North Carolina Digital History Trailer
ANCHOR is a republication and redevelopment of the North Carolina Digital History Textbook, originally conceived and developed as part of the LEARN NC project at the Unviersity of North Carolina School of Education. The textbook was available online at LEARN NC beginning in the late 1990s through 2018 when it was transferred to NCpedia. This video, created in 2010 by LEARN NC, gives an overview of the origin and purpose of the textbook and its envisioned role in social studies education and the North Carolina public school curriculum.
LEARN NC. "North Carolina History Promo," YouTube video, 7:11, posted by LEARN NC, March 11, 2015. https://youtu.be/b5xVBIsFCh0
David Walbert (00:52)
History isn’t just words on a page. It’s real people, it’s real life. It’s a process of discovery and a way of understanding the world. We didn’t want merely to replace a traditional textbook, we wanted to bring the past to life. LEARN NC’s digital textbook is everything you need to teach North Carolina history.
Bill McDiarmid (01:10)
I think that we have an enormous opportunity. I think, as one of my faculty members said recently, our models about teaching and learning are shifting beneath our feet. And that we need to be in much deeper conversation with one another, we need to be in deeper conversation with our students around how to take advantage of that. Technology really provides us with a vehicle for addressing some of our major challenges, long existing challenges that we’ve had. And among these, and among the most important is how best to help educators at different stages in their development develop the skills and knowledge that we know they need to be able to help all children learn. So, of course, LEARN NC has been in the forefront of providing learning opportunities for educators, particularly practicing educators for a couple of decades.
Aaron Johnson (02:12)
Technology is an integral part of the classroom. It’s everywhere. If we’re not using technology, then we’re doing a disservice to them, because we live in a technological society. And these kids are, they know far more about technology than I do. These kids, they’re really phenomenal as far as what they know.
David Walbert (02:34)
With a traditional history textbook, and a traditional history curriculum, you get a single narrative and you have primary sources maybe as a side activity, maybe they’re in the sidebar, maybe it’s something tacked on at the end, but you know, primary sources are the fun part, it’s the engaging part, it’s the part where the real history happens, and it’s the part where the real thinking happens. That’s what history is, it’s what historians do. And it’s where the real people are. Real people don’t live in the sidebar.
Patrick Winters (03:00)
It’s moldable, it’s adaptable to use the way, you know, we want to use it instead of being essentially forced into following a chapter and going through an event, you know, chronologically. You know, as you saw on my lesson plans, we sort of jumped around a little chronologically. And I want the ability to do that, because sometimes the connections made are not sequential. And the digital textbook allows me to do that. Once you give them the basic website, the learnnc.org website, they’ll find what they need. They’re better at that than we are, there’s no doubt about it. So, if I give them the basic website, they’ll get the information.
Billy Giblin (03:43)
I like using the iPod touch, reading it off there, because, like, the information is right there, and it’s relevant to what we’re studying. I like the highlight feature: The kids are reading, there’s a word they don’t understand, they can — there’s like a pop-up that gives them the definition or it’ll give them some background. I like that, you know, you can link to other things, you can quickly — if you wanted to do more research, there’s links on the side for students to go to. I also like that the digital textbook tends to read better than the traditional textbook. I just think that it’s limitless to what students could do versus a traditional textbook. You go to an Explorer, you can easily look at your curriculum and see, look at your — compare your traditional textbook that your district bought and look at the textbook that, the digital textbook that LEARN NC created, and say, which one aligns to my standard course of study better?
David Walbert (04:47)
A lot of people think of state and local history as being narrow topics. But when you look at big topics, when you look at United States history, or world history, or ancient history, even, you need to look at that through the lens of some kind of small, personal topic. People, individual people, a small scale. Otherwise it just gets lost. History’s about human beings, so you need to start somewhere. It’s not just North Carolina history that we’re talking about, it’s U.S. history — to some extent it’s even world history — through a North Carolina lens. And that makes it far more valuable and far more powerful than just the history of a single state.
Aaron Johnson (05:29)
The site has been the source of a lot of interesting conversations. So, how is it benefiting me? Well, it’s opened the door to make connections that I know these kids already have to what North Carolina’s history — you know, what happened in North Carolina 200, 300 years ago.
Jennifer Farley (05:51)
The historic sites are important to the public of North Carolina because we preserve the history of the state, we preserve a way of life that in many cases no longer exists. And we’re here to educate. What we’ve been noticing at historic sites is that the number of school groups is dwindling. The funding for field trips is simply not there, and so I’m really enthusiastic about the digital textbook because it will be a way for us to reach out to students even when they can’t come to visit us.
Patrick Winters (06:27)
I see us, you know, becoming nearly paperless. I see it leading us deeper into the curriculum, which, I don’t think there’s too many social studies teachers who would say that would be a bad thing. And being able to do that without sacrificing covering the entire curriculum, the 180 days that we’re supposed to cover it.
David Walbert (06:47)
We didn’t set out to build a digital textbook just because we can. We’re not going to go digital just for the sake of going digital. And we’re not going to throw out all our print textbooks tomorrow, but there’s cases like history where I think we can really teach it better by going online.
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