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Expanding the Power of Primary Sources With Web 2.0 by ProQuest

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E Ix third grade students in a Spring-Ford, Pa., elementary school study local history, they will engage with digital photos of swords, breeches, surveyors' tools, and other Revolutionary War artifacts found at nearby Valley Forge. Denise Emel, the school's media specialist, created a Google map of area historical sites that students and their families can visit to learn more about primary sources close to home.

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									THE MEDIA CENTER                                                          by Mary Alice Anderson
                                                                               Online Adjunct Instructor
                                                                           University of Wisconsin–Stout
                                                                                       Menomonie, Wis.




       Expanding the Power of Primary Sources
                                   With Web 2.0

                               WHEN third grade students               how the recent closing of the local
                               in a Spring-Ford, Pa., elementary       General Motors (GM) plant is af-
                               school study local history, they will   fecting their families. The plant
       When inquisitive        engage with digital photos of           closing has provided a connection
                               swords, breeches, surveyors’ tools,     to another avenue for accessing
               students use    and other Revolutionary War arti-       primary sources. Strieker ex-
                               facts found at nearby Valley Forge.     plained: “The recent closing of the
                               They will access the photos on a        GM plant in 2008 sent the local
       Web 2.0 tools in        Google site developed for the pro-      newspaper into a reflection mode
                               ject, use a graphic organizer to or-    and resulted in some terrific inter-
                               ganize their observations and           views with longtime autoworkers’
       combination with        “thinking questions,” and collabo-      remembrances of Janesville’s GM
                               ratively share what they learned        history. These are saved, of course,
                               from the artifacts using Edmodo, a      digitally in the local paper’s news-
        primary sources,       Web 2.0 discussion tool designed        paper archives. I have been in-
                               for education.                          volved informally in my classes
                                                                       documenting this history. I have
     they are no longer        EDMODO                                  students record their experiences
                                  The students will learn even         as this transition to life after GM
                               more about their history-rich area      is underway. They are powerful
 just viewing, reading,        while participating in a Summer in      primary sources that I have digi-
                               the City project. Denise Emel, the      tally saved for my future students
 or listening to digital       school’s media specialist, created a    to look back on for rich Janesville
                               Google map of area historical sites     history.” Strieker’s project provides
                               that students and their families        a powerful way to show students
     primary sources—          can visit to learn more about pri-      that primary sources aren’t just a
                               mary sources close to home. Addi-       thing of the past, as young histori-
                               tional information about local his-     ans are also creating them even
     they are interacting      tory sites is posted on Edmodo,         now. (See Figure 2.)
                               along with a customized Google
                               map so students and their parents       VOICETHREAD
         with each other       can learn and share ideas with one         VoiceThread, another popular
                               another over the summer. In the         Web 2.0 tool, has powerful potential
                               fall, students will create scrap-       to foster engaged discussion about
                in new ways    books to document their experi-         a primary source photo, map,
                               ences. (See Figure 1.)                  broadside, document, movie, or au-
                                  When the “Young Historians” at       dio file. Any digital primary source
                and creating   history teacher Steve Strieker’s        that can be uploaded or hyper-
                               high school in Janesville, Wis.,        linked can be a discussion center-
          new resources.       study the Great Depression, they        piece. Adult learners or K–12 stu-
                               reflect on a current situation im-      dents can contribute to an ongoing
                               pacting many of them. Using Ed-         discussion by adding comments us-
                               modo, students anonymously share        ing their voice, keyboard, webcam,



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