Eagle Eye Citizen: Interactive Engagement with Civics and History

Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 40

Participate and share

[Participate and share : Poster]

Wednesday, June 28, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 40

Sara Collini  
Learn how solving and creating online challenges using primary sources can help students develop historical thinking skills and civic understanding with the exciting and mobile-friendly interactive Eagle Eye Citizen, a project funded by the Library of Congress.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project, problem and challenge based learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Social studies
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Students : Empowered learner
Students : Knowledge constructor

Digital tote resources

Description: One-page information sheet on the free, interactive website Eagle Eye Citizen.
Add to digital tote | Go to my digital tote

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Technology has made possible the mass digitization of primary sources. This provides students and teachers unprecedented access to educational content and the opportunity to engage with civics, history, and digital media in exciting ways. The challenge facing many educators is how to effectively integrate digital technology and resources into the classroom that facilitate critical, creative, and reflective thinking, as well as improve their content knowledge in civics, government, and history.
 Eagle Eye Citizen is a new, mobile-friendly interactive that allows middle and high school students to explore civics and history through solving and creating challenges using Library of Congress sources. This session will show participants how students can not only engage with and analyze those sources through solving challenges, but also become content creators themselves through creating challenges for others to solve and sharing them around the country in a virtual learning environment. Participants will solve and create different types of challenges that relate to the larger themes of citizenship, civil rights, the legislative branch, elections, and the Constitution. The goal of these themes is to develop historical thinking skills and civic understanding. Not only will participants leave with challenge ideas for their curriculum, but they will also be equipped with strategies for incorporating Eagle Eye Citizen in the classroom.
Many studies have reported the positive impact of using digital primary sources in the classroom to teach critical analysis and historical thinking skills, such as Carol Brown and Kaye Dotson’s article "Writing Your Own History: A Case Study Using Digital Primary Source Documents." Online games can engage students with history through active participation and choice, as concluded in Jeremiah McCall’s article, "Teaching History With Digital Historical Games: An Introduction to the Field and Best Practices.”
 Eagle Eye Citizen, a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, is funded by the Library of Congress.


During this session, the following questions will be raised:

How can we engage students with primary source analysis in civics and history?
How does digital media enhance student learning?
How can we use Eagle Eye Citizen in the classroom?

 Interactive Challenges and Content:
 Eagle Eye Citizen offers students the opportunity to engage with primary sources from the Library of Congress in an exciting, interactive way: through solving and creating challenges related to history and civics. Participants will solve and create different challenge types: Big Picture, Sort It Out, and Time After Time. Big Picture prompts students to look closer at one source and identify the main idea. Sort It Out requires students to analyze different sources and put them into categories reflecting their historical and civic context. Time After Time teaches students about change over time, processes, and cause and effect. Each challenge a student solves and creates is connected to a specific theme and topic in civics and history. For example, participants will learn how the theme of civil rights includes topics such as women’s suffrage and immigration.

 Teaching through Digital Media:
 An abundance of primary sources are now digitized and available online for students and teachers to access and offer opportunities to learn civics and history in new ways. Through solving and creating challenges from these primary sources, Eagle Eye Citizen teaches students the critical thinking skills needed to be knowledgeable consumers of historical content and empowers them to become content creators. This interactive also encourages students and teachers to share their challenges with other users of Eagle Eye Citizen and on multiple social media platforms. Participants will create challenges and learn how this project brings digital media and learning into the classroom through content creation and sharing in a virtual learning environment.

 Classroom Strategies:
 Once participants learn about the interactive challenges and content areas, the question becomes, “How can we use Eagle Eye Citizen in the classroom?” Eagle Eye Citizen provides a resource section for teachers to help integrate both solving and creating challenges into their classroom. Presenters will explain the skills students will learn and develop in civics, history, and primary source analysis.

Supporting research

Brown, Carol A., and Kaye Dotson. "A Case Study Using Digital Primary Source Documents." TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning (2007). Education Research Complete.

Doron, Rabbi Yoel. "Using Video Games in Teaching History." Agora 51 (2016): 59-62. Education Research Complete.

Friedman, Adam. “Using Digital Primary Sources to Teach World History and World Geography: Practices, Promises, and Provisos.” Journal of the Association for History and Computing 8 (2005).

Kelly, T. Mills. Teaching History in the Digital Age. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.

Lindquist, Thea, and Holley Long. "How can educational technology facilitate student engagement with online primary sources? A user needs assessment." Library Hi Tech 29 (May 2011): 224-241. Education Research Complete.

Marklund, Björn Berg, and Anna-Sofia Alklind Taylor. "Educational Games in Practice: The challenges involved in conducting a game-based curriculum." Electronic Journal Of E-Learning 14 (2016): 122-135. Education Research Complete.

McCall, Jeremiah. "Teaching History With Digital Historical Games." Simulation & Gaming 47 (2016): 517-542. Education Research Complete.

Milman, Natalie B., and Rhonda Bondie. "An Examination of Teachers' Ratings of Lesson Plans Using Digital Primary Sources." Contemporary Issues In Technology & Teacher Education 12 (2012): 391-407. Education Research Complete.

Swan, Kathleen, and David Locascio. "Evaluating Alignment of Technology and Primary Source Use Within a History Classroom." Contemporary Issues In Technology & Teacher Education 8 (2008): 175-186. Education Research Complete.

Tally, Bill and Lauren B. Goldenberg. “Fostering Historical Thinking With Digitized Primary Sources.” Journal of Research on Technology in Education 38 (2005).



Sara Collini, George Mason University

learning starts here

San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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