The students in my graduate seminar “Teaching History in the Digital Age” began presenting their final projects last night and I’m very pleased with both the diversity of their work and with the degree of thinking about historical thinking that their projects reflect. To give you an idea of what they’re working on, here are the first six:
- A site aimed at high school students in Virginia/West Virginia on the secession of the western counties of Virginia in the 1860s.
- A site aimed at high school and college history teachers that allows them to compare texts from world history textbooks from multiple national context, each dealing with the same topic (ten different versions of the French Revolution, for instance).
- A site that allows students and the general public to explore the shootings in the U.S. House of Representatives by Puerto Rican nationalists. This site includes many (and sometimes conflicting) oral histories that force visitors to negotiate their way through the different memories of those present.
- A site that invites students to consider why someone in the American colonies might or might not support independence in 1776. This site uses the biographies of a wide variety of people living in the colonies to help students understand the different motives that drove political choices.
- A site that focuses on the role of Free Masonry in the early American republic with a particular focus on George Washington.
- A site that is a platform for a GIS-based investigation of the history of two communities divided/united by a bridge between the republic of Moldova and Transnistria.
Now if we could just give them each a grant to develop these into fully functional projects that teachers and students could use…