Magazine article Information Today

"American Journey" CD-ROMs for High School Students

Magazine article Information Today

"American Journey" CD-ROMs for High School Students

Article excerpt

Research Publications International's American Journey CD-ROM collection allows high school students to "journey" through American history at their own pace, making new discoveries and finding new information to enhance and enrich their understanding. Through timelines, maps, picture albums, lists of historical themes, or full-text searches, students can access any of the documents, images, and audio clips on the American Journey CD-ROMs. Each CD-ROM in the series presents more than seven hundred unedited and uncensored primary source materials, 500 images and 200 documents, each with an accompanying description and full citation.

"Primary source materials are an outstanding way for students to explore history," said Ann Hartman, president and CEO of Research Publications International. "By viewing the wealth of documents that we've provided on American Journey, students are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills and to supplement and rethink their understanding of American history with a glimpse into the everyday lives of Americans throughout history."

American Journey premiers this fall with two discs: Women in America and Westward Expansion, expanding its series with two additional discs in spring 1995 covering The Civil War and The African-American Experience.

RPI has assembled a list of themes that reflect the American history curriculum of secondary schools across the U.S. There are 25 themes available on each disc to provide students and educators a starting point for viewing hundreds of primary source documents and images on any chosen theme. Students can gain a deeper understanding of our multicultural roots through a collection of audio clips, including protest songs, folk songs, and speeches. Educators will find that the American Journey series can expand their curriculum, enriching classroom discussions throughout the academic year.

Using American Journey's on-screen cues, students can "hotlink" to a particular document or image related to the historical theme that they wish to research. When the document window is opened, students are provided with a brief description, identifying the document's historical context and significance. From there, they can move to any one of the many related images, documents, and essays. A list of additional resources is provided to assist interested students in undertaking more in-depth research, including at least 15 related source items citing books, periodicals, films, and museums.

The theme of the first CD-ROM introduced in the American Journey series is Women in America. Students will discover life as it really was for women in America from the 1500s right up to the 1990s, exploring such themes as Native American Women, Women Under Slavery, Women on the Frontier, Women During World War II, and Women Writers in the 20th Century. Women in America portrays the role of women and their experiences in U.S. history. Students gain a valuable multicultural perspective as they explore ideas and issues through the eyes of ordinary as well as prominent women of the times.

The Westward Expansion CD-ROM provides easy access to four centuries of western history, from the explorations of Columbus, to the West at the turn of the 19th Century. Westward Expansion offers students an opportunity to explore western American history, through themes such as Early Openings to the West (1500-1700); The Spanish West; Manifest Destiny; The Gold Rush and Early Mining Towns; The West in Art, Literature, and Pop Culture; and Changing Views of the West. …

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