In recent news, two historians are among the 10 new fellows at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the Supreme Court of the United States blog is looking for student interns, the AASLH has a new online community, Kafka’s papers are unearthed but not made public, and workers at the World Trade Center site have uncovered an 18th-century boat. Then read on for two teaching-related articles: first, students and scholarship online, then, teaching about the Bush presidency.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has once again chosen “The Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning.” The sites they’ve chosen are all free and “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration.“
The top 25 they’ve selected are broken down into seven categories, including:
- Media Sharing
- Digital Storytelling
- Manage and Organize
- Social Networking and Communication
- Curriculum Sharing
- Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More
- Content Collaboration
Here we take a brief look at just a few of their selections.
In the news this week, the Civil War Preservation Trust has sent a letter (with the support of 270 historians) asking Pennsylvania to reject a gaming resort near Gettysburg, Congress is meeting to discuss the National Historical Publications and Records Commission reauthorization bill, the National Science Foundation is seeking research proposals related to the Gulf oil spill, and the American Library Association
rejects* an IRB resolution. We also link to a number of interesting online resources this week: the new London Lives site and the Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
Who doesn’t love a good mystery, especially a good history mystery? The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History web site seeks to draw you in through the mysterious element, turning everyone into detectives on history’s cold cases. The site explains, “The project builds on the new ‘document-centered inquiry’ and ‘active learning’ pedagogical thinking. The beauty of this format is that students have to make their research strategy and critical-thinking skills as they defend their theory” for each mystery.
Peter Gossage, history professor at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, says that the site’s design employs a detective analogy, encouraging users to explore digital archives to build their own narrative and craft their own interpretation on these mysteries.
Games can entertain, occupy, and captivate. Games can also teach. Trevor Owens and Jim Safley at George Mason’s Center for History and New Media recognized the educational value of games and how games can “promote humanities learning,” and so they created the Playing History web site.
The site offers a database of 126 “free historical games, interactives and simulations on the web,” and plans to keep adding more. Visitors to the site can search for games, view featured games, and suggest new games to be added to the database.
The interactive web site, Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704, asks of the French and Native attack, “Was this dramatic pre-dawn assault in contested lands an unprovoked, brutal attack on an innocent collage of English settlers? Was it a justified military action against a stockaded settlement in a Native homeland?
The Memorial Hall Museum captures the history of Massachusetts through numerous interactive activities that encourage users to engage with artifacts, documents, maps, photographs, and books from the colonial period to the early 20th century:
- Explore clothing by rolling your cursor over each layer for both a written and oral explanation.
- Read stories from the early 1900s through oral histories: “As we read and hear individual stories, it becomes clear that the past is a complicated terrain, experienced, and acted upon in many and vastly different ways.”
- Take a tour of African American historic sites in Deerfield, Massachusetts, recounting stories from freed and enslaved blacks along Main Street.
Note: AHA Today has featured oral history in numerous past blog posts. This post along with the previous February 3rd post roundup some of these previously mentioned oral history resources as well as introducing some new sources.
Much like podcasts, oral history projects seem to be growing by the week, covering countless historical eras and events. Last week we ran a post introducing a few of these online oral history resources, and today we survey more of these projects.
Suffragists Oral History Project
This project started in the early 1970s as a part of the Bancroft Library’s Regional Oral History Office, interviewing 12 notable figures from the women’s suffrage movement.