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The National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults

What it is:   Digital Vaults reminds me of Museum Box that I wrote about a few weeks ago.  The National Archives has put together an amazing site where students can create digital content with primary resources.  Students can search photographs, documents, and other records and collect them.  Students can use collected items to create their own digital poster or to make a movie.  Students can also create a Pathway Challenge.  In a challenge, students create a series of clues that show relationships between photographs, documents and other records.  Others can take part in these Pathways Challenges.  There are also ready made challenges that students can take part in, I just took the Lincoln challenge.  Clues are given and students have to find a record that matches the clue.  Very cool! How to integrate Digital Vaults into the classroom:  This is a truly incredible way for students to interact with history.    While the site may be too hard for primary elementary students to use on their own, the Lincoln Pathway Challenge could be used with an interactive whiteboard with the teacher guiding the challenge.  Teachers could also create a unique challenge that directly matches your curriculum for students to complete.  The poster, movie, and create your own Pathway Challenge are an engaging way for students to learn about history in a hands on approach.  Give students a direction to go and then give them time to collect resources, and create their digital history vault.  This is not history as I remember it…in fact, I’m sure I would know much, much more about history if I were involved in my learning this way!  This is so much better than learning history from an outdated text book, the Pathway Challenges are like virtual field trips through history.   Tips:  I learned about this awesome website from Free Technology for Teachers, a great blog!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Digital Vaults in your classroom.

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Museum Box

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, inspiration, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 06-01-2009

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What it is:    Museum Box is a website that I heard about through a tweet on Twitter a few weeks ago that is really impressing me today (that is saying a lot since today is MacWorld and they are announcing big things!).  Museum Box is based on the work of Thomas Clarkson who collected items in a box to help him in his argument for the abolition of slavery.  He collected items in a box to demonstrate to others the fine craftsmanship and abilities of the African culture.  He used his box as a sort of travelling museum to aid him in his debate.  The Museum Box website provides a place for students to collect information and arguments in a virtual museum box of their own.  They can collect items to provide a description or add to an argument of a historical event, place, or time period.  Students can add images, text, sounds, video, external links, etc. to each compartment of the box helping them form their own virtual museum.  The Museum Box can be shared as a presentation, saved, or printed.  After a box has been created, students can view one anothers boxes and leave comments about the box.  You really have to check this one out!  So neat for history and literature classes!

 

How to integrate Museum Box into the classroom:  Use Museum Box as a medium for students to learn about and collect information about a historical event, person, or time period.  Because students can upload their own content to Museum Box, you might also have them create a box all about them.  This would be a great way for students to get to know each other at the beginning of the year.  Museum box is a neat way to share information about geography, students can make a box all about a place including items in their box that are unique to that place.  The ability to incorporate text, sounds, images, video, and uploaded items makes Museum Box especially impressive!  After students have created boxes, spend time viewing other’s boxes and leaving comments about the box.  This is kind of like a science fair atmosphere for history, geography, and literature.   Yet another tool I wish I had in school!

 

Tips:  Introduce Museum Box to your students by learning about Thomas Clarkson, he is a very interesting historical figure that I had never heard of!

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Museum Box in your classroom.

Comments (1)

Hi Kelly,
Just wanted you to know that I recommended this website to a few teachers after seeing it here and they flipped over it! One is going to use it immediately as the wrap-up activity for a WWI project her class is just finishing and several others are collaborating on a unit about a BC gold rush town called Barkerville. In addition, another teacher just finished a unit on Underground to Canada and another just finished up a wiki on To Kill a Mockingbird, so Clarkson’s story and box will make a nice addition to their units. Thanks so much for posting these excellent resources. You might not always hear from us, but I assure you we’re very appreciative of all your great, practical ideas.
Mallory

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