Beginning in London and ending in Amsterdam, the group visited six ABMC WWII cemeteries in England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In preparation, each teacher researched the life of an individual buried in one of the ABMC cemeteries. At each site, teachers presented short eulogies to share with their fellow teachers and cemetery visitors. The research led teachers to military records, local newspapers, and sometimes even to contact with family members who shared letters, photographs, and diaries. During the trip, several teachers also met with the Dutch citizens who had “adopted” the grave of their fallen service member.
To provide further context, the group visited museums and historic sites related to military history. For a British perspective on the war, the teachers visited the Imperial War Museum in London, as well as the Churchill War Rooms. (more…)
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded two grants to the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media to fund professional development opportunities next summer.
With this generous support, Sharon Leon and Sheila Brennan will organize and host, “Doing Digital History 2016,” an Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. Designed for novices, the team will invite applications from mid-career American historians who have limited or no training in using digital methods and tools, and who lack a supportive digital community at their home institutions. After an intensive two-week institute in summer 2016, the 25 participating scholars will leave with the confidence, skills, and abilities to develop digital history scholarship, to evaluate digital projects, and to instruct students in digital methods. This institute is part of a larger effort at RRCHNM to grow the field of practicing digital history and digital art history scholars.
The second award is a Landmarks in American History grant for “Graffiti Houses: The Civil War from the Perspective of Individual Soldiers.” This project, led by Stephen Robertson and Jennifer Rosenfeld, will develop two week-long summer teacher institutes that focus on the Civil War through the lives of soldiers who left their mark in (more…)
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is pleased to announce that applications are open for the 2015-2016 Understanding Sacrifice WWII Teacher Institute held in partnership with National History Day (NHD) and the American Battle Monument Commission (ABMC). Teachers from all disciplines who teach middle and high school are welcome to apply. The application period closes on September 4, 2015.
The focus of the 2015-2016 institute is WWII in the Mediterranean. Participating teachers will engage in a year-long study through webinars, readings, and discussion groups. They will research an individual service member buried in one of the ABMC cemeteries and create an interdisciplinary lesson inspired by topics drawn from ABMC resources and materials. In July 2016, teachers will follow the path of the U.S. armed forces in Italy and Southern France through a two-week field study. The resulting research and lesson plans will be made available at abmceducation.org.
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University (RRCHNM) is pleased to announce the development of Omeka for Art Historians, supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Digital Art History initiative.
Drawing heavily upon the needs articulated by art historians at last summer’s Rebuilding the Portfolio summer institute held at RRCHNM, also funded by the Getty, we identified some key shortcomings of existing Omeka themes and plugins to serve the needs of this audience.
To address these needs, we want to offer art historians a new way to challenge their students and to engage online audiences with art collections by designing Omeka themes and plugins, and writing workflow case studies. To prioritize these needs, RRCHNM will convene a working group of art historians to shape theme development, paying particular attention to building templates that enable analysis and comparison of objects, contextualization of objects alongside historical materials.
Project Director Sheila Brennan will work closely with Kimon Keramidas of New York University, Michele Greet of Mason, and the Getty Foundation staff to select a working group that will convene at the College Art Association Conference in 2016.
This one-year, 15-credit certificate program includes 3 online courses:
Introduction to Digital Humanities (Fall 2015; 3 credits)
Digital Public History (Spring 2016; 3 credits)
Teaching Humanities in the Digital Age (Spring 2016; 3 credits)
Courses will introduce students interested in public history, museums, libraries, archives, education, and communications to ways in which they can incorporate digital public humanities skills and tools into their current or future practice. Students will learn research and presentation skills, including text mining, topic modeling, data visualization, and mapping. They will explore innovative ways to advance teaching and learning through digital tools while developing skills in digital curation, writing, and content strategy.
The program includes a 6-credit “virtual” summer internship with the Smithsonian Institution. The internship can be completed remotely.
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) is proud to announce the launch of Understanding Sacrifice (abmceducation.org/understandingsacrifice).
Sponsored by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), this website is part of an 18-month professional development program for middle- and high-school teachers. Working with National History Day and RRCHNM, 18 teachers are developing interdisciplinary lessons about WWII in Northern Europe. They are also researching the life of a service member buried or memorialized at an ABMC cemetery. The resulting profiles will be incorporated into the lessons.
The goal is to bring ABMC resources into classrooms to help students better understand the service, experience, and sacrifice of American service members who served and died during World War II.
In online courses, as with face-to-face courses, assessing learning is a central issue. In a recently published book chapter, CHNM staff contributed to this discussion based on their experiences developing and teaching online courses for practicing teachers.
In “How We Learned to Drop the Quiz: Writing in Online Asynchronous Courses,” graduate research assistants Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe and Nate Sleeter and education division director Kelly Schrum, talk about eliminating multiple-choice quizzes from online courses, an experience that enabled both instructors and participants to focus on providing meaningful feedback. Without the quiz, instructors were better able to emphasize iterative writing and its relationship to historical thinking.
As the authors write, “The opportunities for course participants to revisit and revise their interpretations over the span of a module and the course as a whole allowed for a stronger focus on the process of historical thinking over rote memorization.”
Online humanities education represents an opportunity to reach new students. In order to best serve students, especially given the rapid growth of online courses, the scholarship teaching and learning online is vitally important. Teaching and learning, the authors believe, must prioritize providing students with meaningful feedback. How to best to incorporate this feedback will remain a central focus going (more…)
RRCHNM will create seven curriculum units focused on Pivotal Moments from Eisenhower’s life: West Point, D-Day, NATO, The Presidency, Waging Peace, Little Rock, and NASA. Each unit will contain lesson plans for middle and high school classrooms, as well as related primary sources and activities. Additionally, RRCHNM will develop content for an interactive timeline of Eisenhower’s life and relevant moments in history.
“Our partnership with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University will develop engaging teacher resource materials for the state of the art Eisenhower E-Memorial. We believe that today’s students will greatly benefit from learning about how President Eisenhower helped shape the world in which we live today,” commented Brigadier General Carl Reddel (Ret.), Executive Director of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission in Washington, DC.
Last summer, Sharon Leon and I (Sheila Brennan) led a team at RRCHNM with the challenging goal of increasing capacity within the fields of history and art history for doing digital work. We started with novices and invited them to learn with us for two weeks last summer. At the end, those digital novices transformed into ambassadors who are engaging with the growing community of digital humanities practitioners and who serve as advocates supporting digital history and digital art history work at their institutions and in the fields at large.
Recent studies conducted by Ithaka S+R document how historians and art historians are reluctant to engage in digital methods and to integrate those methods and related tools into their teaching. The cycle perpetuates itself as these established scholars are then unable to mentor graduate students or even to point them to appropriate training opportunities. These same scholars may also dissuade junior colleagues from pursuing digital work.
Doing Digital History 2014, NEH summer institute participants
Even as digital work is receiving increasing recognition in academic circles, one major question remains for faculty interested in digital humanities and in new publishing mediums: will it count?
Despite decades of amazing work in digital (more…)
The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is developing a new course, Teaching Hidden History, with funding from
4-VA, an initiative dedicated to expanding educational opportunities and increasing collaborative research among Virginia universities.
A hybrid course, Teaching Hidden History features online components and in-person meetings utilizing the 4-VA Telepresence rooms on the Mason and Virginia Tech campuses. Students from both institutions will participate simultaneously. The course integrates digital history, history education, and best practices in teaching and learning history. Students will conduct research using primary and secondary sources to develop online history modules using an open-source platform. The first iteration of Teaching Hidden History will run in summer 2015.
In the changing higher education landscape, distance education has become increasingly common and attractive to institutions and students. Models for online education, however, have been dominated by science, math, and technology. Humanities disciplines have been slow to develop online educational opportunities, but they have the potential to incorporate and model best practices for inquiry-based, active learning.
Teaching Hidden History provides a unique opportunity for graduate students in history and social studies education to strengthen historical research and historical thinking skills while utilizing digital tools and exploring history education in an online environment.