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June 26, 2010

This site has a new home at

Ohio History Journals

May 12, 2009

If you are searching for more information on an Ohio history research topic, you should check out the following journals in the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library:

Queen City heritage : the journal of the Cincinnati Historical Society (F486 .H653)
and, since 2001,
Ohio Valley history : the journal of the Cincinnati Historical Society and the Filson Historical Society (F486 .H579)

Timeline, the Ohio Historical Society’s magazine features heavily illustrated articles on a wide variety of topics (F486 .T55)

Ohio History: the journal of the Ohio Historical Society is available through the Electronic Journals Center at the WSU Library. Search under Electronic Journals for “Ohio History.” You will need to login to access the text of the journal articles.

“Our Ohio” and ThinkTV Dayton Public Television resources

May 5, 2009

Public television stations in Ohio regularly produce local history documentaries featuring stories about their cities and surroundings. In addition to the required readings, I ask you to watch three of the documentaries produced at ThinkTV Dayton Public Television. You will find these as streaming videos on ThinkTV’s “video on demand” web page.

May 12 “Wright Brothers’ Dayton”

May 19 “Goodbye, the Levee has broken, the Story of the Great Dayton Flood”

May 26 “When Dayton Went to War”

In addition, ThinkTV works with the Ohio Farm Bureau to produce the series, “Our Ohio” with a focus on rural Ohio. This series includes segments on Ohio history, historic sites, writers, and artists. You will find streaming videos for topics that include World War II, the National Road, canals, waterways, Sunwatch Village, the Underground Railroad, Ripley, the Ohio Amish, and Fort Ancient. ThinkTV also offers K-12 resources for teachers and students related to each of these video segments.

Analyzing Primary Sources

April 20, 2009

We will begin to read, analyze, and discuss historical evidence or primary sources in class. You may also analyze exhibit artifacts, documents discussed in class, or other evidence on your blog and there are several resources to help you get started. In historical research, historians examine the current scholarship related to the research question and then they dig deeper by studying historical documents that may shed light on the research question. These documents may include maps, census or government records, diaries and journals, old newspaper articles, political cartoons, paintings, tools, houses, furniture, landscapes, etc. Historical scholarship is derived from a synthesis of these and other sources of evidence.

One page worksheets for the analysis of written documents, artifacts, cartoons, maps, motion pictures, photographs, posters, and sound recordings are available to download from the National Archives.

History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web offers “Making Sense of History” a collection of tutorials and examples for the analysis and interpretation of these and other types of historical documents.

The American Memory Project Learning Page (the Library of Congress) also offers activities and lesson plans related to learning about American history with primary sources. In the “Port of Entry” activity, offers the following questions for analyzing written sources.

1. Who created the source and why? Was it created through a spur-of-the-moment act, a routine transaction, or a thoughtful, deliberate process?
2. Did the recorder have firsthand knowledge of the event, or did the recorder report what others saw or heard?
3. Was the information recorded during the event, immediately after the event, or after some lapse of time? How large a lapse of time?
4. Was the recorder a neutral party, or did the recorder have a position, opinions or interests that might have influenced what was recorded?
5. Did the recorder wish to inform or persuade others?
6. Was the source meant to be public or private? Was it produced for personal use, for one or more individuals, or for a large audience?

You will find primary sources for Ohio history by clicking on the Ohio History on Delicious heading on the lower right hand menu. I will add more to this list as we progress through Ohio history.

Coming to PBS: “Appalachia: a History of Moutains and People”

April 7, 2009

Dayton’s PBS station, ThinkTV/16, will air a four-part series this month, “Appalachia: a History of Mountains and People“–watch the trailer. The series,

“. . . offers a new and unprecedented history of the people and nature of this storied region.”

Part One, “Time and Terrain” airs on Wednesday, April 9, and explores the environment and traces the history of the region’s cultures up to the arrival of the Europeans. Part Two, “New Green World,” looks at the collision of cultures in the 18th and early 19th centuries. “Mountaintop Revolutions,” looks at the Civil War, and the industries–Railroads and Coal– that impacted the environment, economy, and peoples of Appalachia. Part Four, “Power and Place” tells the history of the region in the 20th Century. Appalachia stretches through Southeastern Ohio and it sounds like much of this series will be relevant to our study of Ohio history. “Appalachia: a History of Mountains and People” is produced by the non-profit James Agee Film Project.

Part I , April 9, 10 pm
Part II, April 16, 10 pm
Parts III & IV, April 30, 9 pm

Coming to PBS: “Tecumseh’s Vision”

April 7, 2009

The PBS series, American Experience, will run a five-part series “We Shall Remain” beginning this month. Episode 2, “Tecumseh’s Vision,” premieres April 14, 2009 at 9 P.M. Watch the trailer and read more about the film. You may also want to investigate the Teachers’ Guide as well as information on PBS Teachers and the National History Education Clearinghouse.

Check the ThinkTV (Dayton Public Television) broadcast schedule for details.

Student Digital Project Models

April 5, 2009

Students have asked for examples of student multimedia history projects.
Find examples of student projects linked to Cecilia Elizabeth O’Leary’s online poster, “Becoming Citizen Historians.”

I have written in the past about both Digital Storytelling and project based learning. The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University offers a portal to Digital Storytelling resources for teachers including three examples. The first, “Chocolate Innocence” is a good brief example of student media project.

National History Day offers 6-12th grade students opportunities to compete, much like a science fair, with research-based history papers, performances, exhibits, documentaries, and web sites. Take a look at this award winning 2007 collaborative middle school media project, “The Great Seattle Fire, Phoenix of the Northwest.”

For more ideas, read the National History Day guides and resources for producing both Documentaries and Web Sites. The judging guide and forms also provide a good check for the quality of your project. As you can see, the first NHD goal is to produce a high quality, research-based project. For future teachers, the Dayton Public Schools have participated in National History Day for the past six years – a model project may be a good item for your portfolio.

Please keep in mind that you may decide to use the WordPress platform itself and the skills that you learn from blogging to produce a digital exhibit for this project.

Course Design

In designing the course around student research, discovery, peer review and media production, I gave a lot of thought to ideas from a recent publication about the Visible Knowledge Project: Viet Nguyen “Multimedia as Composition: Research, Writing, and Creativity” as well as Peter Burkholder and Anne Cross, “Video Killed the Term Paper: Two Views.” I agree with Burkholder’s conclusions:

. . . having graded thousands of history papers, I am fully aware that students need help with their writing, and I firmly believe that papers have a central role to play in history courses. But this does not mean educators should shy away from building new paths to learning. . .

The first impetus for this approach to teaching came from following the Center for History and New Media’s Digital Campus podcasts and from reading a series of posts on “The End of Western Civilization as we Know It” from T. Mills Kelly’s blog Edwired.