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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

DocsTeach

People's Choice:
1 vote

Institution: 

Foundation for the National Archives

Designer: 

Second Story, Inc.

Category: 

Education

Why

DocsTeach provides a little alchemy in the classroom. Taking the rich, primary source documents available from the National Archives, this Web site bridges educators, archival materials, and the classroom.

Thousands of hand-selected, historic documents, organized by era, are made available for educators to use as teaching aids. American history is captured with a media repertoire that contains written documents, images, maps, charts, graphs, audio, and video. The site provides immediate access to these documents and then takes it a level deeper. Educators are allowed to draw from this palette of documents to create online activities for classroom usage. These activities throw the light-switch on otherwise murky historical subjects, and students will find their interest sustained with the attention-grabbing graphics and interface. Behind the scenes, simple online tools make the activities easy to create and easy to share, both in the classroom and with other educators. Activities can be done in class, but they can also be assigned as homework. For busy teachers, there is a repository of readymade activities.

DocsTeach amplifies the teaching experience with an unprecedented level of integration between historic documents and the classroom. This collaborative project opens the National Archives vaults in valuable and surprising ways, simultaneously opening the window on history for young students.