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The Record - September 1998

NARA Online: NARA Awarded Grant to Develop Online Learning Materials

NARA has been selected to receive a $47,870 grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Government Information Technology Services Board (GITSB) Innovation Fund, administered by the General Services Administration, to create online learning materials for a project entitled "The Constitution Community."

The Constitution Community project will combine the talents of classroom teachers and National Archives staff with the power of primary sources and technology to produce dozens of online lessons and activities for educators and students within the next twelve months. The lessons and activities will be based on digitized images of documents related to Constitutional issues. All of the lessons and activities will correlate to the National Standards for United States History and the National Standards for Civics and Government. They will be pilot tested in participating teachers' classrooms and made available free of charge to the public online through the National Archives Digital Classroom Web site.

The documents around which the lessons and activities will be created are some of the most significant and unique documentary treasures of the United States. Many have been included in the recent National Archives American Originals exhibit. These documents include the Treaty of Paris, the Louisiana

Purchase, Rosa Parks' arrest record, Richard Nixon's resignation letter, and many more. In addition to the documents included in the American Originals exhibit, teachers will be encouraged to include documents in their lessons and activities that are available online through the National Archives ARC database online. ARC is a searchable database that contains information about a wide variety of National Archives holdings from across the country, as well as digital copies of more than 50,000 select textual documents, photographs, maps, and sound recordings. ARC is an ongoing project of the National Archives and Records Administration which, by early 1999, will make available via the Internet more than 120,000 digital copies of historical documents.

GITSB selected the U.S. Department of Education to receive funding for this effort on behalf of the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) Working Group. This working group, of which the National Archives is a member, created the FREE Web site, which makes hundreds of teaching and learning resources from across the Federal government available at one online location http://www.ed.gov/free/.

Other Federal agencies whose partnerships with teachers have also been awarded grants include NASA, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Mint, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Park Service.

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