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DIGITIZED HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS WITH DIRECT ACCESS

DIGITIZED HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS WITH DIRECT ACCESS

Schools now have direct access to thousands of primary sources.

Widespread efforts to digitize historical documents and collect histories are giving students access to thousands of perspectives faster and more easily than ever before.

And digital tools, such as audio-recorders and videocameras, are making it possible for students to record their own stories and those of their communities, allowing them to play an important part in archiving local history.

"There are lots of voices and a lot of other ways to look at the past" besides a traditional textbook narrative with one perspective, said Kelly Schrum, the director of educational projects for the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va.

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the center has created Teachinghistory.org, a website that collects history resources and materials and provides support for K-12 history teachers. The site contains videos, links to resources, and materials that teachers can use in their classrooms.

"Now we have a way to make multiple voices available to reach audiences," Ms. Schrum said.

"We're having this revolutionary process of digitizing materials," said B. Justin Reich, the co-director of EdTechTeacher, the umbrella organization that runs the Boston-based Center for Teaching History with Technology, which aims to help history teachers integrate technology into their classrooms through consultation services and workshops, as well as maintaining a wide range of resources on its website.

Students now have access to thousands of primary sources through online databases, and the Internet is providing a place for them to express their knowledge and insights, he says. (more)

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Article by KATIE ASH, Education Week | Read full article here