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Connecting K-12 Students & Teachers with Online Archival Material


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Connecting K-12 Students & Teachers with Online Archival Material

  1. 1. ConnectingK-12 Students & Teachers with Online Archival Material Matt Herbison twitter: @herbison Legacy Center, Archives & Special Collections Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia SAA 2012 San Diego Session 208 2012 Aug 09See slides at
  2. 2. Exploring history through primary sourcesStudents say... ...which meansI felt like a detective! ...I was thinking critically about documents.The old photo was more real! ...I have a sense of authenticity & original-ness.I got angry! ...I was personally engaged and excited.
  3. 3. Students need this ...and Teachers tooDoing History.More than Historical Thinking...Critical Thinking!Teachers benefit by combining their expertise with our expertise.Theres a new emphasis on the use of primary documents in the teaching of K-12 history. (Common Core School Standards - NARA talk at SAA Session 402)
  4. 4. We can learn from museumsMuseum educators connect their objects with K-12 audiences all the time.We should be doing this too.Interpretation…in a museum sense.
  5. 5. What were doing at theDrexel University Med School ArchivesHow do we connect with K-12 online?Planning grant and new implementation grant from the Heritage Philadelphia Program Program of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, supporting public history practice in the Philadelphia region.Worked with groups of students and teachers to get their input through in-class story-testing sessions, surveys, and focus groups.
  6. 6. Where were starting fromCustom-grown digital collections system (from IMLS grant 7+ years ago)It works well for our typical researchersBut our metadata, interface, and features fail for K-16 users (and other novice users)
  7. 7. Wait. You are in 9th grade.Who are Eliza & Matilda?
  8. 8. Archives online collections are toohard for teachers & students to use. We can do much better in making our digital collections: Accessible Useful Engaging …essential for K-12 users
  9. 9. Online - Students & Teachers Want• CONTEXT - Why should I care about this?• Video & Audio• Transcripts, even for scanned typescripts – need to be easy to read and copy• Easy to grab & use images from website• Good balance of images and text ("good" might mean 2-10 images for 1 text)• Teachers tear apart lesson plans for their context and primary sources. Should we make things more a la carte?
  10. 10. Digital History ToolkitWhere we’re heading – based on our findingsInterpretive layer on top of revamped digital collections database >>>Driven by Story-based pagesImproved item-level pages
  11. 11. Digital History ToolkitInterpretive layer on top of revamped digital collections database• Improved item-level pages o Context to answer "Why does this matter?" o Easy to grab and use images and text• Story-based pages o Gather, connect, and contextualize several items that support the story o Place in time and geographically o Prompts to help explore documents and connections• Later phases of development will add more options for guided discovery
  12. 12. You should do this. You can do this.No matter where you work.All it takes to start:• a good story with several supporting documents• the historical context• a connection with a teacher
  13. 13. So youre interested in the K-12 audience...Reference Access Outreach (RAO) Section meetingat 3:30pm today in Sapphire 400...the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) discussion groupMidwest Archives Conference (MAC) Symposium:Engaging Students & Teachers: Integrating PrimarySources in K-16 Curricula (archivists & teachers mingling!)October 18-20 in Cincinnati, OHMidwestArchives.orgAlso Session 402 at 10:00am tomorrow in Sapphire ABwill touch on some of these topics, including field experiencefor pre-service Social Studies teachers in archival institutions
  14. 14. Connecting K-12 Students & Teachers with Online Archival Material Matt Herbison twitter: @herbisonSee slides at bonus slides…
  15. 15. Come for the content Stay for the processAre the students learning content, process, research skills? Is it an intro to your repository? (See BHS talk at SAA Session 402)All counts towards critical thinking.Starting points:Not: Is there bias? More: What is the bias?Easy starting point: WDYK? WDYWYK?(What do you know? What do you wish you knew?)Structured document analysis approaches are an easy place for you to dive in.
  16. 16. Systematic approaches for analyzing primary sources• Library of Congress - Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool• National Archives - Document Analysis Worksheets• SCIM-C Historical Inquiry strategy (a favorite; too thorough!)• Stripling Model of Inquiry• UC-Irvine History Project - The “6 C’s”• Primary vs Secondary sources at Princeton, handy dandy examples• Peter Pappas’ Teaching With Documents website• Nikki Lamberty at Carleton College• John I. Brooks at Fayetteville State University• Brooklyn Connections @ BPL - Independent Research Project Packet (another favorite starting point, worksheet based)• many more