Magazine article Technology & Learning

Making History Come Alive

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Making History Come Alive

Article excerpt

We had it easy -- at least that's what our students think. After all, there couldn't have been much history to learn back in the old days. True or not, there certainly is an enormous amount of history that students have to learn today. But with help from computer software and the Internet, students can locate information when they need it, explore events and ideas, and put it all into perspective.

Finding Information

If it's "just the facts" your students need, there are great digital resources to draw on. High-tech encyclopedias such as Microsoft's Encarta Deluxe on CD-ROM or on the Internet (encarta.msn.com) are interactive, visual experiences that include sound, graphics, motion, and more. And online additions keep them up to date.

Other traditional resources have modern counterparts as well. National Geographic's magazine articles along with learning activities, maps, and photos are available on CD-ROM from The Learning Company. Interactive choices include The Historical Atlas of the 20th Century, located at www.erols.com/ mwhite28/20centry.htm, or Microsoft's multimedia Encarta 99 Virtual Globe on CD-ROM. And The Information Please Almanac for Kids (kids.infoplease.com) offers online reference information.

Exploring Events and Ideas

Of course, facts aren't everything. Electronic role-playing and virtual field trips can provide a better understanding of the concepts, people and events that tell the "story" of history.

The Decisions, Decisions software series from Tom Snyder Productions allows students to experience a simulated crisis or event and take an active role in determining how things turn out.

"Virtual field trips" might take you to a museum such as the National Museum of American History's virtual exhibition (www.si.edu/organiza/museums/nmah/nmah.htm) or on an interactive experience such as The Learning Company's CD-ROM Trail series. …

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