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Tweeting Normandy

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 by Bri DeRosa

June 6, 2016 marks the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Troops’ storming of Normandy Beach in World War II. While many individuals and groups mark the occasion each year, a young history enthusiast has come up with a unique way to pay tribute.

ships near normandySince 2011, Alwyn Collinson has been “live-tweeting” the entirety of World War II, and his tweets on 6/6/16 are bringing D-Day to life in a format that a digitally literate generation can understand and experience. Using historical research and real photos from the Allied Landing, Collinson is reconstructing the events of the day on Twitter just as if it were happening in real time. Learn more about his five-year-long project here, then talk about it with your family:

  • Alwyn Collinson says the goal of his @RealTimeWWII project is to “help people feel like they’re there.” Can you think of any books, movies or museums that have helped you to feel as though you were actually experiencing a historical event? What was that like?
  • Do you think using social media to broadcast historic happenings in “real time” might change the way people view those events?
  • Would you be more likely to want to learn about something from history if it were presented in social media or in some other digital format? Why or why not?
  • If you could “live tweet” any event or series of events from history, what would you choose and why?
  • Alwyn Collinson is clearly passionate about World War II and dedicated a great deal of time and effort to this project in order to educate others. What subject are you passionate about? If you could spend your time creating a unique way to teach others about it, what would you do?