Teaching Digital History

...using documents, images, maps and online tools

October 2009 Blog Posts (22)

Plantation Paternalism

Slavery is anathema, but it was not always so. It was quite possible for well-meaning

and rational people to practice and defend the “peculiar institution.” Certainly this was

the case in the Antebellum South. The thousands engaged in the capture, transport,

trade, possession, and control of millions of Africans could not have reconciled

themselves to the economic, political, intellectual, cultural, and social structures that

supported and maintained slavery without a… Continue

Added by Robert Coven on October 25, 2009 at 10:45pm — No Comments

Dr. Strangelove and the Cold War

The Cold War era is one that I am becoming quickly and deeply interested in. Mutual assured destruction. Two world powers with massive nuclear arsenals and launching capabilities pointing their ICBM's at targets in each other's territories. Each side is paranoid and suspicious of the other. The USSR vs the USA. The 1950s through the 1980s were decades in which the American public lived with the thoughts of nuclear attack in the backs of their minds. Generally speaking I am a guy who has focused… Continue

Added by John Jackson on October 25, 2009 at 8:51pm — 1 Comment

Blackhawk Down Analysis

The film Blackhawk Down is a war drama based on the best-selling book detailing Operation Irene in Somalia on October 3, 1993. On this date nearly a team of Delta Force Operators and a company of U.S. Army Rangers were inserted by helicopter into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid. The mission is led by Major General William Garrison, and was supposed to take no more than one hour. The extraction by the Delta team is successful,… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 22, 2009 at 2:04pm — 3 Comments

Slaves and Cameron

Slavery Assignment.doc

In reading my part of the Plantation Letters, I was impressed by the mixture of "it's just business" and humanity shown toward the slaves; it left me with very strange feelings about the entire institution of slavery. It wasn't split evenly between either between on-site overseer and absentee owner as one might… Continue

Added by Charley Norkus on October 19, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Movies in the Clasroom

When I was completing my student teaching, I was told by my cooperating teacher that only those who cannot teach show movies. I never really thought much about it because in my mind it was kind of true. In my experiences, a teacher would show up to class, obviously have nothing planned out, and just pop in a movie that somewhat correlated with what we were talking about in class. So yeah, when my cooperating teacher said that I totally agreed with her. However, after being in the classroom now… Continue

Added by Jason Bolchalk on October 19, 2009 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Films In the Classroom

The first reading was based on research conducted by High School US History teachers in Wisconsin and Connecticut and was grouped into 4 main questions that was asked of these 85 participants. The first asked specifically what films were viewed in their classrooms, how often and how recently they were viewed. The second section inquired on how teachers used the film in their classroom (i.e. group work, lecture, discussion, etc). The third area focused on how teachers felt about the usage of… Continue

Added by Alice Harmon on October 19, 2009 at 1:38pm — No Comments

Is Hollywood History "Real" History?

Marcus and Stoddard’s article “Tinsel town as teacher: Hollywood film in the high school classroom” examines the use of movies in high school United States history classrooms. The availability of YouTube, Netflix and Redbox make almost every movie accessible at a minimal cost. The responsibility lies with the teacher to use video responsibly – for actual educational purposes and not as a… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 16, 2009 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Cameron Family Letters

I think in teaching Social Studies to middle school students, nothing grounds their interest more than first hand accounts from people who actually experienced what it is we are talking about. So often, it is hard for students to grasp the historical context with the themes we are talking about due to the lack of interest. While reading the Cameron family letters, I really saw the potential for a truly sound teaching tool.

Having the ability to read letters from people who lived… Continue

Added by Jason Bolchalk on October 12, 2009 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Online Historical Collections

Making of America is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The site does not offer an interpretation of materials.

The site contains a simple and rather austere front webpage where you search for book and journal resources by title or subject. There is a subject index where you can browse by… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 12, 2009 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Historical Online Collections

* Historical State


Historical State looks at the history of North Carolina State University through numerous links ranging from General History to Timelines even Athletics and Club organizations. It conveniently provides links along the side and in the middle of the webpage and has a search box at the top of the page that allows you to navigate through the different realms of NC State history. It is a very… Continue

Added by Jason Bolchalk on October 12, 2009 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Cameron-Bennehan Family Letters

Duncan Cameron moved to North Carolina from Virginia in the 1790s where he practiced law. He married Rebecca, the daughter of a successful planter Richard Bennehan in 1803 and became a planter himself. The Bennehan and Cameron family plantation ventures gradually merged into one of largest plantations in North Carolina with accumulated land holdings of over 30,000 acres and more than 1,000 people living and working on the land.

The letters and personal correspondence between family… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 12, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Cameron History and Overseer's Letters

The history of the Cameron and Bennehan families was full of names familiar to me - e.g., Nash, Mordecai, Blount, etc. - from which counties, towns, rivers, etc. are named here in North Carolina. I didn't see any mention of Cameron Village, but from having been friends with the Rochelles who lived in the Oberlin Road area just north of there, they always claimed to have been descended from slaves who worked "the Cameron plantation" which, if so, must have been one of several enterprises in… Continue

Added by Charley Norkus on October 12, 2009 at 3:30am — No Comments

A Photo / Timeline History of NC State

University Archives Photograph Collection


"A rich visual record of the history of North Carolina State University from its opening in 1889 to the present. The collection currently is comprised of over 1,500 images."

Each collection utilizes a web site format with a combination of words and images to relate its purpose and the kinds of things that will be found there.

In the left-hand margin are… Continue

Added by Charley Norkus on October 12, 2009 at 12:00am — No Comments

The Democratic and Anti-Democratic Nature of Digital Resources

The sites reviewed fall into two main categories: library/archives and exhibits. Archives focus on the preservation and presentation of documents and images, with little mediation. Museum exhibits are more pedagogical, with curators focusing on the explicit and implicit meanings of the documents. In the first category, the sites contain many similar design, access, and navigation elements. At minimum, each includes a search box and a topical browsing area to allow users to find material of… Continue

Added by Robert Coven on October 11, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

Wikipedia: Much (and Little) Has Changed

I examined “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Trans-Antarctic_Expedition], one of Wikipedia’s “featured articles.” As is implied by the above status, the article has received considerable attention and has been the subject of hundreds of revisions. The original posting was done by “Trollderella” in July of 2005. Little evidence of the original remains, however. There is also very little information on the contributor beyond that he knew more about the… Continue

Added by Robert Coven on October 11, 2009 at 12:00am — No Comments

Wiki Post

The first posting (a mere 2 sentences) was on January 1, 2002. Rosa Park’s page has been revised over 500 times with the latest editing being on September 29, 2009. There is a number of revisions every month of the year but it seems like August of 2008 had a great deal of updates.

The original posting was a short paragraph that named Rosa Parks as being “simply unwilling to give up her seat on the bus” in 1955 when the bussing segregation laws were still in effect in Birmingham Alabama.… Continue

Added by Alice Harmon on October 5, 2009 at 3:39pm — No Comments

Internet cognition

As I read through these articles on Internet readings and cognition, I found myself asking some of the same questions as I had when I read the articles about 21st century skills. Are we supposed to teach our students how to properly read material on the Internet in addition to how to comprehend and make sense of what they read in the textbooks? Also, can we substitute reading online for reading written texts? Are Internet sources and articles going to replace our standard textbooks in the near… Continue

Added by Jason Bolchalk on October 5, 2009 at 3:28pm — No Comments

Internet Learning and Cognitive Flexibility

What are the benefits of utilizing digital primary sources in a contemporary social studies classroom? The answer seems obvious – it provides students with an opportunity to explore history, gives them a sense of place and perspective with history, make connections with resources previously reserved for post secondary students and historians, understand the problems of making connections and verifying value of contradictory historical evidence which can lead to questioning the work of other… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 5, 2009 at 2:52pm — No Comments

Wikipedia Article Analysis - The Shackleton-Rowett Expedition

The Shackleton–Rowett Expedition Wikipedia page contains information on the last Antarctic expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, and the final episode in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration in 1921-22. The venture, financed by businessman John Quiller Rowett, is sometimes referred to as the Quest Expedition after its ship, a small converted Norwegian whaler. The page became a featured article on Wikipedia on December 17, 2008. The first… Continue

Added by Aaron Munz on October 5, 2009 at 1:09pm — No Comments

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