Monday, April 16, 2018

Find the Features of Digital Vaults in DocsTeach

The U.S. National Archives used to have a great feature called the National Archives Digital Vaults. The Digital Vaults site offered great tools for teaching with primary sources from the National Archives. One of the aspects that I particularly liked was called "pathways challenges" which allowed students to see the connections between events and primary sources.

Unfortunately, the National Archives discontinued the Digital Vaults service within the last year and let the domain fall into the control of someone who now uses it to sell a "stop snoring" product. The good news is that offers many of the features that Digital Vaults used to offer.

Applications for Education
If you previously used the "pathways challenges" in the Digital Vaults, the following two activity templates on can be used for similar purposes.

Making Connections is a template that you can use to create an activity in which your students analyze two or more primary source artifacts to find the connections between them. Students also have to identify the connection between the the primary sources and an event or theme.

Seeing the Big Picture is a template that you can follow to create an activity in which your students will match excerpts from primary source documents to events, people, or themes.

Both templates are accompanied by detailed directions. And if you want to see examples of the templates in action, you will find these templates used in the activities published by DocsTeach staff and other teachers who use DocsTeach.

DocsTeach is one of the many resources that I feature in my Teaching History With Technology course that is on sale today and tomorrow