McGlinn, M. (2007). Using the "Documenting the American South" Digital
Library in the social studies: A case study of the experiences of teachers in
the field. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 7(1). Available: http://www.citejournal.org/vol7/iss1/socialstudies/article1.cfm
Using the "Documenting the American South" Digital
Library in the Social Studies: A Case Study of the Experiences of Teachers in
Old Dominion University
Two current themes in social studies education
— the inclusion of technology and the emphasis on “doing
history” — intersect
with the use of Web-based or digital primary sources in the classroom.
Digital libraries make these resources available to students and teachers
interested in accessing rare primary documents in order to study the past.
One such digital library, Documenting the American South (DocSouth),
offers teachers and students the ability to download firsthand accounts related
to United States and southern history. This research study focuses on
six social studies teachers in an attempt to understand the extent to which
they use DocSouth resources in their classrooms. These interviews reveal great
potential for teachers to use DocSouth in their classrooms since both they
and their students have the requisite technology skills, teachers already
use the Internet to plan instruction and for research, and most importantly,
part of their perceived goal for teaching history is to present multiple perspectives.
Although these teachers find DocSouth a valuable resource, they are limited
in their use of the digitized primary sources by the standard course of study,
content requirements, time constraints, and equipment issues. Suggestions
are given for ways DocSouth can help teachers circumvent these hindering factors
in the classroom.
Two current themes in social studies education
— the emphasis on “doing history” and the integration
of technology — intersect with
the use of electronic or Web-based primary sources in the classroom. Digital
libraries now make these resources available to students and teachers interested
in accessing rare and valuable primary documents in order to study the past.
The documents provide eyewitness accounts to history from a variety of perspectives
— almost the entire social spectrum
is represented. One such digital library, Documenting the American South
(DocSouth; see http://docsouth.unc.edu),
developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Libraries,
offers teachers and students the ability to download firsthand accounts related
to North Carolina and Southern history. In large part due to feedback
from teachers around the world, the board of directors of DocSouth aim to make
this collection more user friendly. They have already added a Classroom
Resource (see http://docsouth.unc.edu/classroom/)
page to the Web site and offered summer workshops for teachers.
This research study focuses on six teachers who
attended the Documenting the American South Summer Writing Institute in June
2004. It illustrates how the teachers used DocSouth resources in their
classroom and suggests ways to improve the Classroom Resource page and future
professional development workshops. The findings of this study
suggest that teacher investment in professional development can lead to technology
integration and meaningful instruction in historical thinking skills and content
knowledge. However, the extent of the integration is mediated by hindering
factors such as lack of time, curricular pressures, and poor equipment.
Interviews conducted during the course of the
study reveal that participants saw great potential for teachers to use DocSouth
in their classrooms, since both they and their students have the requisite
technology skills, the teachers already use the Internet to plan instruction
and for research purposes, and perhaps most importantly, part of their goal
in teaching history is to present multiple perspectives. Although these
teachers found DocSouth to be a valuable resource, they were limited in their
use of the digitized primary sources it contains by the standard course of
study, content requirements, time constraints, and equipment issues.
Recent research in social studies learning has de-emphasized student memorization
of facts and text-based instruction in favor of engaging students in historical
inquiry or doing history (Barton & Levstik, 2003; Downey & Levstik,
1998; Foster & Padgett, 1999). The literature suggests
that one of the best ways to engage students is through the use of primary source
documents, since they enable students to develop historical thinking by examining
original evidence. According to Milson (2002), “The research base
has indicated that students learn history most effectively when they are engaged
in asking historical questions, collecting and analyzing historical sources,
and determining historical significance” (p. 348). In addition, social
studies educators argue that using primary sources improves students’
discipline-based skills and helps them acquire important habits of mind that
cross over into various aspects of intellectual life — skills of critical
inquiry and other civic-minded skills (e.g. Hicks, Doolittle, & Lee, 2004;
With the advent of the Internet and multimedia technologies, teachers can more
easily bring primary sources and other real-world social studies learning
activities into their classrooms. According to Doolittle and Hicks (2003),
“A key assumption of this proposed use of technology is that when used
effectively within the K-12 social studies classroom, technology can improve
social studies teaching and student performance” (p. 72). As a result
of recent research in this field, some scholars are suggesting that social studies
teachers integrate technology into daily teaching and learning activities (Berson,
1996; Diem, 2000).
The instructional use of digital primary sources is one of the many possible
intersections of technology and social studies instruction. Digital primary
sources, often accessible through digital libraries, represent an opportunity
to change classroom instruction. Digital primary sources allow for more
student-centered instruction by enabling greater individual or group inquiry
and access to real-world issues (Roes, 2001). The digital primary sources like
the one in DocSouth collections could potentially enliven the past for students
by “open[ing] new windows onto an old subject” (Tally, 1996, n.p).
Yet, if teachers are to use digital primary sources in a positive way, they
need to support and guide their students. The integration of these materials
must be done in a way that creates a bridge between the content and the learner’s
goals (Edelson & Gordin, 1996).
Minimal research exists
relating specifically to the use of Web-based or digital primary sources in
the social studies classroom. The current literature related to the use of
digital resources most often reviews lists of Web sites and lesson plans. Many
articles provide practitioner-oriented accounts that provide teaching scenarios
and suggestions for how to use digital resources in the social studies classroom.
There is not an adequate research base that examines teacher use of digital
primary sources and student learning outcomes.
and Technology Integration
There is, however, a
significant body of research that examines teacher use of technology in more
general terms. This research reveals contributing and hindering factors
to technology integration in the K-12 classroom. In their 2004
study of survey data, for instance, Vannatta and Fordham (2004) concluded that
the amount of time teachers invest in training and an attitude that is open
to change were two factors most likely to effect technology integration.
Similarly, Shuldman (2004) determined that time, training, and resources (especially
funding) significantly impacted the integration of technology in K-12 classrooms. These
studies along with others (e.g. Becker, 1994; Chin &
Horton, 1994; Gillmore, 1995) emphasize the important link between teacher
training/ professional development and effective uses of technology in the
Combined, these three
areas of literature — (a) the emphasis on doing history, (b) technology
integration in the social studies, and (c) professional development to support
technology integration — form the context of this research study.
This study examines one professional development program that promoted the integration
of digital primary sources in the social studies classroom. At this summer
workshop teachers were encouraged to integrate DocSouth digital resources to
enhance their instruction and allow students to engage in historical investigation.
This study examined the
specific benefits to teacher participants while also providing a more nuanced
understanding of the factors that contribute to and hinder the use of technology
in the social studies classroom in general. The findings of this study
reflect previous findings, which suggest that a teacher investment in professional
development can lead to technology integration. However, the extent to
which teachers integrated technology was mediated by other hindering factors
— lack of time, curricular pressures, and poor equipment.
In instances where technology was used, meaningful instruction in historical
thinking skills and content knowledge occurred.
Context of the Study
Documenting the American South
Digital libraries can link the integration of
primary sources with technology in the social studies classroom (Bolick, Hicks,
Lee, Molgebash, & Doolittle 2004). As mentioned earlier, digital
libraries provide access to primary sources to users all over the world. Rather
than depend on visiting archives or looking for a reprint, users can download
digitized documents for their own use. In general, there are three identified
purposes of online collections: digital libraries serve the needs of the higher
education, research community; they play a role in preserving and providing
access to cultural artifacts; and they provide content information for precollege
learners (Levy, 2000).
The board of directors of DocSouth similarly views the collection as serving
the needs of scholars, members of the public, and K-12 audiences.
In 2002 head librarian, Joe Hewitt said, “The original purpose of DocSouth
was to serve the needs of the large Southern Studies community on the Carolina
campus and those of scholars and students of the South around the world.”
The DocSouth collections include digitized versions of documents found in the
University of North Carolina Library’s Southern Historical Collection,
Rare Books Collection, and North Carolina Collection. Along with documents are
digitized copies of rare prints and photographs of artifacts — such as
coins, uniforms, and war-time propaganda posters.
There are currently 10 collections that make up DocSouth and offer a variety
of perspectives on the past. The newest collection (see http://docsouth.unc.edu). The First Century
of the First State University chronicles the founding of the university within
the context of the historic time period and the surrounding community of Chapel
Hill, North Carolina. Another new collection, Oral Histories of the American
South, includes searchable audio files and transcripts of recordings
collected by the Southern Oral History Project.
True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students
at the University of North Carolina includes documents written by the university’s
students between 1795 to 1868. These resources shed light on campus life,
both academic and extracurricular, while also reflecting the impact of national
and world events on the university. First-Person Narratives of the American
South contains accounts of life in the South between 1860 and 1920. The
voices of southerners from various walks of life are included—men
and women, Native Americans and immigrants, slaves and freedmen, wealthy and
poor citizens, soldiers and noncombatants. The Library of Southern Literature
consists of 100 works of Southern literature published before 1920. The
collection is based on the recommendations of around 50 scholars of the most
important works of the genre and was compiled by Dr. Robert Bain.
North American Slave Narratives provides access to one of the most comprehensive
collections of slave narratives in the world. "This collection includes
all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published
as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920" (Documenting
the American South, 2004, North American Slave Narratives introduction).
The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865, includes over 400 text resources and over
1,000 digitalized images related to life on the southern home front during the
American Civil War. The Church in the Southern Black Community pays
particular attention to the role of organized religion in the lives of African
Americans living in the South from slavery through the 1920s.
The North Carolina Experience, Beginnings to 1940 focuses all of its attention
on the history of the Tarheel state. Again, this collection provides
multiple perspectives of people not commonly featured in the history books.
North Carolinians and the Great War is devoted to the legacy of World War I
in North Carolina history and, as a result, includes documents and other primary
sources related to US involvement in the war between 1917 and 1919, as well
as the continuing impact of the war into the 1920s. The librarians working
with DocSouth are continually in the process of adding new titles and metadata
to the collections.
Recognizing the potential usefulness of DocSouth in the K-12 classroom, the
leadership of DocSouth aimed to make the resources more accessible to teachers.
They acknowledged that although digital libraries contain a great deal of useful
information teachers and students need help using them in the classroom.
According to Edelson and Gordin (1996), “The problem with simply handing
experts’ digital libraries to learners is that the resulting resources
will be available but not accessible.” An awareness of issues of
accessibility for K-12 audiences led DocSouth to create a site specifically
designed for teachers and their students — the Classroom Resources page
DocSouth and the Classroom
The classroom resources page is part of an ongoing
initiative of DocSouth to develop teacher materials and resources such as lesson
plans to support the integration of digital resources in the classroom. Hewitt
(2002) outlined this initiative in his address:
All in all, it is
clear that DocSouth is providing a useful service to the K-12 population, but
the texts alone, without supporting materials, are not quite as useful for
K-12 as they are for academics and the general public. We recognize that we
have a ways to go in serving this sector well and are beginning to work with
[a professor] in our School of Education, to plan some workshops for teachers
DocSouth teacher workshops began in 2003, and
they continue (as of the date of this publication) providing professional development
for North Carolina teachers. To date, over 65 teachers have taken part.
The Classroom Resources page is consistently updated, and the bulk of the materials
include lesson plans using DocSouth primary sources. The plans are cross-posted
with Learn North Carolina. (Learn NC was chosen as a partner since it
remains up to date with the North Carolina Standard Course of study and represented
another point of access to DocSouth materials.) In addition, a Teacher’s
Toolkit provides teachers with activities to incorporate primary source documents
in the classroom. Some of the selections in this kit such as “Creating
Document Based Questions (DBQs) with the DocSouth materials” and the “You
Were There: Witness to History Speech” are intended to encourage teachers
in innovative uses of the materials. Others, such as the “Compare
and Contrast Chart for Primary Sources” and the “RAFT Assignments
and Rubric” (point-of-view writing), are intended as teaching materials
to be adapted and possibly integrated into a social studies or language arts
DocSouth Summer Writing Institute
The 2004 DocSouth summer writing institute, which
is the context of this study, included nine local teachers who commuted daily
to the sessions. All of the teachers had attended at least one previous
DocSouth summer workshop. A main goal of the summer writing institute
was to provide a time and space for teachers to write lesson plans incorporating
DocSouth resources. These plans were added to the DocSouth Classroom
Resource page and provided the teachers a chance to create plans they could
use in their classrooms during the next school year. The agenda for the
institute included interactive sessions with college educators, historians/scholars,
and members of the library staff (see Appendix A). In addition several
hours were reserved each day for research and lesson design.
In terms of content, the institute sessions provided
a combination of pedagogy, scholarship, and technical training. The objectives
of the sessions included helping teachers navigate the DocSouth site, develop
a sense of the depth and scope of the resources, and plan for the integration
of the resources in their classrooms.
This model is illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. DocSouth summer writing institute session’s
As indicated in the diagram, equal weight was
given to each of the three themes of the institute. The sessions drew from
one or more of these areas and were facilitated by university scholars, school
of education faculty members, and members of the digital library staff. Pedagogy
focused on the use of digital primary sources to encourage inquiry in the social
studies classroom. Content sessions were presented by historians and
provided in-depth information on selected topics from the collection. The technical
skill sessions provided teachers with a background view of digitization and
storage. Teachers also learned how to navigate the DocSouth Web site
and download the digitized primary sources for classroom use.
Teachers spent time each day in the computer lab working individually or in
groups designing lesson plans. In several cases, teachers continued working
on the plans after the institute ended. The lesson plans were to incorporate
DocSouth resources, aim toward a middle or high school audience, and include
some of the pedagogical strategies introduced over the course of the institute.
In exchange for their work, teachers were paid a stipend and received continuing
education credits (CEUs). These lesson plans were later edited and posted
on the classroom resources page.
This research study was conducted in the fall
after the summer institute. The research questions that framed this study included
- How did participation in the DocSouth summer institute influence teachers’
classroom practices in integrating DocSouth resources in their classroom activities?
- What were hindering and helping factors in teachers’ use of these
- How can university-based educators support teacher’s use of these
materials in the future?
Of the nine teachers who attended the summer institute, six chose to participate
in this study. Remarkably, the participants represented a wide range of teaching
experiences, as well as professional backgrounds related to the use of technology
(see Table 1).
The teachers were solicited by email to take part in the study.
Suburban, public middle school
Suburban, public, technology rich middle school
Urban, private; (now student teacher with
Suburban, public, high school
Urban, public, boarding school
Rural, public, high school
Role of the Researcher
According to Glesne (1998) qualitative researchers must acknowledge their subjectivities
and monitor the effects on the data collection and analysis. She wrote,
“Awareness of your subjectivities can guide you to strategies to monitor
those perspectives that might, as you analyze and write up your data, shape,
skew, distort, construe, and misconstrue what you make of what you see and hear”
(Glesne, 1998, p. 109). I worked closely with DocSouth in the planning
and implementation of the Classroom Resources page and the summer teacher workshops.
Clearly, I have a vested interest in improving the outreach activities of DocSouth
for teachers. By acknowledging this bias from the beginning I consciously
checked myself throughout the research process in order to conduct my research
in a manner that captured the teacher participants’ experiences. The strategies
I employed to monitor my personal bias included submitting the interview transcripts
for the participants to check over before I began analysis (a form of member
checking), conducting multiple sweeps through the data during coding and analysis,
and peer review of my conclusions. By acknowledging possible bias and
subjectivities from the outset, I consciously sought to present the teachers’
experiences in the same manner as they shared them with me and allow the teachers’
unique contexts to shed light on their experiences (as recommended in Lincoln
& Guba, 1985).
I conducted semistructured interviews (see Appendix B)
with each of the study’s participants. These interviews lasted approximately
an hour and were conducted at each teacher’s school during his or her
planning period or before or after school. Every attempt was made to make
the interview process logistically convenient for the teachers. Fitting these
interviews into the busy schedules of the teachers was often difficult.
As a result, follow-ups to the interviews were conducted through email. Over
the course of the interviews, teachers answered questions about their integration
of DocSouth, along with their general approaches to social studies instruction
and the use of technology in the classroom. The interviews were
audiotaped and verbatim transcriptions of the interviews were created.
Each teacher was assigned a pseudonym to maintain anonymity. The interview transcripts
were sent to the teachers for their review before analysis began. During the
analysis stage, I read the transcripts multiple times and developed a coding
system of key themes using a constant comparative method (Glaser & Straus,
1998). Throughout the process of coding, I wrote out tentative hypotheses which
I shared with members of my writing group. This peer review served to
check not only the logic of my conclusions but also to monitor possible bias
in my analysis.
The major themes emerging from the interviews
are described in the following section. This section begins with topics
of general importance and moves to more narrow themes specific to the use of
DocSouth. Through the voices of the teachers, I demonstrate how the teachers
approached technology integration, described the influence of professional
development on their practice, and outlined their perceptions of factors hindering
their use of technology.
Six main themes emerged from analysis of the one-on-one interview data.
These themes revealed the teachers’ professional development experiences
with technology, their common uses of technology in the classroom, and their
more innovative means of integrating technology into the social studies.
Other themes emerging illustrated their perceptions of their students’
computer skills, the usefulness of DocSouth in creating social studies lessons,
and recommendations for ways to make DocSouth more accessible to teachers. In
keeping with qualitative research methods, the words of the teachers are used
to define each theme in more detail.
Teacher’s Professional Development with Technology
For many of the teachers interviewed, especially
teachers who have been in the profession for many years, professional development
related to technology generally occurred onsite. The schools in which
they work all had a technology specialist who coordinated the equipment and
training for teachers. Interestingly, two of the middle school teachers
indicated that, although technology has been emphasized on their campuses in
the past, they noticed recent staff development focused on issues related to
test achievement. Here, Mike described the new direction the administration
at his school has taken regarding teacher professional development:
There was [a push for technology] before the push became equity and closing
the achievement gap. In the past two years all workdays, all workshops,
all professional development has been pretty much on dealing with racial issues
and helping minority students. Before that became the hot topic, a large
number of our staff development days were spent doing computer things with
the technology specialist where they would meet in the computer lab and it
might just be to show us a variety of things teachers might use or might teach
with. Some of the teachers that didn’t use computers much, [learned]
just basic, very basic stuff like how to use the Internet, like how to use
a search engine. So my first few years here, I have been here 8 years,
we had a lot of days like that where you could kind of choose the level and
someone would be teaching that, so you know, the teachers who have been here
30 years and don’t really use computers they could learn to do basic
word processing stuff and more advanced teachers on how to do digital video.
So there was a range but, really there has been none of that and when [the
gap] closes or when it is perceived to be closed enough and they want to move
to something else maybe technology will move back in.
Similarly, Jeanne commented on the waning emphasis
by administrators on professional development related to technology:
I know we used to
have to have like 30 hrs…now, I think they have kind of put that aside
because we are getting where we need to be and they have replaced that again
with reading in the content area because I think the reading scores have
been skewed at some point on the standardized test.
Interestingly, in both Mike and Jeanne’s situations there was little
or no connection made between the use of technology in the classroom and the
improvement of achievement for low performing students in in-service, professional
development. Rather, by segmenting professional development related to
reading in the content area or closing the achievement gap, technology became
isolated as yet another in a long line of trends or hot topics in education.
For the three high school teachers, their ability to gain experience using
technology in the class resulted more from personal initiative than top-down,
administrative desires. Jenny, for instance, was a member of her school’s
technology committee (each department was represented by one faculty member).
She recalled how she first got involved in the committee:
There was nobody when I first got on the technology committee, which was
eight years ago when I first got here (they were just forming the technology
committee), and everybody was to send one, and it was all these older
social studies teachers [in the department], and nobody wanted to do anything
with technology, and I was like, “OK! Fine, I’ll do it.”
And I have just been on it ever since.
Jenny’s work with this committee began by default yet opened up new opportunities
for her related to technology. For instance, a private company donated
a complete “E-instruction” system which included handhelds for all
of her students. This system allowed her to assess student progress quickly
by quizzing them and receiving instant feedback through their responses on the
handhelds. Here, she described the reason the company donated this technology
to her classroom:
The handhelds I have...yes that’s how I learned about them [through
the committee]. The actual machine I have was given to me by E-instruction
to use in the hopes that I would write it up in my action research paper [for
her M.Ed. class] and send them a copy of the paper and then they will let
me have it… so they can use the research to prove that their equipment
helps with test scores.
She presented her experiences using E-instruction
in her classroom at a state-level technology conference before an audience
of Advanced Placement US history teachers.
For John technology was a way of life at his school, especially in science
and mathematics classes. He argued that teachers must seek out the technology
they wish to use. He described it as, “Well, you know if you want
it [technology], you got it,” but there were no overarching technology
initiatives or professional development programs at his high school. It
appeared that John was comfortable with this situation since he received fairly
rigorous training in technology during his preservice years. In fact,
he used his background in educational technology to market himself while he
was looking for teaching jobs:
When I came here technology was a major part of my CV, part of my resume.
By no stretch of the imagination was I deemed the technology person, but I
think within my department I was kind of
— I am still not the most savviest person, I am probably third
in line, second in line — but, that was my emphasis and that
was what people heard and that was part of the reason why they put me in distance
learning, and whenever there are issues or problems I am usually the one called
to do that sort of thing.
Like Jenny, being considered a person interested
in technology allowed John more access to technology-rich teaching situations
in the distance-learning center and, within his department, esteem among his
Evan described his mastery of computers as “foolin’ around.”
Although his school did not provide many professional development experiences
related to technology for faculty, Evan continued to use technology in his classroom
by including Web sites, computer-based projects, and other resources that he
found online. He identified a few key Web sites that he regularly returns
to — British Broadcasting (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/),
Public Broadcasting (see http://www.pbs.org/),
American Memory Collection (Library of Congress; see http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html),
and DocSouth — but he generally used a search engine
to find new ideas for teaching. In fact he adamantly argued, “There
is no excuse for not having a lesson plan because it is all there for you online,
so it would be ridiculous for someone to come into a classroom not prepared.”
Traditional Uses of Technology
Participants’ uses of technology, outside of their efforts initiated
through the Doc South workshop, were traditional or teacher-centered extensions
of previously conceived pedagogies. The teachers all described their perceptions
of the value of technology for teaching and demonstrated familiarity with its
uses in the classroom. Participants used a range of traditional technologies
in their classrooms and desired to expand on their traditional uses toward more
technologically enabled student-centered, experiential projects.
All of the six teachers in this study used technology in some form in their
classroom. Perhaps due to the emphasis on content-knowledge learning,
linked to end of course exams, the most common type of computer technology used
by the teachers was presentation software and equipment — especially PowerPoint
and LCD projectors used during teacher lectures. Jenny used PowerPoint
(which she displayed on a large screen at the front of her room via her “presentation
station”) most frequently of the six teachers interviewed. At the
time of the study she was in the process of transitioning all of her daily course
lectures to PowerPoint presentations.
When asked why she felt PowerPoint was an effective teaching tool, she repeatedly
pointed to the visual element of the medium, which gave her the ability to connect
images with content. Here she described the “engaging” element
of this form of instruction with her Advanced Placement US history classes:
I like that it is engaging. I think students [when] you just do something
on the computer they want to look and see what it is. There is so much
I can do ... even though I lecture, this year I am transferring everything
to PowerPoint.... I’m in the process of transferring all of my lectures
to PowerPoint and my scores have come up amazingly. And they [the students]
said that ... even though I don’t put notes up ... I just put headings,
pictures, and graphs and maps, and things like that…they said just
having a visual and just having it almost makes an outline for them in their
notes and I notice that a lot more of my students are taking notes.
In past years by this point a lot of them have given up taking notes because
they just feel way too overwhelmed with everything. And so, now, I’d
say all but about five of my students are still taking notes. And their scores
are 10-15 points — their class average — is 10-15 points higher
than last year.
Similarly, John described his “dependence” on PowerPoint in his
Advanced Placement United States history classes where the curriculum was, in
his words, “Very content-driven, very, very content-driven.” Like
Jenny, John emphasized the visual elements of PowerPoint, as well as its usefulness
for efficiently organizing the presentation of content for students. He
described his approach to this type of technology in the history classroom as
Well, initially my approach [to technology] was ... PowerPoint was a major
presentation aid, and I think initially I grew too dependent on PowerPoint,
I would use it as ... my style is kind of telling a story ... lecture kind
of. Yes, it was really compact. I taught AP, the students here have
to go home every month, and we have a lot less days than the average North
Carolina teacher because the students go home a lot — for breaks and
other things — we just have a lot less time. So it is a lot more
compact. The content has to be first. So in a sense it has to be very
teacher oriented, teacher centered. I am giving them information and
I am expecting you to process it and do something with it. I give homework
assignments using the Internet and using other resources. But with that
I use PowerPoint a lot, showing images, art from different time periods, basically,
Here John emphasized the time pressures and demand he felt to cover material
— “The content has to be first”— and his reluctant admission
that in his classroom this led to “teacher oriented” instruction.
Like Jenny, though, he valued the ability to present images along with content
via PowerPoint presentations.
Anne described a lesson in which she demonstrated Geographic Information System
(GIS) to her students via the LCD projector. In her example, again, the
emphasis fell on the teacher’s use of technology
— it was used to demonstrate visually to students and teach a
conceptual understanding of the social studies. Here, she detailed a geography
lesson in which she wanted students to understand a correlation between climate
and population density:
It is a Web-based GIS so it’s got the program basically on the Web
site. I threw up the rainfall map and I asked, “Where do you guess it
will be the most densely populated?” and then they would all guess and
they were mostly right. And then I showed them, because you can do it
right away, that population density exactly corresponds with rainfall.
And then I said, “Where do you think you will find the most airports
based on population density?” And then I mapped airports on top
Each of these examples revealed a traditional
use of technology. Rather than allowing for increased constructivism and student-centered
learning, technology, in these cases, was used by the teacher to cover content. Technology
was present but was not in the hands of the students.
Innovative Uses of Technology
Although the teachers reported using technology
in the classroom in traditional ways, they also mentioned occasions in which
they incorporated technology in innovative ways. Importantly, some teachers
talked about a desire to model their use of technology based on colleagues
who created student-centered, technology-based projects in their social studies
The teachers who used technology in innovative ways put the computers in the
students’ hands. Mike, for instance, talked about a project he had
done the previous year where, instead of viewing his PowerPoint presentation,
the students created their own to share with each other:
At the end of the
year, they did PowerPoint shows on something to with Southeast Asia, some type
of project, and they could do it with a poster, presentation, some type of
report, and a lot of them had chosen to do it in PowerPoint since they had
learned how to do it in science.
Jenny’s students created their own PowerPoint presentations during summer
school on a variety of topics related to United States history. When asked
why she favored the use of computers in this situation, she responded,
One, summer school is a five hour class and you’ve got to break it
up ... so it’s like, “We’ll do this for a little while and
then we’ll go to the computer lab for an hour.” So I do that ...
but, yes, it helps because, one, it breaks [it] up ... and those kids do need
something like, you know, it is more engaging to get on the computer.
Jenny pointed to the usefulness of technology to engage struggling students
in learning content. The same was true in her experience when it
came to her higher ability classes. For those classes she created an assignment
in which her students used Apple’s iMovie software to create documentaries
and music videos related to history in the last 2 weeks of school.
Yes, they got to chose whatever they wanted, something in history that interested
them and so.... I think I had one for each decade — like the 1970s —
it had 1970s music and then pictures from the 70s. Two students did
conspiracy theories in US history and they started with Lister’s rebellion
[and] went through the different conspiracy theories throughout American history.
I had one on American psychos — just like crazy people we studied, like
Carrie Nation and Aaron Burr [laughs], they picked the craziest people in
American history and did a documentary on those people. It was just
different stuff. Some on the [American] Revolution and the Civil War,
a popular topic. Two kids did a music video on the Civil War, they used Civil
War music and used the photographs. And the iMovies, fade in and out
— it’s really cool.
Jenny spoke with great enthusiasm about this
successful project especially since, when given the opportunity to choose a
topic of interest to pursue and synthesize via a multimedia presentation tool,
her students developed incredibly creative and personally meaningful final
In Evan’s classroom he allowed for student inquiry through the use of
WebQuests (Web-based inquiry projects). When I visited him at the high
school, for example, he was planning to take the students to the computer lab
to explore a Web-based project he had designed related to the turn of the 20th
century. Some of the tasks for students included exploring Web sites on
the Colombia Exposition in Chicago, Coney Island, and Ellis Island.
All of these examples pointed out a willingness on the part of some of the
teachers in the study to try out innovative and nontraditional modes of social
studies instruction through the use of technology. At the same time some
spoke about the projects of their colleagues who were also using technology
in unique ways and expressed a desire to do something similar with their students.
Mike and Anne for instance, introduced me to a teacher at their school who used
iMovies in her teaching. Mike talked about how interested he would be
in learning this technology to use in his own classroom. When Anne told
him, “It is easy to learn,” in the interview, Mike replied,
Which I have heard. I don’t know how to use it [but] I have it
on my computer at home, although I don’t have a digital video camera.
That [iMovie] would be valuable to learn. I do projects where students
film themselves, and the ones who are in her class will go down there and
work on it,and the ones who aren’t in her class, I am giving them the
big, dinosaur cameras, the ones with the tape on the side. And
get it right on the first take because there is no editing here. I just
don’t know how to use it and I haven’t had the time to learn it.
So just things like that would be nice. I haven’t had any training on
computer stuff in a few years.
Whereas Mike felt he lacked the training to use
iMovies, John described a lack of time that limited his ability to use technology
in more innovative ways, although he was aware of how other educators do it:
I think there are
ways. You know, teachers find times to bridge that gap. I am sure I could
talk to college professors, but the way that she [workshop presenter] used
primary sources in the college classroom I think that is awesome. I try to
do that kind of stuff too. I want to make it meaningful for students on that
level, maybe asking some college professors how they do that too. But
I know they are dealing with the time factor too.
Jenny, too, seemed to be encouraged by colleagues to try new things. She said
she was “jealous” of her coteacher who used Web logs during the
 Presidential debates. When asked what she planned to do in the
future with technology she replied,
I’d like to try the blogging sort of thing, kind of like the BlackBoard
where kids can post and have discussions. I’d really like to, you know,
have a time for that. It would have been great with the debates. I am
really jealous that [coworker] got to do that because I think it would be
really cool to sit there with all of my students on line and just like watch
them comment on things while it was happening. That would have been
Clearly, Jenny and the other teachers were aware
of the potential of technology in the social studies, especially in terms of
helping them create student-oriented, meaningful lesson plans. Beyond
awareness they demonstrated a real desire to try new things but were limited
by their own sense of efficacy and time constraints.
In North Carolina eighth graders take the North Carolina Test of Computer
Skills, which includes three major sections related to word processing,
databases, and spreadsheets. As such, the three middle school teachers
worked alongside the technology specialists at their schools to help the students
prepare for the test. Here Jeanne explained how her school approaches
this test preparation:
The technology specialist comes into our classrooms
— she hits every core subject — math, social studies, science,
language arts — she goes over spreadsheets in science and with me she
goes over databases. We [go over] hardcopies of multiple choice questions
related to computer skills. We go over that in our Cyclone Zone which is our
advisory [class] — so we do that on Fridays. We ensure, in sixth
and seventh grade, especially in sixth grade, that they take a keyboarding
class and then, there is a seventh grade elective that some of the students
can take. So we really have like two technology teachers specifically
for that. So the only thing that bothers me is that I see a lot more
guys in those classes than I see females. But we work with them and
really try to prep them as much as we can on this [test]. She [the technology
specialist] goes through sorting, and doing fields, and record, you know?
And [Microsoft] Access so, she tries to do a very fair job of that.
Similarly, at Mike and Anne’s school the technology specialist trained
students on tested skills, and all of the students generally took a typing or
keyboarding class. As a result the teachers felt fairly confident in the
students’ ability not only to pass the test but to also navigate a computer
and various software programs. Mike described the confidence he felt in
his students’ ability:
They are all required to take the keyboarding class which focuses mainly
on word processing, spreadsheet, and database, which are the three things
they are tested on in eight grade computer test. I’d say 95 to 98% pass
it the first time through, so they are definitely prepared for it by the eighth
grade. When I was teaching eighth grade all of those years, in the fall we
would just do a practice for it with the Carolina counties database.
And we would spend one block, two periods, like one and a half hours, teaching
them to search and sort — the kind of things they have to do on the
test. And they ... just about everybody would get it so quickly, even
if they never used one I think they understand the general idea. I think
spreadsheet was a little harder when they asked them to make graphs and the
science would handle that part. But by eighth grade they’d all
typed enough that word processing is easy. The kinds of things they
would have to do are center titles and maybe underline something and bold
something and move it to the end.
Jenny, at the high school level,
also felt that her students possessed the necessary computer skills to complete
computer-based projects. When her students created iMovie documentaries,
they depended very little on her knowledge of the program:
No, because, one, the kids are pretty apt at using that
kind of stuff and we have ... we subscribe to Atomic Learning, which
is a site that has tutorials for how to use absolutely anything related
to technology even as far ... not just using the i-movies program but
how to prepare a good documentaries in iMovies — “What would
you want to start with?” And stuff like that. So my kids
used Atomic Learning which we subscribe to.
So did all of the kids go through each tutorial or just the
ones they needed?
||Whatever they needed. And if we were like, “We need to do
this” ... and a lot of kids are so good at technology, “They
are like oh, we’ll just figure it out” — because they
are not hard programs to figure out. And if there was a big question
we would go into Atomic Learning and find an answer.
Jenny overcame one potentially inhibiting factor to the use of technology —
her own low efficacy with the program — by allowing her students to teach
each other and have support in the form of an easy to use, straightforward tutorial
For these teachers, using computers in the classroom
rarely required teaching requisite computer skills to most of their students. However,
there were instances when students need remedial help, as Jeanne explained:
Right, right, it’s rare that you have to teach some of these kids different
[technology] skills. You know a lot of them know how to do the different
attachments, going on to Web sites without any trouble, but we do have a few
kids — ESL [English as a second language] kids, first year ESL
students who might have come from some third world countries
— probably have more difficulty. But we do provide for
them because we make sure that they take a computer class.
Along with remedial training in computer skills, most of these teachers taught
in local school systems that provided some form of assistance (such as computers
on loan and cheap Internet access) to needy families. Amy described one
program and pointed out that soon teachers could expect all of their students
to have Internet access at home:
I think it is really interesting that when the guy came in to talk about
the Internet, he told they kids that if “any of you don’t have
the Internet come talk to me and I can get it for you.” And they
have this program, they can get you an old computer for lower income families,
get Internet free for three months and then you have to pay 10 dollars a month.
So 10 dollars per month apparently is discouraging some parents from going
ahead and getting it. It is a nice thing to think about, if we really
did want all of the kids to access, for example, the research, there are ways
of starting to be able to expect that.
Here Anne made an important
point that, due to this initiative and others, it is not so unreasonable for
teachers to eventually assume that their students have Internet access and
know how to navigate the Web.
These teachers felt their students were savvy with computers and also spoke
about their belief in the importance of exposing students to technology as it
becomes more and more ubiquitous in today’s society. When asked
about her approach to technology, Jeanne responded,
Well, since I’ve been teaching a long time and you see a lot of things
kind of come and go. Our society has changed, so of course technology
changes and so I feel like it would be a disservice if I did not put some
of this into my curriculum. What I do now is that when ... when I put
something new in my lessons, then I do try to see if I could put something
with regards to technology in there. Now I am kind of on that bandwagon
where I am trying to put down some pencil and paper items and then go to use
the technology a lot more.
This sense that it would be a disservice not
to include technology in her classroom was shared by Jenny, who always included
computer lab time in the daily summer school schedule. Here, she expanded
on her reasoning to do this:
Plus it is good for
them [the students] to build those computer skills, you know? They need
to learn how to use Word, and they need to learn to use PowerPoint, and I think
if you can use those the way [computer] programs are written, if you can use
basic programs like that, you can generally figure out other programs because
then you understand about Help menus and you understand about right clicking,
everything is very similar. You can highlight and cut and paste.
Teachers pointed out an added value to technology
— enriched instruction — it offered students the chance to
develop valuable computer skills while also learning social studies content.
Uses of DocSouth Lessons in the Classroom
Of the teachers interviewed only two, Jeanne and John, referred to the specific
use of DocSouth materials in their classroom to teach social studies content.
The teachers designed these assignments after attending the workshop. Their
approach to integrating these materials in their curriculum provided a nice
snapshot of what teachers may look for when they visit the Web site. Jeanne
and John used DocSouth to provide multiple perspectives on the historic past
in their classroom; in this way the materials supplemented their regular instruction.
In Jeanne’s words, “I think ... it just really enhances what
I do.” The teachers also used the materials to teach their students about
critical thinking, analyzing point-of-view, and recognizing literary devices
and bias. The teachers assessed student synthesis and analysis of the
materials through written assignments such as historical essays.
Jeanne explained that she first used DocSouth after she attended the summer
workshop in 2003. At that time she was already having her students read
the book, Letters from a Slave Girl by Mary Lyons (1992) , which
introduces the story of Harriet Jacobs, a slave that escaped through extraordinary
means. According to Jeanne this book provides a “watered-down
version” of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (see http://docsouth.unc.edu/jacobs/menu.html)
— Jacobs’ narrative, digitized in the DocSouth North American Slave
Narrative collection. When she discovered Jacobs’ narrative online
through the workshop she immediately incorporated it into her curriculum the
So up until this year, I had just simply relied, well, up to last year, I
had simply pretty much relied on that book, but it still doesn’t give
enough depth. I think especially for my upper level children.
So that is where I use the Web site [DocSouth]. Basically, with my gifted
kids, because I feel like they are better able pretty much to understand some
of the different concepts there. Say for instance, like in Letters from
a Slave Girl when they go over the fact that ... some of the sexual issues,
you know, that’s kind of watered down. I warn my kids first of
all what the Web site is like and you know, “This is actually what she
wrote.” So, you know, they won’t be so shocked when they look
at that. I also let parents know what is there so they can kind of gauge.
I don’t think its anything that is really too far out there that these
kids can’t handle as eighth graders. So that’s one of the
things. And another thing is the vocabulary that’s used in the actual
slave narrative itself. So I really find a lot of value with that particular
site when looking at the slave narrative.
DocSouth provided Jeanne’s students the opportunity to learn more about
Jacobs’ life and to compare her experience to that of other slaves:
And then again we can go in and compare some people like Lunsford Lane and
Frederick Douglass. And then looking at — basically what we look
at — we tend to think of just field slaves and not looking at city slaves
and town slaves and how life was different for them then. So that site
is also of value there because it gives them more information. And it
also shows them — instead of me standing up and telling them —
it also gives them information from these people that actually experienced
being enslaved. So, you know, it is just a very powerful thing.
Jeanne revealed not only her eagerness to present students with multiple perspectives
about slavery — the range of experiences — but also the effect it
had on changing the emphasis in her classroom from teacher centered to student
centered. Her students read the narratives and constructed their own impressions
of slavery; they kept track of their understanding with a reading log and then
wrote up a final report of their comparisons of the narratives. In the
end, she felt it was a very valuable lesson for her students:
Very, very powerful ... very powerful. Because, you know, they are looking
at it from the perspective of a woman and all of the different things she
went through and she persevered and she made it her goal not to be enslaved
anymore and just suffered for several years hiding in her grandmother’s
little attic space, you know, not even really an attic space. So I have
them to tell me, you know, how you feel about certain things and that was
certainly one of the comments — that that was one of the best they’ve
Due to the positive feedback she received from
her students she planned to continue to include this lesson in her curriculum.
John also used resources from the North American
Slave Narrative collection in his humanities classes (a blended United States
history and American literature class). In his classes students focused
on one slave narrative and examined it from a variety of angles.
I gave an assignment ... I listed out about 20-25 of the North American slave
narratives. They had to choose from that list
— we were talking about slavery and the Civil War — we
had just finished up talking about slavery and their experience. I said,
“Look at this and examine these documents as a piece of literature.
What kind of literary devices are being used by these individuals
— these enslaved Africans who were writing? Examine it as a historical
document. How does this fit into the story, the narrative that I have
tried to tell you the past couple of weeks or days? How does it fit
in? Where this guy talks about the Fugitive Slave Act, where does that fit
in? And lastly the political — what is the purpose — if it happened
before the Civil War — what’s the purpose? Does it fit into the
abolition movement? How? And why does it serve that purpose? After the
Civil War, what is the purpose of the author? And why do you think it was
published?” So that kind of gets to the deeper significance of
the slave narratives. So they had to examine all three of those things....
I made them print out the narrative, read it, and write an essay.
John used the narrative to offer his students
multiple perspectives about slavery while also giving them a chance to construct
their own understanding of history beyond his lectures. He required a
final, synthesizing essay that pulled together the literary elements of the
story while putting it into perspective.
When asked about the student response to the assignment he said that several
students had come to talk to him about the slave narratives and some of their
more startling aspects. Based on this, he felt like the students were
“really getting into it” although he admitted,
It was an assignment. Some students were really into it — like
the students that came to me. Unless they asked. You know,
they are not going to just say, “Whoa, I love this!” [laughs]
I don’t know if I’ll get that. I don’t know, some
might have told me that — or might have felt that but didn’t say
because it felt like they were really getting into it.
For these two teachers the experience using digitized primary sources in the
classroom dramatically influenced their students’ perspectives on slavery
through exposure to a more varied retelling of that historic time. At
the same time, greater responsibility rested with the students to construct
their knowledge as they were called on to amalgamate the story their teachers
had told them with firsthand narrative versions of the events.
Increasing Teacher Use of Digital History
All of the teachers in this study agreed that DocSouth could do more to encourage
teachers to use its resources. They offered a variety of opinions ranging from
making the materials more teacher friendly to increasing the visibility of the
resources available. For instance, they were critical of the too narrow
focus on North Carolina and United States Southern history. Although many
of their suggestions were specific to DocSouth, they also offered general suggestions
related to the more seamless integration of digital resources into social studies
instruction, especially availability and accessibility.
According to Edelson and Gordin (1996) a complaint many K-12 users have with
digital libraries is that they make resources available but they are not accessible,
often because the documents are too long, difficult to read, or obscure.
The interview data collected over the course of this study provides an example
of this complaint as it relates to DocSouth. The teachers reported that
although they know in general what resources DocSouth contains, it is often
hard for them to locate or identify quickly a shortened excerpt of a larger
document from the collection to use in their classes. Time and again,
the teachers referred to Jenny’s predicament of knowing what is there
but not being able to find it and use it in a practical way:
For me ... when I think right now what my primary source needs are it’s
kind of like, as far as DBQs [Document Based Questions] go, what I need are
primary sources that are grouped together like “here’s some great
primary sources to use on Andrew Jackson’s presidency” or something
like that ... “Here’s some suggestions.” And maybe
not even the whole thing because a lot of time the documents on DocSouth are
so big I can’t use the whole thing and it is hard for me to sort through
and say, “Oh this is really pertinent,” but maybe if there was
a page excerpt on something ... nullification — “here’s
a pro-nullification primary source and anti-nullification” — and
it’s short enough that you can hand them both to the kids and they can
read it. Something like that so it is condensed so that, one, it’s
easy to find ... because it’s hard ... DocSouth has so much it’s
hard to even know what is on there.
Evan shared Jenny’s frustration in locating excerpts and other useable
materials within the collection. For instance, he pointed out that when
he used the Paul Green Papers from World War I to create a lesson plan on North
Carolinians and the Great War, he first had to read through the whole collection
before he found one letter that seemed to capture the point of view of the author
along with significant details of the war. He also spoke about another
issue with the DocSouth materials — their reading level was often too
hard for his high school students to read and comprehend. Like Jenny,
he suggested including select excerpts and more secondary source information
on the Classroom Resource page.
The teachers found the resources unwieldy but suggested that lesson plans serve
as an adequate guide for the integration of digital primary sources in the social
studies classroom. Echoing the other teachers’ concerns about the depth
and breadth of the DocSouth collection, Mike insisted that teacher lesson plans
continue to be a part of the Classroom Resource page. Although he rarely
follows lesson plans he finds online verbatim, he did find it extremely helpful
to read how other teachers used the resources. Here, he explained his
views on ways to make DocSouth more teacher friendly:
Yes, [it’s too big] unless you’ve got a way to get to it, and
the way I’d like to get to it through what a teacher says as opposed
to a college professor telling me these are the sites that deal with something.
I’d rather read another eighth grade teacher if I were an eighth grade
teacher that said, “I like these passages, these quotations, these pictures
are good to show, I use them in my class.” It at least gives you a place
John agreed with the need for more explanatory materials about the documents
and excerpts. He suggested the addition of student pages, instead of just
including lesson plans for teachers. He said, “Not just a lesson plan
for teachers — a student page where they can go and just do — follow
the instructions and do the lesson. Making my job easier but at the same
time if the students can get in there, you know, and be engaged, maybe that
would make it more meaningful for them.”
Most of the teachers agreed on the need for the resources to be divided into
more usable chunks through the inclusion of excerpts and lesson plans on the
Classroom Resources page. This, they suggested, would effectively alleviate
the time constraints that currently prevent them from perusing the collection
and using its resources in their classrooms.
Jeanne offered the additional suggestion of more
widely promoting the resource and its value to teachers:
Well, I understand that you guys were at the North Carolina Council of Social
Studies last year so I know you got word out there, so that really helps because
I don’t think it has been promoted enough. I know you guys have
had different workshops and things, but it’s still not. So basically
I have been kind of promoting it in my department. I put my poster in
the room and am really trying to get some people on-board to take a look at
it. So I think that you need to keep doing things of that nature. Even
if you could promote this at the national conference it would help get the
To her the resource fit remarkably well into
her curriculum and that of other teachers. It was just a matter of continuing
to educate about the collections that make up DocSouth in order for more teachers
to use it.
Although the interviews specifically addressed teachers’ use of DocSouth,
the emergent themes can be applied more generally regarding the use of digital
resources in the classroom. These themes highlight ways that the university
community, especially a resource provider like DocSouth, can help teachers integrate
digital primary sources into their classrooms. They indicate that, while professional
development experiences lead teachers to an interest in integrating these resources
in their classroom, they can grow frustrated with the scope of the resources
available. Teachers need continued support in order for them to integrate
the resources seamlessly. Suggestions include making digital resources
more accessible by providing metadata or contextual background on resources
and providing lesson plans or other teaching ideas.
and Recommendations for Future Research
The purpose of this research was to allow the teacher participants to describe
their own best practices with technology integration, based on their experiences
and their perceptions of student needs. Although at first glance participants’
lack of use of DocSouth may appear bleak, the interviews reveal that there is
great potential for digital historical resources to enhance the social studies
classroom. The value of this study lies in its emphasis on what teachers
are doing and demonstrates the necessity of increased support for teachers who
Themes emerging from the interviews demonstrated that, although teacher participants
were not incorporating digital historical materials regularly into their classroom,
teachers seemed open to using the resources. All of the six teachers who
participated in this study portrayed themselves as well-trained and knowledgeable
in the use of technology for instruction. They regularly used technology in
lesson planning, and their students were similarly well-prepared to use computers.
This result echoes similar studies that have demonstrated that training and
personal computer usage are key factors in teacher use of technology in the
classroom. According to Wozney, Venkatesh, and Abrami (2006), for
instance, “Personal use of computers outside of teaching activities was
the most significant predictor of teacher use of technology in the classroom”
(p. 173). The results of this study also align with Becker’s (2000)
report that under the right conditions — personal comfort, adequate time
in the class schedule, plentiful equipment, and constructivist teaching philosophies
— computer technology is used effectively in the classroom. This assertion
appears to hold true especially for Jeanne and John, who effectively integrated
digital primary sources from DocSouth into their classrooms in order to teach
multiple, varied accounts of the past.
The findings of this study also indicate that teachers still face significant
hindering factors to technology integration. Overt training in the pedagogical
as well as technical aspects of the integration of DocSouth materials
may have provided these teachers with a necessary sense of efficacy, but it
was not enough to overcome all of the hindering factors to technology integration.
The experiences of the teachers in this study also echoed the hindering factors
Becker (2000) uncovered — scheduling, pressure of curriculum coverage,
and lack of convenient access to computers hindered the consistent use of technology
in the classroom. In particular, the teachers cited a lack of time to integrate
DocSouth materials reiterating Vannatta and Fordham’s (2004) contentions
that a combination of technology training along with a willingness to commit
time and take risks are essential factors in the use of technology in the classroom.
In this study, when the teachers used technology they had to overcome hindering
factors such as a lack of preparation, time, and adequate equipment. For the
most part, their use of technology was sporadic and designed to supplement the
This study represents a first step toward understanding
the ways that the university community, especially a resource provider like
DocSouth, can help teachers integrate digital primary sources into their classrooms.
At the same time it demonstrates how professional development only goes so
far in helping teachers overcome hindering factors to technology integration
in their classroom.
Recommendations for DocSouth and other digital
historical resource providers include helping to alleviate the amount of time
it takes teachers and students to access digital primary sources. By
further dividing the materials into usable excerpts and overtly connecting
the resources to the regular curriculum perhaps digital libraries can better
support social studies teachers. Continuing professional development and providing
a time for teachers to plan instruction outside of the traditional school year
also will help teachers integrate these materials.
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Old Dominion University
DocSouth Summer Institute Agenda
Welcome and introduction
Introduction to the new educator’s resource
Primary sources in the classroom
[Learn NC staff]
North American Slave Narratives
Tour of Rare Books Collection and North Carolina
Collection in Wilson Library
Sample lesson and lesson template
[school of education professor]
Individual or team writing time
[school of education professor]
North Carolina and the Great War
Individual or team writing time
Semistructured Interview Protocol
Guiding Research Questions:
- How did participation in the DocSouth summer institute influence teachers’
beliefs and classroom practices in integrating DocSouth resources in their
- What are hindering and helping factors in teachers’ use of these resources?
- How can university-based educators support teacher’s use of these
materials in the future?
- What is the state of technology at your school? Do you have access
to computer technology? Is there support staff?
- How prepared are your students to use technology?
- What are some of the main ways you use technology?
- What are some of the main ways you use technology with students?
- What helps or hinders your use of technology?
- Over the course of your teaching what types of technology professional development
or training have you had?
- Since the workshop have you used DocSouth materials in your classroom?
How? Why or why not?
- What suggestions do you have for improving the DocSouth classroom resources
- What were your general impressions of the DocSouth workshop you attended?
What suggestions would you make for future workshops?
- What haven’t I asked that you would like to tell me about?