UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Presentations Page > Technology in the History Classroom (Feb. 2002)

H. Marcuse
CHSSP Technology Seminar
[Fall 2002 CHSSP Homepage]
UCSB, Feb. 23, 2002

H. Marcuse homepage, UCSB History Dept.
created Feb. 23, 2002; last update Oct. 9, 2007 [links updated]; 5/1/5/10 links re: Online education added
11/4/15 more links updated

I. Different meanings of "technology in the classroom"

  1. Students using computers
    1. to run software (word processing, drawing, presentation, games)
      student projects may be one of the most educational uses of computers!
    2. to access the internet
      1. finding information (ease of access, multimedia formats)
      2. communicating with others (including presenting their own projects)
      3. interactive sites: educational projects, textbooks
  2. Teachers using technology with students
    1. for "synchronous" (in-class) multimedia presentations to students
      powerpoint and web-based [like this one] are most widely used
    2. creating widely accessible repositories for class materials
      for example my own class pages: Western Civ [2000 class; see 2006 World History], Holocaust
      show: materials, links to sites, textbook, communication [subsections have been changed]
  3. Teachers using the internet for preparation
    1. finding information and ideas
      how to find sites, and evaluate content [Part II below]
    2. communicating with others [not today]
    3. finding appropriate web sites for classroom use
      these will yield A2-subject guides
      how to evaluate design [Part III: main part of today's talk]

II. Finding and evaluating web content

  1. Three ways to find sites: search engines, subject guides, referring sites
    1. search engines: google (system for ranking pages), altavista
    2. subject guides: yahoo Cold War; Berlin Wall category; search results
    3. referring sites: see bottom of John Ball's Berlin Wall
  2. Evaluating content:
    1. Content evaluation checklist (by Univ. of N. Carolina) [11/4/15: link updated to web archive version; see also How to Evaluate Web Resources by Who Is Hosting This, 2015--with nice infographics and a text version below it]
      [10/9/07: UC Berkeley's website evaluation guide]
      Deerfield, Mass. museum's criteria
    2. How did you find it?
      1. links in: links are recommendations; annotated links (example: Randy Bass, Georgetown; 2007 link)
      2. search engine results are rankings, esp. on google
        (age of page, "relevance," number of links to, where those links are from, number of viewers)
    3. Public vs. private vs. commercial: study the URL (web address): examples
      [tip for PC users: right-click a page or link, go to properties, cut and paste]
      1. NEH: EdSitement, has History & Soc. Studies area
      2. AskERIC: Educational Resource Information Network (1998 sponsors; 2007 about)
        (US Dept. of Education and Syracuse Univ: Education, technology)
        subject guide: social studies (show examples of Q and A=resources)
        database of questions and answers: How to develop a lesson plan
        database of lessons plans (Balkans)
      3. Commercial sites: bigchalk.com [2007: now ProQuestK12.com]: The Education Network -- let's explore this one
        (this is an example of bad design and absent content!)
        1. Who created it? Who sponsors it? (Very hard to tell: partners)
        2. What unique content does it have?
          Smithsonian Folkways Recordings: are they there? No (only one!).
          Compare the catalog list at the Smithsonian site.
        3. How easy is it to navigate? Awful.
        4. Compare it to the private (non-commercial) UK Schoolzone site (about)
          (one Holocaust lesson plan, from educationworld.com)
    4. Find reviews of the site, or see what awards it has won
      1. Example: Columbus' voyages
        Keith Pickering's Columbus Navigation and Landfall pages
        review of Pickering's site by Barbara Feldman's "Surfing the Web with Kids"
        compare to other pages on Columbus: LOC exhibition at ibiblio.org (overview)
      2. Example: Berlin Wall (google search result)
        comprehensive but unknown: berlinwall.ws [webarchive version, 2002-04 only]
        complex: newseum.org (quiz)
        institution: US National Archives
        personal: Ursula's History Web; Chris DeWitt, John Ball.
        [try URLs: berlinermauer.de, berlinwall.org [a high school], .com--not always relevant!
  3. Evaluate the design of the site.

III. Guidelines for good design

  1. Sources:
    1. Web style guides: Yale, Library of Congress (table of contents)
    2. Richard E. Mayer (UCSB, Psychology), Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), esp. chapter 11: "Principles of Multimedia Design" (pp. 183-194) ($21; $17 at bn.com, $13 used)
    3. Randy Bass at Georgetown Univ., Engines of Inquiry: A Practical Guide for Using Technology to Teach American Culture (six advantages video page)
    4. Lawrence J. Najjar (Georgia Tech), "Principles of Educational Multimedia User Interface Design," formerly at: http://wearables.gatech.edu/papers/larry.html
    5. AskEric's list of resources
  2. Presumption for history-social science classrooms (depends on grade level?):
    Building understanding more important than acquiring information
    If yes, look at Richard Mayer's four-part model (chapter 3):
    1. 2 input channels: eyes and ears (visual and auditory)
      use each for a DIFFERENT type of mental processing
      preferable: verbal narration with images; non-verbal sounds and text
    2. 2 processing methods: non-verbal and verbal
      interaction between the two requires ACTIVE THINKING
  3. Focus on what users need, not what technology can do
    Example of the opposite: newseum in Arlington, VA
  4. Design/evaluation principles
    1. Multimedia: Words and images are better than words alone
    2. Proximity/Integration: The closer together words and images are, the better
      closeness both in time and in location
    3. Modality: Spoken words MAY BE better than written text
      1. input in ears leaves eyes free to examine images, BUT
      2. being able to determine pace can be more important
        (inexperienced vs. average vs. experienced learners)
      3. narration harder to review
    4. Personalization: narration in conversational style, "on-screen agent"
      (like that annoying paperclip in microsoft Word 2000)
    5. Redundancy: Stick to the core: exclude extraneous words, sounds, and images
      1. supportive vs. seductive images (example: student Berlin Wall project)
        avoid "seductive" images and sounds
        (intent: focus attention, heighten interest)
      2. text OR narration, but not both (film subtitle principle)
    6. Interactivity: learners control, manipulate, and explore; tasks that integrate
  5. Sites to examine:
    1. Florida Holocaust: many excellent features
    2. newseum: very glitzy and tech-savvy, but awfully confusing
      (for kids, too? exploration principle?)
    3. Dachau Scrapbook: super content, good navigation, but form?
    4. Deerfield, Mass. museum (activities: dress-up; tech impact essays)
    5. Niels Bohr Archive (1941 meeting with Heisenberg) (awkward navigation)

Segue to group work: Information, Emotion, Impact
Handouts: list of sources in packet; questions

  1. Information: acquisition of knowledge; connections to prior knowledge
  2. Emotion: motivating learners; connections to significant interests
  3. Impact: learning outcomes--do thrills increase knowledge or understanding

2010 Discussion of Online Education in the UC System: some links

  1. "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies," 2009 US Department of Education Report, 93 page pdf.
  2. "On-Line Courses – Request for Academic Senate Guidance," Dec. 2009 UCSB administration questions with regard to how online courses might be integrated into the curriculum (.doc file)
  3. "U. of California Considers Online Classes, or Even Degrees: Proposal for virtual courses challenges beliefs about what an elite university is—and isn't," by Josh Keller and Marc Parry in Chronicle of Higher Education, May 9, 2010. With list of possible online courses, and current systemwide annual enrollment
  4. "Here’s The Future: A Virtual University of California," Bob Samuels Changing Universities blog, May 13, 2010