American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Learning To Look Summer Institutes

Published March 24, 2011

This summer, ASHP/CML’s longstanding teaching with technology program, the New Media Classroom (NMC), conducted week-long institutes for our latest faculty development initiative, Learning to Look: Visual Evidence and the U.S. Past in the New Media Classroom.

Learning to Look session at the New-York Historical Society
The Graduate Center’s Learning to Look Institute held a session at the New-York Historical Society

The Learning to Look (LtL) institutes which took place at Miillersville University (PA); Washington State University (WA); Assumption College (MA); CUNY’s Graduate Center and City College Center for Worker Education (NY); Spelman College (GA); Dillard University (LA); Maryville College (TN); and Mott Community College and Middle College HS (MI), provided participating faculty with access to new scholarship in the field of U.S. history and American studies using visual evidence as a means to study the past. Featuring humanities educators from high school and college classrooms, along with museum and historical archive professionals, the goal of each institute centered on building successful strategies for interpreting and critically evaluating visual resources for effective interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Using a wide range of new media teaching resources in American history, art history, and literature, each institute addressed various topics and themes in the U.S. past, including African-American culture, regional history, the Interwar Years and the changing nature of American visual culture, and working class history. The institutes featured such curricular resources as the newly launched Learner Guides from the History Matters Web site, which help students analyze and interpret photographs, advertisements, films, and other forms of primary evidence; Fotonotes, an online “seeing and writing” tool; and classroom-tested inquiry learning activities using image archives found on the Web.

Guest presenters were drawn from academic programs and institutions located on NMC-LtL host campuses, including schools of education, humanities departments (history, art history, visual studies, American literature), local museums and historical archives, and campus-based media and learning centers.

The Learning to Look summer institutes included programming from our three new Regional Centers: Spelman College (GA); the CUNY Center for Worker Education (NY); and Dillard University (LA).

For further information on the Learning to Look faculty development program and our yearlong activities, contact Donna Thompson Ray at:

Latest ASHP News