A trip to Washington DC isn’t necessary to have social studies teachers participate in a Smithsonian digital tour.

Social Studies Teachers Participate in a Smithsonian Digital TourThe Smithsonian trained 50 public school teacher from Norman and Noble Oklahoma schools as part of the National Museum of American History’s “Let’s Do History” tour.  The purpose was to show teachers how to access the Smithsonian’s digital archive, and learn how to use digitally archived artifacts from a network of world wide museums.

According to NPS Social Studies Coordinator Jane Purcell, teachers were excited about accessing the digital archive.  The archive includes not only source documents and pictures, but also other types of data such as voice recording of World War II and Korean War Veterans.

“That aspect is very interesting,” said Purcell.

During the training, social studies teachers had hands-on experience with different artifacts and learned how to use digitally archived artifacts from museums around the world.

NPS Social Studies Coordinator Jane Purcell said the teachers have been excited about accessing the Smithsonian’s digital archive.

This includes not just primary source documents and pictures of artifacts, but also new kinds of data only recently able to be recorded because of technological advances, like voice recording of World War and Korean War veterans.

“That aspect is very interesting,” said Purcell.

Smithsonian educators also introduced the teacher to interactive photographs. “The technology is such that you don’t necessarily need to go to the Smithsonian museums to tap into that resource,” said Purcell.  They also discovered how this approach could be used for local artifacts, such as cotton grown locally when studying slavery or manufacturing.

“The idea is to take these ideas and apply them to our local museums as well,” said Purcell.

Continue reading

Related articleSocial Studies Teachers Participate in a Smithsonian Digital Tour