Mashing Up History and Teaching Our Kids: The Public Is Invited


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A presentation at the Museum Computer Network Conference, 2010, about new projects at the Jewish Women's Archive enabling mashups and data re-use. The most significant of these is our new Presentation Tool which uses the OAI-ORE standard and a Drupal CMS Flash player to enable the creation, modification, and playing of presentations using materials on our website, on other websites (including YouTube and Flickr) or uploaded by the user.

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  • Notice the “Support” button. Notice, too, the links to our presence on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook. Those links are at the bottom of every JWA page.
  • HistoryMakers, now imported into Drupal
  • After creating the HistoryMakers exhibit (originally called “Women of Valor”) we also created an interface, “Primary Sources,” for educators to facilitate using each of the resources from that exhibit in the classroom.
  • We gather new archival materials in a variety of ways. In our “We Remember” section, anyone is invited to write a piece about a Jewish woman who died this century. Over the last five years, we have gathered and uploaded over 100 pieces. Most of them are about women who are not otherwise mentioned ion the archive.
  • Theme pages, such as this page on Environmentalism, and the following page celebrating GLBT Pride Month (June) draw on existing resources on our website, and also provide fields at the bottom where people can add in the names and stories of other significant Jewish women.
  • Comments aren’t just about the historical events – sometimes they highlight history happening right now, as in the New CAJE conference; or outcomes of the events chronicled, such as “50th Reunion of refugees in 1994”….
  • Media files can be found on their own, with links back to the article(s) in which they are embedded. We intend to extend “comments” to these objects, as well. Everything on the site wants to be comment-able, tag-able, and re-use/re-mixable.
  • For years teachers have asked us to create a way for them to create custom presentations using our materials. When the OAI-ORE standard was announced, we realized that there was now a way to store the information in a presentation in a way that avoided the overhead of creating a PowerPoint presentation or its equivalent. Instead, an OAI-ORE file uses a common newsfeed standard (Atom) to add information about presentation order and components. Since it is a standard file, not only can the presentations we used on any system with an OAI-ORE presentation tool, but can even be used in a slightly limited sense in a standard news reader such as Google Reader.
    The modules created in Drupal by Linnovate, Ltd., have been contributed to for use by anyone using the open source Drupal CMS. See for details on that site, or visit our site: (The project was original called “Unlocking the Archive”)
  • This year, we have created a new curriculum called “Living the Legacy” which takes advantage of the Presentation Tool.
  • This is where I pop out of the presentation to demo running a presentation.
  • Our second big project this year around “user-generated content” and mashups--
    A “weekend” project to prove the concept (mashing Google Maps and Jewish Women’s History) in time for Women’s History Month (March).
  • People can also add comments – as on all Drupal content
  • Anyone, at any time, can add someone to “on the map”.
    What unsung woman in your neighborhood can you put “on the map”?
    How many people here have kids or grandkids on their phones?
    Imagine how many additions we’ll get when we create an “app” for that—add women’s history from images or videos you take on your cellphones?
  • “On the Map” also has a Flickr component
  • Here we browse by location
  • And I’ll end with my favorite “on the map” entry, so far. What’s missing? Information about the significant Jewish women in =your= town or neighborhood.
    For further information, contact us at
  • Mashing Up History and Teaching Our Kids: The Public Is Invited

    1. 1. Mashing Up History and Teaching Our Kids — The Public Is Invited Ari Davidow Presentation for Museum Computer Network Conference 2010