From the Magna Carta to the Arab Spring, the quest for greater liberty and self-government has shaped history. Through a partnership between the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello, educators and students now have access to liberty-related resources through the Sea of Liberty — an interactive online tool for teaching, exploring, and sharing the power of Jefferson’s ideas.
Visitors to Sea of Liberty can explore documents, letters, artwork, photographs, and videos related to the ideas of liberty, freedom, and self-governance. The core of the collection includes images and quotes from the Monticello exhibit, The Boisterous Sea of Liberty. The exhibit traces the development and ongoing influence of Jefferson’s transformational ideas about liberty, particularly those expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Sea of Liberty expands on the exhibit, providing new relevant content and tools to explore it.
Registered users can build their own collections and then use the items to create activities and projects. A special teacher dashboard allows educators to create and assign activities, or “challenges,” that focus students on specific themes or objects in the collection. Students and the public respond to challenges by using items from their collection to create digital posters, word clouds, timelines, and digital stories. The projects can be shared to inspire others and promote dialogue. In addition, educators have access to resources related to teaching with primary sources, teaching historical thinking, and encouraging digital literacy.
Teachers contributed to the website’s development as part of Monticello’s Liberty Today Initiative, a series of summer institutes with educators from across the U.S. and beyond. Generous support of this project was provided by The Coca-Cola Foundation.