Ben Smalley grew up in Athens Georgia, received his Bachelors in Social Science Education from UGA and his Masters in Social Studies Education from Georgia State. He currently teaches Honors and AP US History and coaches Varsity girls soccer at Pebblebrook High School in Cobb County. Check out his new Youtube Channel, “The Specialist."
and/or when did you get you hooked on history?
I got hooked on history when my 10th grade AP
US History teacher explained that history was a fluid interpretation of the
past rather than a static memorization of facts.
role does history play or has it played in your personal life?
I love to see how history connects to current
events and absolutely love to travel to historical places. It is so
amazing to see and experience something you have read/taught about for years.
is/How was history a part of your professional life/career?
I currently teach Honors and AP US History, I
just started a youtube channel that is heavy on history, and I am working on
using 360 degree camera technology to take students on virtual field trips
using virtual reality headsets and smartphones.
is studying/knowing history important?
History can explain everything that is
happening in the world we live in. It is important that we understand
history and try to build on our shared successes and failures in order to make
the world a better place.
is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about and why?
I love 1920s America! There are so many
amazing things happening at once and I think it marks the beginning of the
modern era. I was also recently on a Mongolian Empire kick after
listening to the podcast Hardcore History.
is The Specialist?
The Specialist is a list show with
intelligence. The channel has short 1-3 minute videos with lists that are
geared toward engaging my students, but also have a "did you know?"
dinner party vibe as well. For example, in 9 Things You Didn't Know About The
Civil Rights Movement you will find out that Rosa Parks was inspired by a 15
year old girl who refused to give up her seat on a bus before she did.
will viewers gain from The Specialist and what’s your vision for its future?
The random viewer will gain a quick burst of
knowledge that blends entertainment and education, while the student/teacher
will gain a great supplementary tool that will hopefully fuel their hunger for
learning. My goal is to continue to add new videos, increase viewership,
and get valuable feedback from my audience.