The National Archives has done a great job recently putting content out for teachers (and everyone’s) use. It started a few years ago when they put a large amount of classic photos on flickr. Great photos like sets during the Dust Bowl, Civil War, and Public Works. All photos, of course, are in the public domain, without any Copyright restrictions. Not so much for commercial uses, but we definitely appreciate this in schools to allow teachers to create webpages, presentations, and not worry about presenting these at conferences.
Now the National Archives developed their DocsTeach project. They have made a huge amount of content available for teachers to create interactive lessons with. With all these primary-source documents, teachers can find lots of great resources to use with their students. Being the history buff, of course the Revolutionary War resources speak to me. What I like, using the ‘Road to Revolution’ lesson as a guide, is the setup. They provide great beginning info, such as where the lesson fits in to Bloom’s Taxonomy, Primary History Thinking Skills, and the Historical Era. You find teacher instructions, and then you click on the activity. In this example, you study the classic tar and feathering political cartoon. In this case, you see a variety of questions that then you email to the teacher. Not quite interactive in the web 2.0 term, but some good tools for center work or even other uses.
While I cannot review all the resources, they definitely provide good content and resources for all teachers. The possibilities are endless. I once observed a teacher use the public domain photos of the World War II fighter pilots in a variety of uses, writing, podcasts, and videos. I can see many uses with these new resources as well. Great to see continued focus on public domain resources!