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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts

The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults is one of the resources that I almost always share in my workshop on teaching history with technology primary sources. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Please note that the Digital Vaults website loads a lot of media when you visit it for the first time. Give it ten seconds or so to load everything before you start to create and investigate. It also helps to be using an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox are best).