Teens are making historical events go viral on TikTokHistorians in the News
tags: social media, digital history, TikTok
There is a long-held stereotype that teenagers spend a lot of time online, uninterested in real life events.
People who say that clearly haven’t seen them on TikTok, where they are engaging in the unexpected: teaching history lessons.
Nadia Jaferey, a former staffer for Kirsten Gillibrand, drew attention to the phenomenon in October, when she tweeted out a thread of her favorite TikTok history re-enactments. She linked to several short videos where teenagers played out key points in history, with special effects and audio to boot.
I asked a history expert to watch the videos and comment: my old history teacher, Izzy Jones, who is now vice-principal at my old high school in London.
She is delighted to see teenagers use the platform this way. “The ones that I really liked were the ones on the international relations in the 20th century,” says Jones, adding: “I’d use some of those videos in class.”
She explains how the most powerful videos use human beings to personify world actors – such as countries – in major historical events.
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