Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ContextU - A Good Digital Textbook on the American Revolution

Back in May I shared information about a great U.S. History resource called ContextU. ContextU's purpose is to help students see the greater context for significant events in history. When it launched last spring ContextU was focused on the American Civil War. Thanks to Ken Halla, I have learned that ContextU now offers a section on the American Revolution.

Just like in the Civil War section, in the American Revolution section on ContextU students open a table of contents from which they can select an event, person, or theme to see it in the context of other events, and themes leading contributing to the American Revolution. Through timelines, Google Maps, diagrams, flow charts, timelines, and text ContextU provides context for each chosen event, piece of legislation, or theme. Students can jump from event to event or from theme to theme by following the hyperlinks within each diagram.

Applications for Education
ContextU's American Revolution section is still being developed but what is available now is quite good. The advantage of ContextU over a textbook as well as many other websites is the ease with which students can see how an event fits into the larger context of the causes of the American Revolution.