A public history project that interests me and that would be user friendly to students at any grade level is the use of virtual tours. History instructors often teach and discuss geographic areas that students have never been to or even seen pictures of. What often interests students or sparks their interest in subjects is to see a graphic or photo of what they will be learning about. This also relates to learners of all ages and may be beneficial to any public history project. We often spend a great deal of time on-line researching articles, journals, and websites that relate to our area of study. Teachers may often use the internet and a variety of sites to support their student’s learning. They may include web quests, virtual tours, and student research.
My project focused on the website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/pyramid/explore/menkaure.html
It is a PBS/NOVA website about the Pyramids of Giza
The website allows users to explore the three pyramids of Giza as well as the Great Sphinx. The site is user friendly and easy to navigate. Users may click on either: Khufu, Khafre, or Menkaure to learn more about the three pyramids. There is also information about; the history of Giza, age of the pyramids, how they were built, hieroglyphs, a virtual tour, and an interview with Dr. Zahi Hawass, Director of the pyramids. Also, included are maps of the site, excavation information, and teacher resources for lesson plans.
The following link includes a short video of a fly by the pyramids:
The project was created by PBS as a learning tool for the public to learn more about the Giza pyramids and ancient Egyptians. The audience may include; teachers, students, and the public in general. The project’s learning objectives are to educate people about how the pyramids were built and why. The pyramids are the great resting places for the pharaoh’s of Egypt. The Nile was used to transport the supplies and building materials to construct the pyramids. The precise date of the pyramids is unknown, however, many estimate that the pyramid of Khufu was under construction around 3200 B.C.
The project is replicable, and may be used as a model for any other historic sites to organize their own site that includes: videos, virtual tours, and maps. The project could be used as a template for other projects that may include; museums, historic sites, and even walking tours.
The site interviewed several specialists in the fields of: archaeology, historians, and the Giza director, Dr. Zahi Hawass. There are also posted email responses from the excavators in response to questions posted by the public.