Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stay in Touch With Dead Celebrities Online

MySpace has given a voice to the youth. It's a social networking site, and a public place for a personal journal, photographs, music and video. And anyone can sign up. Even some famous dead people.

Every dead poet, philosopher, artist and past president you can think of has a MySpace page -- and many are presented in the first person, as if Thomas Edison and Joan of Arc are lounging at home in their pajamas, posting pictures and updating their blogs.

Benjamin Franklin recommends that his visitors read a bio that's posted on the site. "Maybe," he writes, "it will help people realize that flying a freakin' kite wasn't my greatest accomplishment." And George Washington asks us: "Who rocked the revolution?...That's right, I did."
Time travel has never been easier, as MySpace users can interact with some of the famous people who lived (and died) before them. It has benefits for the deceased as well. For instance, Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth have apparently settled their differences and are now "friends."

We think this could be a useful tool to educate kids about history. When textbooks don't work as effectively as teachers may hope, they should find ways to reach the students. We're just afraid of what the students might say to Eleanor Roosevelt based on what they've heard of her already.

[Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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