Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.

Demonstrations

Adapting Hands-on Activities on the National Museum of American History Website

Tim Grove , National Museum of American History, USA

www.si.edu/nmah/notkid/ubh/00intro.htm

Session: Demonstrations 1

Seeking to make their popular Hands On History Room exhibit accessible to a national audience, educators at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History have developed web versions of two activities from the Room. The activities utilize the unique aspects of the web format and were completed with a minimal budget. Desire for the activities to be accessible to users with different kinds of browsers and computers led to activities that do not require the user to download a variety of plug-ins. Instead, the activities rely on asking solid questions and using engaging primary sources including objects, photographs, documents and oral histories. Both activities guide the user through the historical process: looking at a collection of primary sources and drawing conclusions based on the evidence.