Sunday, July 05, 2009

While we're talking 'Primary Sources': Collaborating with the US National Archives

Yesterday, I posted about opportunities for teachers to use the resources of the Library of Congress' 'TPS' Project.

Today, let's take a look at what's available from the National Archives.

Back in March, the Archives launched a social networking site geared towards social studies and history teachers. The name of the project is 'Collaborate'.
Collaborate serves as the virtual meeting place for members of the National Archives education team and colleagues from schools, institutions, and organizations outside of the government to share innovative ideas and best practices and to give advice on how to improve our new website at every stage of its development.

Here's a brief video from the project site:

And here is the link to the Collaborate site.

In a sign that someone in D.C. really understands what social media is all about, they are asking teachers what it is that we'd like them to do with Collaborate:
When we give teachers using this new website the option to choose other primary source documents to place inside the activity frameworks, how many choices will they want? For instance, the National Archives Education Team can hand pick and limit the number of documents that teachers will be able to choose from; or we can give teachers the ability to search through the approximately 92,000 images available digitally in our online Archival Research Catalog (ARC). Which option would teachers prefer? Should we do both - give teachers the option to choose a hand-picked set of documents as well as the option to search through ARC?

All of this is pointing in the right direction. Greater resources for teachers, greater transparency in government, and a focus on getting past the filter of the textbook industry and tackling primary sources head-on.

1 comment:

  1. If you would like to join our conversation as we design a new education web site, please visit the Collaborate web site and add a message in the forum after registering. Thanks!


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