write and be verbose. give me a digital storytelling that i can post to instagram that walks me through two minutes in history. that's it.
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and sometimes that's like the spark that some audiences need and they you know, they see that and then they're coming back for more. i like what you're doing in terms of connecting. different generation with a earlier generation, even if it's fashion or you know time bound, you know, like the gilded age you're going back and connecting from today. yesterday and yesterday to today and i think that's a really good strategy. next that's our last one. we're down to one minute and 50 seconds. we're on target. russian my name is samat association and since we're having this fantastic conversation about making history accessible with technology. i did want to point out that just outside this room at our rubenstein center booth we do have available with our oculus headsets vr immersion into the white house and the public spaces there. so i invite you to all check that out while you're here. yeah.


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