Unlimited Lesson Possibilities
I think I will best use this as a resource for students for their own writing or projects, or as a way to enrich a topic. I will probably not use it for students to add their own content, though there are relevant possibilities for them to do so in the projects section, such as Amazing Grandparents. I also liked the tour section that, in many cases has a historic photo layered over a modern day interactive street view (think Google Earth). Students can analyze what has changed and what has stayed the same. I am impressed that much of the content is provided by the dozens of museums, libraries, and archives that contribute to the site. The Collections section combines images around a particular theme, but I do wish you were to search by keyword. The site provides activity sheets and lesson ideas, and Activity Sheet 3 is a great starting point for students to become familiar with everything it has to offer, and how to go about exploring it.
How I Use It
I originally explored this site as a potential resource for my students to use for a project they do on immigration. I concluded that it is perfect for them to see authentic images of people and locations during specific time periods, but I also discovered so many other future lesson or project possibilities. It is easy for students to enter a location in the map view, then see photographs associated with that area. The photos are clearly marked with dates, descriptions, and locations allowing students to evaluate accuracy and relevance. I also plan to use this site to extend instruction when reading historical fiction or literature that is heavily setting dependent. Seeing these photographs connected to a map places them in geographic context.