Archive for the ‘web’ Tag

The Possibilities of Collecting Born Digital Sources

As a teacher I utilize more and more “born digital” resources in the classroom.  These resources to range from news clips, youtube videos, and personal accounts of historical events.  There are countless sites on the web dedicated to provided a wide array of digital sources that can be incorporated into the classroom.  One of the fastest growing areas of digital sources are oral histories.  This may seem strange considering the intensive process that historians partake when conducting such interviews.  The internet, however, seems to be revolutionizing oral histories as we know it.

Essentially, historians have turned to the web in various formats to collect information from living history sources.  One examples of these efforts is the 9/11 digital archive.  This is a sight where people can tell their story of that historic day by adding email, and uploading images, documents, and other digital files to the archive.  This archive showcases many web 2.0 technologies and creates a truly democratic exhibit where people can connect, recollect, and memorialize the victims of that tragic event.

If I were to build a history website, I would definitely incorporate a section where people could contribute their memories, images, and documents to enrich the site.  My site would have a core set of materials on display such as maps, images, teaching resources, and interactives as well as two types of contribution areas.  The first would be the type described above and the second would be a place where scholars could submit suggestions and content.  Scholars would contribute primary sources, original work related to the topic, and suggestions for site design.  One of the key components to this contributor format is collection of submitter contact info.   This way, when I want to redesign the site or exhibit new or different content, I could send out mass emails asking for intellectual contributions.

Interconnecting quality secondary and primary resources in a digital format is can have a massive effect on learning in and out of the classroom.