Oliver, K., & Lee, J. (2011). Exploring history in plantation letters. Learning and Leading With Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/digital-edition-march-april-2011.aspx
This article connects social studies with technology! There has recently been a turning point in teaching history by the use of scanning documents to use as primary resources. The article uses the Cameron Family papers as an example. The Cameron Family (plantation owners) regularly communicated by mail with their family, friends, and business associates regarding their plantation affairs in Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. Because their letters were so detailed, they have been key in explaining the Antebellum plantation life of the time. As of today, over 100 letters have been scanned and tagged for public use. The scanned letters are easily accessible, and can be browsed easily by search. The original document is scanned, and then another copy is transcribed for easier reading. On this site, a "Ning" is also available for teachers with lesson plans that can be shared!
The entire goal of this project is for students to be able to have historical primary documents with the use of new technology tools. This particular resource that the Cameron Family papers are on also has a structured way of teaching history with primary documents. The teaching model is called SCIM-C, meaning:
What's the big deal with primary resources if they are translated into easier reads?
Students that are exposed to primary resources get to see the "real life" artifact even though they would read the summarized version. By seeing the true artifact, students are given a better understanding of the historical time period they are studying, and are better able to visualize what they are learning about!
What is a "Ning?"
A Ning in simply an online platform for people to create their own social networks. Ning can be used to create a fan site, a social network, a mini social network site (you can join any of the other networks created) and whatever is in your imagination. A Ning can be used for anything!