Bringing the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh to classrooms across North Carolina is easier and more affordable than ever. Connecting with the museum’s live, two-way videoconference program no longer requires expensive hardware. Teachers can simply download inexpensive software to access distance-learning classes in which students interact in real time with a museum educator.
As students explore a historical topic, they can see primary sources (images and documents) and touch reproduction artifacts that help bring the past to the present. The one-hour classes for grades 3 through 12 are free to all North Carolina schools. The museum sends the hands-on items and materials prior to each session.
“The distance-learning classes are so popular that teachers keep coming back for more on different topics,” says Sally Bloom, Distance Learning Educator at the Museum of History. “We are excited to offer a new class about the Civil War in North Carolina.” Through photos, letters, artifacts and videos, students can learn about the war through the diverse experiences of a Confederate officer, a mother, a Union soldier and others.
Additional classes highlight American Indians in North Carolina, World War II, transportation and music. More sessions explore how historians unravel mysteries of the past and analyze artifacts. Students can also go behind the scenes at the museum to learn about the people who work there.
“One of our goals is to introduce students to the Museum of History and all it has to offer,” emphasizes Bloom. “Distance learning is the perfect opportunity to bring the museum to those who can’t travel to Raleigh. We really want to help students love history and make connections between the past and present.”
The distance-learning programs adhere to the N.C. Standard Course of Study. Class descriptions are available on the museum’s website at ncmuseumofhistory.org. The Museum of History will mail the materials before the class, and schools are required to pay return postage. Free supplemental information and activities are available on the museum’s website.
To schedule a distance-learning session, call Jerry Taylor at 919-807-7972 or email jerry.taylor[at]ncdcr.gov. Contact him to arrange a videoconferencing test before the class.
Your site must have direct IP videoconferencing capability, specifically a computer, webcam, microphone and software that can make and receive video over IP calls. Inexpensive software is available from Lifesize and Polycom. (Check with your network administrator or media tech for details.)
For further information about the N.C. Museum of History, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org or Facebook.