Friday, March 18, 2022

A Short Overview of the Wayback Machine

In yesterday's blog post about unraveling an email scam I mentioned that I used the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine as a part of that process. The Wayback Machine is a useful tool for finding out what a website looked like a given point in time over the last 25 years. 

The Wayback Machine can be useful in attempting to verify the citation of a webpage in an academic work. As is demonstrated in my video embedded below, you can use the Wayback Machine to see how a website looked and read the text of pages as they were originally published.

On of the ways I've used the Wayback Machine in history classes is to have look at how major news websites reported on significant events in late 20th Century and early 21st Century. Not only does the Wayback Machine show you the text, it may also show you images that may have since been removed. 

You can seen an overview of how the Wayback Machine works by watching this short video that I recorded a handful of years ago.

What Happened in 2008? - A Crash Course in Economics

In researching for Wednesday's post about inflation I ran across one of my old posts about Crash Course Economics. Within that thirty-six part course there is a video all about the 2008 financial crisis caused by the collapse of the housing market

How it Happened - The 2008 Financial Crisis: Crash Course Economics #12 does a great job of explaining what a mortgage is and why banks will sell mortgages to other banks. From there the lesson progresses to explain what mortgage-backed securities are and why they became popular investments in the mid 2000's. Critically, the video explains why mortgage-backed securities became riskier as the requirements to get mortgages became less stringent. 
 


After teaching what caused the 2008 Financial Crisis the video goes on to explain what the government did to bail out some banks and attempt to stabilize the economy. The video also explains some of the regulations and laws that have been passed since 2008 to try to prevent a repeat of the conditions that created the financial crisis in 2008. 

Applications for Education
The 2008 financial crisis is a historical event (recent historical event) in the minds of current high school students. Some of them may have heard their parents reference it. This video does a solid job of explaining what caused it and what changed because of it. After watching the video I might assign some of these articles from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for my students to read to learn more about factors contributing to the crisis.