Collaborate: A Virtual Community for Educators

National Archives and Records Administration

Connecting Teachers to U.S. History and One Another

Launch Collaborate: a Virtual Community for Educators

The Challenge

Studies suggest that students who use primary sources in their history classes achieve better performance. The National Archives Experience is developing a new website to make it easier for teachers to incorporate primary sources into their lesson plans. In March we launched Collaborate, a new social networking tool that allows teachers to help us build that website.

The Solution

Collaborate serves as the virtual meeting place for members of the National Archives education team and colleagues from schools, institutions, and organizations outside of the government to share innovative ideas and best practices and to give advice on how to improve our new website at every stage of its development.

Collaborate doesn’t just provide a forum for feedback. It actually engages a wide swath of the educational community in the design of the website. The people we serve become full participants in the projects we create.

The Benefit

The ultimate beneficiaries are the millions of students who will be engaged in American history and civics through this innovative approach of personal discovery. The immediate beneficiaries are the thousands of instructors and teachers who will learn from each other as they become a part of a new learning community aimed at advancing the use of primary sources in the classroom.

Additional Details

Collaborate has been developed in cooperation with the Foundation for the National Archives, our primary private-sector partner. We are currently in the pilot stage where a core group of invited educators is helping establish the content of the blog. We expect to expand our scope of participants in the forum by this summer.

For more information, email