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Getting intimate with primary sources: A new seres of iBooks from the LOC
If you love or teach with primary sources, and if you’ve got a few iPads around the classroom, you’re going to be pretty happy.
The Library of Congress announced and launched the first titles in its series of free Student Discovery Sets.
The new Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in, draw to highlight details, and conduct open-ended primary source analysis. Full teaching resources are available for each set.
These first six titles may be downloaded free as iBooks on iTunes.
Just released are . . .
The Dust Bowl: Songs, maps, and iconic photographs document the daily ordeals of rural migrant families during a disastrous decade.
The Harlem Renaissance: Discover some of the innovative thinkers and creative works that contributed to the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Symbols of the United States: Watch six well-known symbols of the U.S. change over the centuries. Especially for early grades.
Understanding the Cosmos: Astronomers’ depictions of the universe, from before Copernicus to after photography.
The books look beautiful on the iPad. They are enhanced with audio and allow learners to get up close and personal with individual primary sources. Students are asked to analyze and ask questions about the items they see. They may enlarge, draw on images, and take notes on their observations, supported by helpful prompts.
Teachers Guides for these and the other web-based sets are available at the Primary Source Sets site. While this content is available on the site, the iPad experience brings a lovely kind of intimacy to the analysis experience.
About Joyce Valenza
Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza
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