Monday, January 12, 2015

Using Primary Sources in a Digital Classroom

Blending the Old and the New

Technology moves us into the future at a breakneck speed.  In our rush to move forward, we may forget where we have been.  Use technology to show your students history and interact with it in ways that were not possible just a generation ago.
How can you bring valuable and sometimes rare objects into the eyes and minds of your students? Look no further than your fingertips. Browsing through the Library of Congress can make history real. It is one thing to read a speech given by past orators, such as Martin Luther King Jr. but wouldn’t it be better to invite his voice into the room?

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study.  Sources present during an experience offer an inside view of an event.

Go to to begin your search.

In a few short clicks you can read Dr. King's Nobel Prize acceptance speech, listen to him as he spoke in Oslo, and then see the telegram sent by Senator Edward Kennedy congratulating him on his award.  Share these documents with your class for a writing assignment, discussion, or to build background knowledge.  With the Internet, these amazing artifacts of history are literally at your fingertips.

Follow this link to see for yourself:

From the Library of Congress homepage, follow the education links ( for full lesson plans that align with the CCSS and thematic unites.  They even have free e-books for iPad classrooms here.

If you just don't know where to begin, start following the Library of Congress on twitter @teach with LC.  They have quick facts, documents or links to spark your class discussions.

As As we head into the fast-paced future, the Library of Congress lets us keep our past in the rear-view mirror.

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This is a professional blog associated with the Ed Tech Department of Aurora Public Schools. Comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, but please keep in mind that this can be used in classrooms and viewed by anyone.