Annenberg Media (free online video courses)



Courses for history students:

The Western Tradition
A video instructional series on Western civilization for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 52 half-hour video programs and coordinated books.

Covering the ancient world through the age of technology, this illustrated lecture by Eugen Weber presents a tapestry of political and social events woven with many strands — religion, industry, agriculture, demography, government, economics, and art. A visual feast of over 2,700 images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art portrays key events that shaped the development of Western thought, culture, and tradition. This series is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter. (Produced by WGBH Boston. 1989.)

A Biography of America
A video instructional series on American history for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 26 half-hour video programs, coordinated books, and Web site.

A Biography of America presents history not simply as a series of irrefutable facts to be memorized, but as a living narrative. Prominent historians -- Donald L. Miller, Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Douglas Brinkley, and Virginia Scharff -- present America's story as something that is best understood from a variety of perspectives. Thought-provoking debates and lectures encourage critical analysis of the forces that have shaped America. First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history -- how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens' lives. (Produced by WGBH Boston in cooperation with the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, and with the assistance of Instructional Resources Corporation. 2000.)


Courses for history teachers:

Bridging World History
A video course for high school and college teachers; 26 half-hour video programs, course guide, and Web site.

Bridging World History is a multimedia course for secondary school and college teachers that looks at global patterns through time, seeing history as an integrated whole. Topics are studied in a general chronological order, but each is examined through a thematic lens, showing how people and societies experience both integration and differences. The course consists of 26 units (half-hour video, interactive Web activities, and print materials) that can be explored at either introductory levels or as more advanced study. The course videos feature interviews with leading world history textbook authors and nationally known historians. The Web site includes an archive of over 1000 primary source documents and artifacts, journal articles from the Journal of World History and other publications, and a thematic interactive activity on interrelationships across time and place. (Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2004.)

America's History in the Making
A video course for middle and high school teachers; 16 half-hour video programs, faculty guide, online textbook, and Web site; graduate credit available.[*]

This course for middle and high school teachers uses video, online text, classroom activities, and Web-based activities to explore American history from the Pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. The video programs are divided into three segments: Historical Perspectives, an overview of the historical era; Faces of America, in which biographies of individuals illustrate larger events; and Hands-on History, a behind-the-scenes look at how history is studied, documented, and presented. Additional units introduce methods to strengthen teachers’ knowledge of American history, while reviewing content. The online text, facilitator guide, and Web site supplement the video content. ([*] Graduate credit for this course is offered by Southern Oregon University. Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2007.)

Primary Sources: Workshops in American History
A video workshop for high school teachers; 8 one-hour video programs, workshop guide, and Web site.

In this workshop, 12 high school history teachers explore the use of primary-source documents in the research and interpretation of American history. The programs feature informal lectures by prominent historians on pivotal events from the settlement of Jamestown to the Korean conflict and the Cold War. The teachers are led in discussions, debates, interviews, and role-playing as they investigate the original documents that "transmit the voices of America’s past." Teachers will find that the activities in this workshop can be adapted and used in their own classrooms. (The topics relate to programs from Annenberg/CPB’s instructional series A Biography of America, which can be viewed in coordination with this workshop. Produced by WGBH Boston. 2001.)