EASE History: Online Resource for Teachers

I received an email from Brian Collins at Michigan State University yesterday. He wrote to share the following:

A group of us at Michigan State University have created a new website called EASE History.

EASE History is a rich online environment that supports the learning of US history and by connecting historical events, campaign ads, and core democratic values. It features over 600 videos and photographs from 1900 to the present.

This project can be viewed at http://www.easehistory.org/

I haven’t explored all of it, but I’ve checked it out, and it seems an exciting and relatively robust resource. (Initially it reminded me of kitZu, but the purpose of the media seems to be different, though I suppose some of it could be used in student projects.) The learning theory behind it is gunning for concepts similar to the 21st Century Skills I’ve mentioned here often. From the FAQ page…

What is the goal of this learning environment?
EASE History’s goal, which mirrors that of the Cognitive Flexibility Theory, is to prepare learners to become more flexibly adaptive thinkers. Flexibly adaptive thinkers are well informed, open-minded, and creative. Working in EASE History, learners see that there are no simple answers or one best example; that variability exists through real world examples. Our fight is against reductionism, the inclination towards simplicity and order.

At any rate, perhaps the most remarkable part of Brian’s email, for me, was the last line…

Could you feature us in your blog?

I’m not sure if he was just Googling wildly, or if this was a reader getting in touch with me, but I have a funny feeling I will find out now.

Enjoy EASE history, and if you have any comments about the site, please share them below. I’d love to hear if and how it is used, and I’m sure Brian would, too.