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2011 2011-Story Time

Tradigital History: Bringing the Past Alive

Presenter: Dr. James Beeghley
Location: Mechanicsburg, Pa USA


Presentation Title: Tradigital History: Bringing the Past Alive

Presentation Description: Many teachers would indicate that there is insufficient time and they lack available resources to fully and properly cover the topic so they instead focus on famous people, famous dates in history and other major events. In addition to traditional resources such as textbooks and secondary sources, the Internet opens the doors to vast libraries of information and resources for teaching about history. This is important because while reviewing these resources, students might brainstorm, using prior knowledge, and engage in problem-solving strategies similar to the work of historians thus adding important dimensions to their learning (NCSS, 1994).

This presentation describes uses of technology, in particular digital historical resources, for the teaching of history and social studies. Digital historical resources such as the Valley of the Shadow project challenge traditional interpretations of historical events in today’s K-12 social studies classrooms. In addition, digital historical resources from sources such as the National Archives or The Library of Congress can be used to challenge and clarify popular ideas about our history such as the causes of the Civil War. For example, primary source documents could be used to challenge and clarify some of the more popular misconceptions about the causes of the Civil War because K-12 teachers usually do not consider this as an open ended question.

The presentation will discuss how to encourage students to learn more about early photography, use analysis skills, and to research additional while using original photographs from throughout history.

Attendees will be shown how to use photographs as part of a CSI theme in order to incorporate Science and other content areas. Furthermore, the session will address how educators can use audio and video to teach and engage students in “doing history”. The session will present information on the use of Web 2.0 in teaching history including how to create/use Web 2.0 tools for their classroom use.

iPod video “” mp3 audio


Supporting documents:


  1. Ginny

    Really interesting presentation; wish there had been digital primary sources like this when I was at school!

    I’m intrigued by the green screen you used. I looked at your website but couldn’t see a link to the product. Did you say it was free?

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  5. Kim Thomas

    I am a huge fan of utilizing primary sources in the classroom so this presentation really struck home for me. Also enjoyed “roaming” through all the great info on the supporting doc page.

    We will be using this presentation as part of our tech PD in the Madison School District for the Spring session. On behalf of the teachers, and myself, thank-you!

    Kim Thomas
    Madison School District

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