CHNM to build custom software tools for NEH’s Edsitement portal

In partnership with the City University of New York’s City College and the American Social History Project, and with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for History and New Media is proud to annouce the launch of a new project called Lessons of History.

CHNM has been awarded nearly $150,000 to build three new software tools for the NEH’s EDSITEment web portal, including a “Text Collection and Annotation Tool,” an “Image Collection and Annotation Tool,” and an “Image Manipulation Tool.” These tools will be integral parts of the Lessons of History project, which will also include student interactive activities and lesson plans. The tools will enable the project’s focus on facilitating the close reading of important documents, visual and textual, of the American political past. Students will use these tools to gather and then closely analyze the online historical documents creating knowledge with the materials of history. The tools will allow for the modeling of good practice by educators as well as the creation of new knowledge by students.

The Lessons of History tool-building project leverages CHNM’s substantial experience in providing guides to how historians analyze evidence such as photographs or maps. For example, on the website History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web, CHNM and ASHP have developed Making Sense of Evidence“, which provides strategies for analyzing online primary materials, with interactive exercises and a guide to traditional and online sources. The Lessons of History tools will also build on CHNM’s standing as a pioneer in designing interactive tools for academic purposes. Here CHNM has developed several highly successful free digital tools for historians and history teachers. For example, CHNM’s history note-taking database Scribe has been downloaded by more than 6,000 people and has been recommended in a number of guides to doing historical work. Similarly, CHNM’s Syllabus Finder has been used over 200,000 times, and about 1,500 people use the CHNM’s Web Scrapbook, Survey Builder, and Poll Builder.

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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