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American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

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Published March 30, 2011

Charles E. Peterson, “Slave Quarters at the Hermitage plantation, Chatham County, Georgia,” photograph, 1934.Though rare, slave cabins still dot the landscape of the southern United States. Some are parts of plantation museums, though former quarters are seldom interpreted with the same zeal as the main house. Almost invariably, former slave quarters stand empty today, making it hard to picture the complex and vibrant communities that once occupied them. This month’s featured document is an oral history of Mary Reynolds, who recalls her girlhood growing up on cotton and sugar plantations in Louisiana. Though 105 years...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Nathaniel Wheeler character from Mission US: For Crown or Colony? gameWe are pleased to announce the public launch of a groundbreaking multimedia initiative: Mission US, a free online history game designed to improve middle school students’ understanding of US history and their critical-thinking skills through innovative, engaging play. The first game, “For Crown or Colony?,” is now live. In the game, students assume the role of Nathaniel Wheeler, a young printer’s apprentice, and through encounter, inquiry, and decision-making learn about the critical events of 1770 leading up to the Boston Massacre. Three additional games...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Edwin Forbes, “Reading the news—off duty”
Edwin Forbes, “Reading the news—off duty,” drawing, Morgan collection of Civil War drawings, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
To mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, ASHP/CML in collaboration with the Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in History has organized three public programs during 2011 where leading scholars and educators will explore recent trends in the study of the conflict, the gap between scholarly and popular understanding of the war, and how photography continues to shape its meaning.

Did the Real War Ever Get in...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

In August, we received word that two New York City Department of Education professional development programs involving ASHP/CML received funding through the U. S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History grant competition. In one of these programs, we will work with 7th and 8th grade social studies teachers in three Brooklyn and Queens districts. This program will combine compelling social history content with document-based classroom approaches designed to support the learning of these teachers’ special needs and English Language Learner (ELL) students. In our second new TAH program we will be working with teachers at small high schools in the...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

Mission US, an innovative multimedia game project to improve learning U.S. history in middle and high schools, has received funding from theCorporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)American History and Civics Initiative. A finalist in the nationwide competition, Mission US is an unusual cooperative effort among historians, educators, broadcasters, and gamers, with the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning (serving as the project’s principal content developer and advisor) working in a collaboration with New York’s public television stationThirteen/WNET; Electric Funstuff, a Manhattan-based game developer; and Education Development Center- ...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

In the next several months, the American Social History Project/Center for Media Learning plans to launch an online resource database of history materials for educators. To assist with planning, ASHP/CML recently conducted a survey of educators to learn more about how they use the Web to find resources for their classrooms. We were curious to know about what kinds of Web-based technology teachers had access to, what sorts of materials they look for online, and what they generally do with what they find online. We collected 228 responses from 38 states and the District of Columbia. (By the way, thank...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

The City University of New York’s Digital Media Studies Group, in collaboration with the Center for the Humanities and the New Media Lab, has organized an all-day conference on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, at the CUNY Graduate Center. Bringing together an invited group of media practitioners, academic publishers, digital content developers, and academics, the conference will assess the impact of digital media on academic work and academic policy. The conference will include a series of workshops, round table discussions, and panels at which participants will discuss and debate a broad range...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

 

Boy hopping freight train, Dubuque, Iowa
Boy hopping freight train, Dubuque, Iowa

During the 1930s depression hundred of thousands of young people took to the road in search of work and adventure, or to help relieve their impoverished families. Thanks to Minnesota sociologist Thomas Mineham, we have excerpts of diaries from two youths nicknamed Blink and Simple Sam. Mineham traveled the freight trains and hitchhiked among the transient youths for three years recording their experiences and words. See this month’s In the Limelight feature on ASHP/CML’s homepage to read diary excerpts and more about youth...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

The career of Howard Zinn took him from the Brooklyn shipyards to New York University on the G.I. Bill to a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and then to the faculties of Spelman College and Boston University, where he urged his students to social activism and mightily irritated university administrators. He published A People’s History of the United States in 1980, a single volume that told a very different story of U.S. history than traditional textbooks did at...Read more

Published March 30, 2011

On April 9, 2010, at the Organization of American Historians annual conference in Washington, D.C., ASHP/CML’s Teaching American History Programs Project Director Ellen Noonan will participate in a roundtable discussion on “Putting Pedagogy into Digital Archives: Making Online Collections Useful for K-12 Teachers and Students. William J. Tally of the Center for Children and Technology will moderate the discussion, joined by panelists Kathleen Barker of the Massachusetts Historical Society and Stacia Smith of ...Read more

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