Chapter Contents

[Introduction] [Projects] [Interpersonal] [Informational] [Pedagogical]
[Research] [Professional] [Navigational] [Conclusion]


'Listservs' (e.g. H-Net) provide both general discussion groups for secondary social studies and history teachers and discussion groups for specific topic areas. Discussions center around current issues for history teachers, book reviews, suggestions for texts and issues on national and international examinations such as the AP or IB. Help is always available. You can ask for suggestions concerning curriculum or how to connect current topics to existing curriculum. Specific topic lists deal with strictly academic issues and are primarily used by university professors. However, they can provide a great resource for teachers looking for materials and ideas in a specific area. (For more information and archives of discussion lists see H-Net WWW Home Page.)

Two articles which discuss the potential of Internet listservs for historians specifically are Donald Mabry's "Electronic Mail and Historians" (Reprinted from Perspectives, February 1991, Newsletter of the American Historical Association.) and from the German historian, Thomas Zielke, "History at your Fingertips. Electronic Information and Communication for Historians".

Another article from the Summer 1994 issue of Texas Libraries . entitled "Victory (E-)Mail-Digital Oral History" illustrates an interesting use of a listserv by a group of K-12 educators as a forum for historical exchange. Highlighting both the popularity and difficulties of educational listervs, the writer offers an example of the potential of these discussion groups to for professional collaboration and exchange of information.

Electronic mail is arguably the most popular use of the Internet, in part due to the proliferation of electronic mailing list servers or "listservs" - mini-networks of users with common interests in almost any subject, combining the best and worst features of bulletin boards, chain letters, bulk mailings, and talk radio. For many users, listservs are to the Internet what zucchini is to the vegetable garden - nice to have, but often uncontrollable. But occasionally a discussion "thread" moves away from the customary brainstorming and becomes something new.[*]


Thetre are several newsgroups which also deal with historical topics. One entitled Alt.History.What.If is aimed at primary and secondary social studies teachers and students interested in fictional history.


In additon to 'listserv' discussions, the Internet also serves as a medium for publication of research findings and other articles written by historians. Professor Paul Turnbull's article on New Information Technologies and Scholarly Publishing in History describes several electronic publication initiatives within H-Net and considers what such initiatives could mean for history publishing in the future.

Dr Michael Kearl has produced a homepage 'Times of our Lives' which is a collection of articles and links regarding time, history and its effects on shaping our social perspective with links to his own 'Investigation Into Collective Historical Knowledge & Implications of Its Ignorance' (based on his research of collective memory and the processes of historical revisionism). The transcript of a radio interview with four US historians (broadcast on Columbus Day 1994) 'Who Owns History?' further highlights the process of historical revisionsim. Professor Ralph Austin's article 'Who Owns History? Some Thoughts on the Slave Trade and Related Issues' raises a number of interesting questions on the historiography of the slave trade.


Other discussion groups such as KIDLINK and Kidsphere are available to help teachers locate additional teaching resources and relevant projects or to announce forthcoming projects of their own. A 1995 article from Electronic Learning entitled "Collaboration in the Classroom and Over the Internet" by Yvonne Andres offers several suggestions of ways that teachers make the experience of collaborative on-line projects more rewarding for their classes.

An example of just such a project collaboration is the proposed participation of Canadian students via the Internet in a "Texas History Fair" in 1994.

There are also a couple of inititiatives designed to help teachers locate both relevant lesson materials and web space for their own project pages. The first entitled 'Teachers Helping Teachers' is a clearinghouse for teacher-created lesson materials which is maintained and updated weekly by Scott Mandel in the US. Contributions are welcome and there are is a growing section of history / social studies related materials.

Send mail to

Last Modified: Friday, 06-June-97 12:13:23 EST

Copyright © 1995-1997 by S. Patterson and L. Swanson

Netscape-HTML Checked!