| LEARNING CONNECTIONS
Students can merge their own reflections with recorded excerpts
from texts to create a podcast of annotated oral histories and
share them online.
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Primary Source Documents
Through the project, we also aim to
model uses of innovative and productive technology tools in support
of historical inquiry. A host of Web
2.0 tools have emerged in the past
four to five years that help students
manipulate information from historical primary-source documents in a
manner consistent with standards and
For example, the Benchmarks of
Historical Thinking suggest that students should learn to use primary-source evidence. Two lessons developed for the project engage students
in using Google Maps to reconstruct
common transportation routes detailed in several letters.
The benchmarks also suggest that
students learn to understand the moral
dimensions of history, so another lesson developed for the project leads
students to use wikis or Google Docs
to write their own piece of historical
fiction about a group of slaves who
were relocated from North Carolina
to Alabama on foot. In this lesson,
student groups write a daily diary
from the perspective of slaves, describing the forced march based on facts
gleaned from overseer/owner letters.
To reflect again on the moral dimensions of history as well as cause
and consequence for slaves, another
lesson requires students to use collaborative document annotation tools,
such as Voice Thread, to discuss letters
from overseers and jailers communicating about a slave named Milton,
who ran away from a Cameron plantation in Alabama and was caught and
eventually punished by whipping.
Aligning technology with standards
and frameworks is not limited to
Web-based tools. Digital audio and
video tools can encourage historical
thinking about documents. This proj-
ect is fortunate to have a partner in the
local Stagville state historic site, the
location of the Cameron family home,
where many of the primary source
documents were written.
Benchmarks of Historical Thinking: www.
Plantation Letters Ning: http://plantation.ning.com
SCIM-C model: www.historicalinquiry.com
Voice Thread: http://voicethread.com
Kevin M. Oliver is an assis- tant professor of instructional technology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He has a PhD from the University of Georgia.
John K. Lee is an associate professor of social studies edu- cation at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He has a PhD from the University of Virginia.