Teaching History Online
Number 75: March, 2003
1. On This Day
Spartacus Educational publishes Teaching History Online every week. The newsletter includes news, reviews of websites and articles on using ICT in the history classroom. Members of the mailing list are invited to submit information for inclusion in future editions of Teaching History Online. In this way we hope to create a community of people involved in using the Internet to teach history. Currently there are 25,600 subscribers to the newsletter.
On This Day: This new website showcase of some of the most significant stories broadcast by BBC News since 1950. Nearly all the stories contain video or audio and are written as if the event had only just occurred, drawing on archive media, old newspapers and historical reference books. All news reports finish with an "In Context" box. This gives a brief rundown on what happened next. There are several ways to look round the site - you can search by date, as well as by theme and by correspondent. The Witness section of the site provides the opportunity for people to email details of their role in these events.
Shermans March: Final Revenge: They say that history is written by the victors. This is one small, yet significant, piece of America's Civil War history that the victors would have preferred not to have been told. It is not a story of glorious battles and thousands of dead and wounded on bloody fields of valor. It is the story of how in times of war horrendous and militarily unjustified things can happen to defenseless civilians and private property. February 17, 1865, is singularly the most important day in the history of South Carolina and Columbia, the states capital. The first hand accounts of soldiers and civilians, who were part of this tragedy, paint a clear picture of events and motivations unfettered by historical interpretation and explanations.
Castles: The site was designed by Ruth Galbraith, a teacher of history at Sligo Grammar School in the West of Ireland. It is aimed at Key Stage 3 in the U.K. and First Year in Ireland - i.e. ages 11 to 13. It contains six pages, which look at Norman and Stone Castles. The site illustrates what life was like in a castle with plenty of graphics. The training and life of a knight are examined and there is also a page on attacking and defending a castle. The site has plenty of visual material and links to other sites with elements of a Web Quest, which form part of a quiz running through the site. There is also a small amount of interactivity to engage the student on three of the pages.
Schools History Image Galleries: These galleries contain a combination of photographs taken by webmaster at different sites, pictures contributed by users of the site and images believed to be in the public domain. Most of the images have accompanying captions. In general these are based on information given to the webmaster at the site where the photographs have been taken. All captions are in the process of being checked for accuracy at the moment and any necessary corrections will be uploaded early in the New Year.
Victorian Dictionary: Lee Jackson's website provides a collection of first-hand descriptions of Victorian London life. Subjects covered include architecture, childhood, clothing, crime, death & dying, disease, education, entertainment, food & drink, health & hygiene, houses & housing, maps, markets, police, politics, prisons, photography, religion, science, transport, weather and women.
History ThinkQuest: The ThinkQuest library contains unique educational websites that have been created through ThinkQuest competitions and programs. The library currently contains more than 5,000 websites to search and surf. The History section include material on the Pacific War, Holocaust, Stalin, Nicaragua, Balkan Conflict, Cold War, Russia, India, Aztecs and Singapore.
National Archaeology Days: Each year the Council For British Archaeology runs National Archaeology Days (NAD). The aim of this annual event is for young people and their families to be encouraged to visit sites of archaeological/historical interest or museums/heritage and resource centres, to see archaeology in action and take part in activities on-site. Over the years, it has been recognized as an important event in increasing public awareness and interest in archaeology. It also provides an excellent opportunity for the promotion of venues and for encouraging people to join in the work of their local societies. In past years some venues have opted for a themed day e.g.: Roman, Saxon, Viking, medieval. Activities can be tailored to suit particular circumstances and if necessary participant numbers restricted by pre-booking. Activities that are very popular include: site tours, excavations, artefact handling, surveying, writing on wax tablets, coin striking, themed food, Roman games, pottery making, combat displays, object identification, prehistoric crafts, basket making, weaving, flint knapping, museum quizzes, finds washing, treasure hunts, mosaic making, wattle and daub wall building, finds sorting, audio-visual displays, leatherwork, runic writing, brass rubbing, calligraphy, competitions, tile making, processing environmental samples, corn grinding, fabric printing, wool spinning, site drawing, heritage trails and walks, seeing Roman armour being made and excavating a dustbin.
Archaeolink Prehistory Parks: A valuable resource on the Prehistory of Scotland and especially the North East is under threat by a cut in funding or worse. A possible total withdrawal of financial support which, would lead to Archaeolink Prehistory Parks inevitable closure by Aberdeenshire Council. The Archaeolink Prehistory Visitor Centre at Oyne, Insch, Aberdeenshire gives a wonderful insight into the regions Prehistoric, Pictish and Celtic past and as an educational resource and attraction to visitors from all over the world is an extremely worthwhile experience. For the tourist and local alike the centre helps direct visitors to the many hundreds of historical sites throughout the North East of Scotland and expands our knowledge of Scotlands historical roots and past culture of its people.
Soldiers: Fighting Men's Lives, 1901-2001: In this book Philip Ziegler chronicles the lives of nine enlisted men. Ziegler paints detailed portraits of these extraordinary yet ordinary men who now reside in the Royal Hospital Chelsea - a three-hundred-year-old institution still serving its original purpose of caring for military veterans. Soldiers is military history that looks beyond the battlefield and into the family lives, daily routines, and battle-tested values of veteran servicemen. To read this book is to understand what soldiers fight for and how they fit into the world today. (ISBN 0 452 28409 0).