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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.

Ohio as America




Ohio Historical Society


Mike Ridinger, INFOhio




About the Project

OOaA Home hio as America is an example of a cultural organization recognizing a need in the community and working with the community to find an innovative solution. It is a completely online, electronic textbook for Ohio fourth grade social studies, aligned with the revised and current Ohio Academic Content Standards.  Ohio as America was created by staff at the Ohio Historical Society in conjunction with a team of Ohio fourth grade teachers.  Fourth grade social studies was chosen because that is when students learn Ohio history.  The title “Ohio as America” was chosen due to the shift in focus of the fourth grade standards from a strict Ohio focus to using Ohio as a lens for American history. 


Unit HomeThe Ohio Historical Society interacts with teachers, especially fourth grade teachers, in a variety of ways including Teaching American History grants, History Day, field trips, case histories and the History-to-Go van.  Teachers were voicing concerns regarding the revised standards, which were adopted in 2010.  Fourth grade teachers were required to teach additional content, such as the War of 1812, and to shift the focus to discuss Ohio as part of the United States.  The Ohio Historical Society saw an opportunity to create a product that would help teachers transition to the revised standards while showcasing resources of local historical societies throughout the state.

 The textbook contains five units, which are further divided into fifteen chapters.  Each chapter contains the same elements:

  • Chapter title page which includes the standards alignment, Essential Question and “I Can” statement
  • Before the Chapter questions
  • Student Readings
  • Featured Artifact
  • Activities and Assessments
  • Maps
  • Videos
  • Primary Sources
  • Additional Resources
  • End of the Chapter questions


Interactive Map In addition to these components there is also an Interactive Map.  This map features the outline of the State of Ohio with different map layers to select, thus creating the perfect map for any lesson. 


Ohio as America contains a teacher version as well as a student version.  Each teacher receives a login and he or she is able to create individual logins for students (a temporary login has been created: username is museums; the password is ontheweb). The first year of Ohio as America (2011-2012 school year) is free.  It will be a fee-based subscription beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, starting at the nominal per student fee.


Video Page Audience Response

As of mid-February 2012 Ohio as America is being used by 38,996 students, which equals 1,012 teachers.  Based on the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Education, there are 133,020 Ohio 4th graders which means in less than a year we have been able to get Ohio as America to approximately 29% of 4th grade students in the state.  In addition to 4th grade students, Bowling Green State University and the University of Dayton are using Ohio as America as a textbook for their social studies methods courses for pre-service teachers.



Primary Source PageImpact of Ohio as America 

Ohio as America offers a textbook for fourth grade social studies unlike most social studies textbooks.  Since it is online it is fluid, with the ability to add new content at any time, thus keeping students up to date with the latest historic information.  Because it utilizing multiple vehicles for content delivery it is ideal for both differentiated learning as well as satisfying students with multiple learning styles.

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