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TEACHING WITH DIGITAL DATA AND ARCHIVES

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

 

 

Advances in information technology have opened up new opportunities for students to use data and archives to answer real-world questions in their disciplines. On-line databases and web-based tools now allow undergraduates and even younger students to access and manipulate authentic data and artifacts without having to master sophisticated or time-consuming methods of data collection, archival work, or statistical analysis.

Engaging students with data and archives supports inquiry-based learning, a powerful mode of learning in any discipline. As Manduca & Mogk (2002) document in “Using Data in Undergraduate Science Classrooms,” such learning can (1) prepare students for real-world problem-solving, (2) train them to use research methodologies, (3) help them critically evaluate evidence, and (4) develop communication, quantitative, and/or technical skills. Surely, the same can be said of data-based learning in the social sciences and even archive-based learning in the humanities and fine arts. Therefore, this webpage presents links to online databases and archives, web-based tools for searching and manipulating them, and sample activities for incorporating such digital resources in classes across the disciplines. For an interdisciplinary perspective, students can explore the same topic using digital resources from different disciplines. (Note: The following descriptions were excerpted from the websites. Click the titles to access the sites.)

Social Sciences

GapMinder

Gapminder is a non-profit venture – a modern "museum" on the Internet – promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The initial activity was to pursue the development of the Trendalyzer software. Trendalyzer sought to unveil the beauty of statistical time series by converting boring numbers into enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics. The current version of Trendalyzer is available since March 2006 as Gapminder World, a web-service displaying time series of development statistics for all countries. To fulfill our aim, we at Gapminder are currently working on: Keeping our tools' statistical content up-to-date and making time series freely available in Gapminder World and Gapminder Countries. Producing videos, Flash presentations and PDF charts showing major global development trends with animated statistics in colorful graphics. All with the intention of being a "fact tank" that promotes a fact based world view.

ICPSR, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
ICPSR Presentation 6/5/12

ICPSR offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, early education, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more. ICPSR includes Classroom-Ready Data and Data-Driven Learning Guides. ICPSR also provides an Online Analysis tool that allows students to analyze data without statistical software.

ICPSR, Minority Data Resource Center

MDRC is a membership-funded archive whose purpose is to provide data resources for the comparative analysis of issues affecting racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. We offer streamlined access to existing ICPSR data and to newly acquired studies that are relevant to the study of immigration, place of origin, ancestry, ethnicity, and race in the United States.

Teaching with Data.Org

TeachingWithData.org is a portal where faculty can find resources and ideas to reduce the challenges of bringing real data into post-secondary classes. Using real data is a great way for students to become more engaged in the content of a course, but significant barriers, largely in terms instructor preparation, exist that can make using data a challenge. TeachingWithData.org allows faculty to introduce and build students' quantitative reasoning abilities with readily available, user-friendly, data-driven teaching materials.

Social Science Data Archives at UC Irvine

Extensive metasite linking to social science data sets online.

EPI DataZone (Economic Policy Institute)

National, state & regional data for the U.S.

International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST)

Metasite linking to global data archives and repositories, social science data on the Internet and other resources.

U.S Census

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy.

iPOLL Databank

The iPOLL Databank is the most comprehensive, up-to-date resource for US public opinion data.

iPOLL is also the best finding aid to locate US national opinion polls rich in a particular subject, with direct links into the catalog of datasets.

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

One of the nation's premier research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses exclusively on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color...The Joint Center's current research and analyses address critical issues in three key areas: political participation; economic advancement; and health policy.

Library of Congress, Historic Newspapers

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Library of Congress, Legislative Information

In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, this site offers legislative information from the Library of Congress. THOMAS provides searchable full text of bills, Congressional Record and more.

Library of Congress, Veterans’ History

The Veterans' History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Library of Congress, Global Legal Information Network

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) is a public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other complementary legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations. These GLIN members contribute the full texts of their published documents to the database in their original languages. Each document is accompanied by a summary in English and, in many cases in additional languages, plus subject terms selected from the multilingual index to GLIN. All summaries are available to the public, and public access to full texts is also available for most jurisdictions.

Library of Congress, Local Legacies: Community Roots

Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots

Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000, in communities from every state in the nation.

Library of Congress, Map Collections

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress holds more than 4.5 million items, of which Map Collections represents only a small fraction, those that have been converted to digital form. The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection.

Natural Sciences

Molecular Science Student Workbench

The goal of this project is to promote the use of molecular data in the identification and exploration of biological problems with an evolutionary perspective throughout undergraduate biology curricula. This will be accomplished by providing undergraduate faculty and students access to the powerful state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools currently in use by the research community transformed to afford a cognitively supportive environment. These products will enable undergraduate students to investigate current problems in biology using molecular biology tools and skills. The Biology Student Workbench group at the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications has developed a number of lessons which use the Biology Workbench. The WorkBench allows biologists to search many popular protein and nucleic acid sequence databases. Database searching is integrated with access to a wide variety of analysis and modeling tools, all within a point and click interface that eliminates file format compatibility problems.

PDB Protein Databank

The PDB archive contains information about experimentally-determined structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies. As a member of the wwPDB, the RCSB PDB curates and annotates PDB data according to agreed upon standards. The RCSB PDB also provides a variety of tools and resources. Users can perform simple and advanced searches based on annotations relating to sequence, structure and function. These molecules are visualized, downloaded, and analyzed by users who range from students to specialized scientists.

Digital Library for Earth System Education

DLESE is the Digital Library for Earth System Education, a free resource that supports teaching and learning about the Earth system. DLESE's development was funded by the National Science Foundation and continues to be built by a distributed community of educators, students, and scientists to support Earth system education at all levels. Resources in DLESE include lesson plans, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips - in short, any web-accessible teaching or learning material. Many of these resources are organized in collections, or groups of related resources that reflect a coherent, focused theme. All resources in DLESE have been contributed by community members, are relevant to Earth system education, and are checked periodically for technical stability. The Reviewed Collection includes those DLESE resources that have been more closely examined and are considered exemplary.

DNA Subway

As a member of the NSF-funded iPlant Collaborative, the DNALC has developed DNA Subway, a bioinformatics workspace that makes high-level genome analysis broadly available to students and educators. Built to complement other iPlant discovery environments under development, DNA Subway captures the essence of iPlant's goal: to develop computer (cyber) infrastructure that provides plant researchers and educators access to the large-scale datasets and high-powered informatics tools that drive modern biology. "Riding" different lines in the DNA Subway, users can predict and annotate genes in up to 100,000 base pairs of DNA (Red Line), and prospect entire plant genomes for specific genes (Yellow Line). Additional lines are being developed to analyze next-generation sequencing transcriptome data, and to construct and work with phylogenetic trees.

BEN: BioSciEdNet

Welcome to the BEN portal, the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathway for biological sciences education. The BEN Portal provides access to education resources from BEN Collaborators and is managed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Over 15,868 reviewed resources covering 77 biological sciences topics are available. BEN resources can help you engage student interest, shorten lesson preparation time, provide concept updates, and develop curricula that are in line with national standards for content, use of animals and humans, and student safety.

CSERD

The Computational Science Education Reference Desk, a Pathways project of the National Science Digital Library and funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to help students learn about computational science and to help teachers incorporate it into the classroom. CSERD attempts to collect a catalog of quality resources from across the internet. A forum for the Verification, Validation, and Accreditation of catalog items both by users and by expert reviewers is provided. Original computational science resources for use in education can be created.

Using Data in the Classroom Today

This collection contains links to on-line activities for teaching STEM concepts with data of all types and examples that describe ways in which on-line, published and student-collected data are currently used in teaching.

USGS Science Resources For Undergraduate Education

This Web site contains selected USGS educational resources that may be useful to educators at the college level. Many of these resources can be used directly in the classroom or will be useful in demonstration activities preparation, or as resources for student research.

Digital Library for Earth System Education

DLESE is made up of a wide variety of resources, collections, and services. DLESE's educational resources include lesson plans, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips—in short, any web-accessible teaching or learning material. Many of these resources are organized in collections—groups of related resources that reflect a coherent, focused theme, such as the Digital Water Education Library (DWEL) collection. All resources in DLESE have been contributed by community members, are relevant to Earth system science education, and are checked periodically for technical stability. The DLESE Reviewed Collection (DRC) includes those DLESE resources that have been more closely examined and are considered exemplary.

NASA, Global Change Master Directory

This site has data sets and data services organized by topic spanning from agriculture to terrestrial hydrosphere.

Center for Disease Control

The CDC conducts surveys on an enormous variety of health issues in the U.S., whether caused by disease or lifestyle. This page gives access to those data sets as well as tools for manipulating them.

National Science Digital Library Database

NSDL is the Nation's online library for education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. It includes audio, data, images, interactive resources, text, and videos.

MARGINS Data in the Classroom

MARGINS has been awarded an NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant to develop web-based undergraduate classroom teaching modules, in cooperation with the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.

Ecotrends

The EcoTrends project is a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies and institutions, at present primarily in the US, to make long-term ecological data easy to access, analyze, and compare within and across sites. This website is a portal to: (1) a large and diverse collection of standardized long-term ecological datasets and their metadata (> 1200 datasets), (2) unique data exploration, download, graphing and synthesis tools, (3) information about participating research sites and their parent agencies. These datasets, tools, and information are available to anyone who would like to view trends in ecological variables for one or multiple sites or pursue additional statistical analyses of within-site and cross-site comparisons. 

Humanities


Howard University African American Digital Initiatives

A digital archive of data on the African American experience spanning across the divisions. Some digital initiatives include audio interviews of slave narratives and the African American migration experience in motion.

Digital Collections, New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is such a memory bank par excellence, one of the great knowledge institutions of the world, its myriad collections ranking with those of the British Library, the Library of Congress, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Virtually all of the Library's many collections and services are freely available to all comers. The New York Public Library comprises simultaneously a set of scholarly research collections and a network of community libraries, and its intellectual and cultural range is both global and local, while singularly attuned to New York City.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Digital Schomburg)

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a national research library devoted to collecting, preserving and providing access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world.

The center also includes online exhibitions such as In Motion: The African American Migration Experience and The African Burial Ground.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Archives and Manuscripts)

Several divisions in the Research Libraries hold archival collections –the papers of individuals and families, the records of organizations, and consciously assembled collections of unique and unpublished material. Archival collections contain a wide variety of primary source material, not only paper documents –such as correspondence, manuscripts, and diaries– but also photographs, sound recordings, films, videotapes, artifacts, and electronic records.

Archival collections can range in size from a single document to hundreds of boxes and are described by catalog records, which provide a summary description of an entire collection, and more detailed guides, called finding aids. 

Library of Congress, Historic Newspapers

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Library of Congress, Veterans’ History

The Veterans' History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Library of Congress, American History and Culture

A digital library of historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video from American Memory.

Library of Congress, International Collections

Materials and bilingual presentations from overseas libraries from Global Gateway.

Library of Congress, Hispanic Digital Collections

The Hispanic Division participates in the Library of Congress' ongoing exhibition program and contributes to its digitized collections. It includes manuscripts, exhibits, and pictorial collections.

Library of Congress, Manuscript Collections

Manuscript Division materials are available as digital images or as searchable text. They include the African American Odyssey, Frederick Douglass papers, and Zora Neale Hurston plays.

Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections

The division's collections amount to nearly 800,000 books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, title pages, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The division's holdings encompass nearly all eras and subjects, with a multitude of strengths. The collection of nearly 5,700 incunabula (fifteenth-century imprints) is the largest such grouping in the Western Hemisphere. Americana dates from the Columbus letter (1493) to the present and includes more than 16,000 imprints from 1640 to 1800, extensive holdings of western Americana, Confederate States publications, and thousands of nineteenth-century pamphlets.

Brown Archival & Manuscript Collections Online (BAMCO)

The Brown Archival & Manuscripts Collection Online (BAMCO) is a digital repository which contains documents related to many different subjects, including poetry, the history of Rhode Island, American political and diplomatic history, the history of science, and women's studies. This site provides users with finding aids for these various collections, along with digitized versions of more than a dozen of said collections.

Fine Arts

AHDS Performing Arts

AHDS Performing Arts supports research, learning and teaching with high quality and dependable digital resources related to music, dance, theatre, radio, film, television, and performance.

The Arts and Humanities Data Service preserves digital data in the long term, promotes good practice in the use of digital data, provides technical advice to the research community, and supports the deployment of digital technologies.

Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives

The Center for Digital Initiatives (CDI) focuses its efforts in three areas: production of digital materials for use in scholarship and teaching at Brown, digitization of "signature collections" from Brown's world renowned Special Collections and consultative services for Library and academic units undertaking digital projects. Some of the services include African American Sheet Music, Anne S. K. Brown Prints, Drawings, and Watercolors, and World War I Sheet Music.

Princeton University Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA)

An interactive digital archive of data on the strong> arts and cultural policy in the U.S., available for research and statistical analysis, with data on artists, arts and cultural organizations, audiences, and funding for arts and culture.

Howard University African American Digital Initiatives

A digital archive of data on the African American experience spanning across the divisions. Some digital initiatives include sheet music and portraits by Carl Van Vechten, and the African American migration experience.

Library of Congress, Performing Arts

Collections, articles and special presentations on music, theater and dance materials.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs

The Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) provides access through group or item records to about 75% of the Division's holdings, as well as to some images found in other units of the Library of Congress. Many of the catalog records are accompanied by digital images--about 1.2 million digital images in all. Paper finding aids, card catalogs, and browsing files of pictures available on site cover many of the remaining collections.

Library of Congress, Folklore Digital Collections

The American Folklife Center provides online access to selected portions of our collections. We create our own online presentations on various topics and the American Memory project provides additional online access to selected collections. Online content may include audio samples of music and stories, digital images of rare letters and photographs, and video clips.