US HISTORY PROJECTS AND RELATED INFORMATION |
"From Revolution to Reconstruction"
A rich resource for teachers of American history is the on-line course "From Revolution to Reconstruction" which Professor George Welling from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands has made available on the World Wide Web. His hypertext linked course materials provide an excellent source for students and scholars to make links to other related sites .
The US Civil War On-line
For instance Professor Welling's information on the US Civil War can be linked to the Library of Congress' "Civil War Photograph Collection" as well as "The Gettysburg Address On-Line Exhibition", and the Gettysburg archives. Other links include 'Excerpts of Slave Narratives' , 'Slave Voices' from the Duke University Special Collections Library, Slavery in the Americas (projects from Pennsylvania State University history students) , 'Letters from an Iowa Soldier in the Civil War' and a host of other civil war archives. (See also related report about a how some students are using the Library of Congress resources in their history classes "History on-line:Library of Congress is Only a Keyboard Away".)
"Mark Twain and The Phillipines"
The chapter on US expansion suggests a link to another site "Mark Twain on the Philippines" by Jim Zwick of Syracuse University which chronicles Twain's anti-imperialist writings of the period and which forms part of a larger project "Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935". Other valuable additions to this topic can be found at University of Wisconsin's Center for Southeast Asian Studies on-line archive of historical photography (a rich and diverse collection of photo images on the Philippines spanning the US colonial era from the 1890s to the 1940s) and Small Planet Communications online teaching unit on "The Age of Imperialism: An On-line History" which "combines an engaging narrative with the broad resources available to students on the Internet". Aimed primarily for secondary school teachers and students, the information can be used "in place of a standard textbook treatment of nineteenth-century American expansionism, or to supplement existing Social Studies materials".
"The American Revolutionary War"
An impressive example of a student-authored history project on the World Wide Web entitled 'American Revolutionary War' was designed and written by pupils from the Ralph Bunche School in New York. After initial discussions with their teacher, the students collaborated with another class of students from Illinois on related topics via e-mail . This initial period of information sharing was followed by the creation of student projects in various media including Hyperstudio stacks and web-based projects (with links to documents and other information from George Welling's 'Revolution to Reconstruction' site). Information from this site can also be linked to the Library of Congress on-line exhibition "Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents" , the US archives Charters of Freedom Exhibit, a virtual tour of "Historic Philadelphia" and an image library 'Archiving Early America' with maps, journals and newspaper reports from the period.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to American History
Professor Stanley Schultz and producer William Tishler from the University of Wisconsin have created a Web site to complement a series of televised lectures for students of American History 102: Civil War to the Present. The site includes on-line study guides for each televised lecture as well as a selection of Web sites sorted in relation to the lectures ( The Hitchhiker's Guide to American History).
An Online American History Curriculum
In 1992, The Sage Colleges (Troy, NY) and the Niskayuna School District (Niskayuna, NY)
received a three-year grant to develop a curriculum in American history. The curriculum called Crossroads: A K-16 American History Curriculum is composed of thirty-six units equally
distributed among elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. The curriculum is chronologically organized into twelve historical periods.
Each unit begins with an essay on the history and historiography of the period written by the project
historian, Richard B. Bernstein. The unit plans were then written by teams teachers after a year-long seminar in American history and historiography with Professor Bernstein. Following their preparation,
elementary and middle school units were field tested within the school district.
American Studies: Student Essays
Graduate students from the University of Virginia's American Studies Department have published a number of student projects as well as articles and hypertext commentaries to supplement the reading of Henry Smith's book 'Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth'. Student publications include 'Projects on American Icons' (e.g. Coca Cola Goes to War) , Pocahontas:Icon at the Crossroads of Race and Gender in America' .
Teachers participated in a course on Making History on the Web at the University of Virginia in the summer of 1996. A number of online history projects were completed (though many sadly not) based on scanned historical documents and images. You can see a sampling of the projects created by seminar participants using the resources of the electronic text center at the University of Virginia.
University of Virginia's Electronic Text Resources
In addition there is the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Resources which include several hyptertext articles and books related to US History including and How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (1890) by Jacob Riis. Similarly, the History Department at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has also compiled and published a hypertextbook 'On the Lower East Side:Observations of Life in Lower Manhattan at the Turn of the Century' a collection of articles, documentary sources, and study guides which was compiled to accompany the course, An Urban Experience: New York City's Lower East Side, 1880-1920.
US Diplomatic History and Student Projects from
San Diego State University
Professor Steve Schoenherr from the University of San Diego (in addition to his impressive projects on 'The Treaty of Versailles',the hyptertext 'WW II History Timeline and his online lectures notes from his own courses e.g. U.S. Diplomatic History 1776-1900 & U.S. Diplomatic History 1900-1988') has also made available a number of student-published projects dealing with US History topics.
Using Multimedia to Teach a College Level United
States History Survey
John F. Reynolds from the University of Texas at San Antonio has experimented with multimedia authoring tools as well as Web-based course materials. His course United States History, 1870 to the Present contains a number of lecture outlines as well as a paper describing steps and problems encountered in preparing and presenting multimedia lectures as well as student reactions to the course material.