How I Use It
I use this website to introduce students to good research techniques and citation through the videos they have produced, and instruction which uses the teaching resources. I lean heavily on the docs teach section and the primary sources analysis tools are some of the best available on the web and easily understood by students. I have assigned students to use the iTunesU podcasts and Historypin resources as preparation/research materials in my flipped classroom, and students can use the resources located in the archives to support projects, multimedia presentations, and writing in the classroom. Sometimes the vocabulary and text are a bit high for some of my students, but we can deconstruct the information together which actually supports the shifts presented in the National Common Core State Standards which focus on students reading at and above grade level.
As one of our governmental resources, the National Archives website is a wealth of information for student research, projects, and activities. Once difficult to manage and search, the user interface has gotten much easier over time and the teacher resources are amazing. Few people, students included, realize that the National Archives houses much more than just the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. The archives can support literacy and the use of fiction and non-fiction in the classroom (Through the use of authentic text) and the use of images. Although sometimes it takes some effort to dig into the collections as the databases are quite deep, the url's are permanent and it is easy to find and bookmark the resources needed for classroom instruction. The Youtube training for educators, as well as the docsteach section are great for professional development whether it is for a teacher individually or as a group.