Cyber Time Capsule
Since its pilot program in 2008, the Library of Congress has selected high schools and middle schools across the country to create online “Time Capsules” for future students to access. The goal of the program is two-fold. For the benefit of future students who would like a glimpse into the trends and anti-trends of a given year, they have access to regional blogs, restaurant reviews, and book reviews that students feel embody their lives and experiences during that year.
The second, and perhaps most significant benefit of the program is the advantage for the students responsible for the collection, review and selection of the final sites that best show the experiences of their year on a local and regional level. Michelle Rodriguez is a teacher at Clague Middle School in Ann Arbor, MI, who participated in the 2009-2010 Time Capsule project. The project “introduced students to volunteerism, gave them a chance to use their own judgment in terms of what would be included in the archive, and allowed them to be part of a long term project that required them to sustain their interest over time.” The students who participated in the program gave great thought to what would be included in the time capsule. Another teacher, Jayne Staniforth, whose Middle School students participated in the 2008-2009 time capsule described her students experience with the Time Capsule project as nothing but positive: “I loved how this project changed my students view of history. They felt empowered to speak for their generation about what was important at their school, in their community, and in the larger American culture. It brought real world learning into the classroom.”
For more information on the Library of Congress’ program, to nominate a school for the 2011-2012 school year’s Time Capsule program or to see the past work of the regional time capsule project, visit the website at https://www.archive-it.org/k12.