Website Evaluation Assignment

Introduction to Historical Thinking Matters

The website Historical Thinking Matters is an archival and educational website containing primary resources of The Spanish-American War, The Scopes Trial, Social Security, and Rosa Parks.  The website is produced by Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, and Stanford University.

Purpose

The purpose as defined by the website is “(to create a) website focused on key topics in U.S. history, that is designed to teach students to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives.”

Content

The content provided is four in-depth investigations of the topics listed above.  The site brings together such primary resources as original letters written by civil rights rally organizers, a speech by Martin Luther King, and a number of other documents.  Every subject begins with a short informative video followed by a selection of primary documents. For instance, the section on The Spanish-American War contains everything from a song published right after The Maine sank, to the State of the Union address delivered by president Mckinley.

Credibility

The site is sponsored by George Mason University and Stanford University, which are both schools held in high regard.  Additionally the website won the American Historical Society’s James Harvey Robinson Prize for an outstanding teaching aid.  With both of these accolades, it would be hard to believe this site is not credible.

Introduction to Monticello Explorer

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Monticello Explorer is an interactive educational website created by the Thomas Jefferson foundation.  The site allows users to take virtual tours through both the house itself and the plantation that is adjacent to it.

Purpose

The purpose of the website is to give students an opportunity to see and learn about a famous historical landmark that they may never be able to see in person.

Content

The site offers maps and diagrams of the location along with detailed and narrated video tours of the house and plantation that contain numerous historical facts about Jefferson as well as the house.

Credibility

The site boasts a few strong sources for information including the Library Of Congress so it is likely the information provided is accurate.  However, the site is produced by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation so the positive bias of the president cannot go unnoticed.  There is an overall positive tone when describing the man.

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