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Calisphere and iPods in the Classroom: New technology brings California history to life

By Rosalie Lack, CDL Digital Special Collections Director

Over four Saturdays in January, February, and March, Bay Area K-12 teachers learned simple and practical ways to team a cutting-edge technology — an iPod touch, PowerPoint, and online tools such as MovieMaker and Garageband — with Calisphere’s thousands of primary source images to bring history to life in the classroom in ways that surprised, delighted, and inspired them.

Given the freedom to join images to sound, they learned to use MovieMaker to create movies based on historic images, complete with soundtracks, and to revitalize PowerPoint image presentations with sound and music.  They also learned how easy it was to use the iPod touch to display PowerPoint images on their classroom TV, eliminating the need for projectors or laptops.  Most of all, they opened up to new ways to incorporate technological solutions into their teaching that will excite and engage their students right away.

These powerful days of discovery were the result of a partnership between the California Digital Library  (CDL), University of California Irvine History Project  (UCIHP), and the California Department of Education California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP  Region IV).  The participants were history/social studies educators (teachers and library media teachers), primarily in grades 4, 8, and 11.

The proof of the project’s success lies in the fact that it will be repeated for a new set of teachers and librarians in June, and again in September.

Read more about this innovative project: