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Digi-telling History for Teachers Updated March 2014
Transcript of Digi-telling History for Teachers Updated March 2014
History Fair Websites
Building Great History Fair Websites
You be the judge!
What is a History Fair website?
What a History Fair website is NOT...
The website category is the newest National History Day category, first appearing at the national contest in 2008. After a successful pilot, Illinois launched the category in 2011-2012.
Three Illinois websites placed in the national finals at National History Day in 2012.
Websites are popular.
It is easy for teachers to provide feedback.
The technology is easy to learn, and free!
Websites are like the other categories - the trick is in making a good argument!
While other websites can be almost anything, History Fair websites need to present an ARGUMENT and EVIDENCE to support students' conclusions.
A website is not an exhibit. It's not a documentary. It's not a paper. It's the most interactive of all the History Fair categories.
Your historical website should be a collection of web pages, interconnected by hyperlinks, that presents primary and secondary sources, interactive multimedia, and historical analysis. It should incorporate textual and non-textual (photographs, maps, music, etc.) descriptions, interpretations, and sources to engage and inform viewers. To construct a website project, you must have access to the Internet and be able to operate all appropriate software and equipment.
All entries must be original productions constructed using the NHD WEBSITE EDITOR beginning at the school level.
You may use professional photographs, graphics, video, recorded music, etc., within the site. Such items must be integrated into the website, and proper credit must be given within the site as well as in the annotated bibliography.
You must operate all software and equipment in the development of the website.
NOTE: Using objects created by others for specific use in your entry violates this rule. For example, using a graphic that others produced at your request is not permitted; however, using graphics, multimedia clips, etc., that already exist is acceptable.
Website entries may contain no more than 1,200 visible, STUDENT-COMPOSED words.
Code used to build the site and alternate text tags on images do not count toward the word limit. Also excluded are: words found in materials used for identifying illustrations or used to briefly credit the sources of illustrations and quotations; recurring menus, titles, and navigation instructions; words within primary documents and artifacts; and the annotated bibliography and process paper that must be integrated into the site.
The entire site, including all multimedia, may use no more than 100MB of file space.
One page of the website must serve as the “home page.”
The home page must include the names of participants, entry title, division, and the main menu that directs viewers to the various sections of the site.
All pages must be interconnected with hypertext links. Automatic redirects are not permitted.
NOTE: Students are also encouraged to include a thesis and introduction on the home page.
Each multimedia clip may not last more than 45 seconds.
You may record quotes and primary source materials for dramatic effect, but you may not narrate your own compositions or other explanatory material.
All multimedia must be stored within the site; you may not use embedded material hosted elsewhere (e.g., YouTube, Google Video).
There is no limit to the number of multimedia clips you may use but you must respect the file size limit.
If you use any form of multimedia that requires a specific software to view (e.g., Flash, QuickTime, Real Player), you must provide on the same page a link to an Internet site where the software is available as a free, secure, and legal download.
Judges will make every effort to view all multimedia content, but files that cannot be viewed cannot be evaluated as part of the entry.
The Annotated Bibliography and Summary Statement Form must be included as an integrated part of the website. They should be included in the navigational structure. They do NOT count toward the 1,200 word limit. The navigational menu must include a "References” tab including the Summary Statement Form and Annotated Bibliography.
UPLOAD YOUR bibliography and SSF as PDF files -- DO NOT link to Google Drive!
Projects that do not comply with the word limit will be penalized.
The content and appearance of a page cannot change when the page is refreshed in the browser. Random text or image generators are not allowed.
The pages that comprise the site must be viewable in a recent version of a standard web browser (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari). You are responsible for ensuring that your entry is viewable in multiple web browsers. Entries may not link to live or external sites, except to direct viewers to software plug-ins.
You must submit your URL, username, and password by the deadline. You will be blocked from editing your site to allow for judging. Advancing projects will be given another opportunity for revision.
You need to know...
It has a funny URL...
It uses multimedia.
It has a clear
it makes an argument
...and supports it
History Fair websites:
Are limited to 100 MB in size.
May contain media clips up to 45 sec. in length.
Are restricted to 1,200 visible, STUDENT-COMPOSED words. Quotes and primary sources do not count toward this limit.
Must be constructed in the NHD WEBSITE EDITOR.
May NOT link to external sites -- including Google Drive.
Must include a Summary Statement Form and Annotated Bibliography under a tab called "References."
The home page must contain:
A navigational bar that organizes the links to other pages.
The student's name and category.
The home page also sets the stage for the project. It should introduce the reader to the argument by including a THESIS and introduction. Images and media are also encouraged.
The navigational structure helps the viewer understand the site's organization and how the argument will develop.
Writing for History Fair websites is similar to writing for exhibits. Websites usually have more text than exhibits, but less text than papers.
Students should avoid making their website reader scroll extensively.
Like in other History Fair categories, visual evidence should support the interpretation provided in the website text.
WARNING: Writing text inside the NHD website editor is a risky move. It is easy to lose unsaved work or run into formatting errors that are difficult to correct. History Fair strongly recommends that students write and save (and save again!) their text in an external program.
This practice is also helpful to provide an accurate word count.
Websites are naturally interactive.
Take advantage of the website
editor's interactive features, such as
audiovisual elements, to engage the viewer
and enhance understanding.
PDF versions of the Summary Statement Form and Bibliography must be included on the navigational bar under a tab called "References."
NOTE: Though you may not embed multimedia housed on external sites (e.g. YouTube), you may download clips from external providers, edit and save them on your own computer, and upload them to your website (with proper attribution in your bibliography).
Want to view more sample websites?
This section repeats some points made before, but it contains important reminders on some aspects of websites that tend to cause the most headaches. Read these tips again. Maybe even make your students memorize them.
Write, revise, and save OUTSIDE the NHD website editor. You may need to strip the formatting before you upload the text to avoid display problems. Plus, you can do a word count and spell check in other programs.
NOTE: This project advanced to National History Day, so it contains a Process Paper. Please note that the SUMMARY STATEMENT FORM is required at the local and state level instead.
Finally, we'll need you to judge!
The NHD website editor is simple to use and easy to learn. Take a few moments now to start your own site and become familiar with a few of its major features. You can come back to the site after this tutorial to play-to-learn.
1. Start a History Fair website at:
Open a browser window with samples related to the 1919 race riot:
When your students start their sites, be sure to collect their usernames, passwords, and URLs -- you will need them later!
If your student's website begins with an 8-digit number, they started their History Fair website correctly. If it does not start with a number, STOP NOW!
After you get your new URL, click on "edit site."
Spend a few minutes getting to know the editor's features. Then, create your own site!
Now is your chance to judge a History Fair website for yourself!
Click the following URL: http://31160153.nhd.weebly.com/
Review the website using the History Fair judging criteria.
The History Fair evaluation rubric is available at:
In addition, evaluate the following:
How does the navigational structure help you understand the project's argument?
How did the project integrate multimedia?
How are sources used as evidence?
Special thanks to Wisconsin NHD coordinator Sarah Aschbrenner for the material included in this tutorial.
Does it count?
Yes. Headers, titles, subtitles, and navigational text count - but only once.
No. Scans or transcriptions of sources do not count.
No. Quotations do not count.
Yes. Words written by students count.
No. Brief citations and credits do not count.
Examples of things that DO count toward your word limit:
Headers, titles, subtitles, and navigational text--only counted once
Graphs, charts, or time lines that you create yourself
Captions with your analysis
Words that you write that appear on your web pages
Examples of things that do NOT count toward your word limit:
Graphs, charts, or timelines that you don't create yourself
Brief citations crediting the source of an illustration, quotation, or piece of media
Code used to build the site and alternate text tags on images
Transcriptions of primary documents
Bibliography and Summary Statement Form
Using the resources provided, practice the following:
Choose a design template under the “Design” tab – you can customize the banner at the top later, if you like.
Click on “Pages” to set up your navigational menu. Select 3-5 titles for the major sections of your website (refer to the wiki provided above); add an additional page called “References” where you will put the Summary Statement Form and Annotated Bibliography. Your home page should already appear.
Note: You can re-order pages by clicking on the tab and pulling it up/down to the correct location.
Explore the "Build" tab (Build/Basic). Using the text and images provided in the wiki:
Add a thesis to your home page
Add some text to one of your other pages
Add an image
Click on the music note to access the "Media" section of the "Build" tab, add files to your site using the resources provided in the wiki:
Add a video
Add an audio file
Add a bibliography and Summary Statement Form under a tab called "References"
Thanks for being a website pioneer! We hope that you enjoy the History Fair's newest category.
At this point, you may choose to stop viewing the Prezi or go on to see videoclips featuring advice from website pioneers.
Special thanks to our interviewees:
Kristen Machczynski, teacher at Bronzeville Scholastic
Chakena Sims, student at Bronzeville Scholastic
Mahak Lakhani and Camila Marquez, students at Niles North High School
In addition, thank you to History Fair alumna Olivia Daniels for producing the video.
Plan on paper before you begin.
What type of organization works
best for your argument?
Sites created in the NHD website editor are NOT indexed by Google. This helps to ensure that History Fair projects are covered by educational fair use protections.
MAKE SURE YOUR STUDENTS START THEIR PROJECTS IN THE NHD WEBSITE EDITOR, NOT WEEBLY!! They will not be allowed to enter unless they have a URL that begins with eight numbers!
Publish, publish, publish. Changes made to the site do not become visible to others until you have clicked on publish!
There is a word limit, and it matters. Projects that do not comply with the student-composed word limit will be penalized.
Include a "References" tab on the navigational menu. It should link to PDF versions of the Summary Statement Form and annotated bibliography.
Tips from Veterans...
Don't overload your site with text or evidence. Don't overwhelm your viewer.
How do you feel after seeing this webpage?
Approach slide shows and galleries with extreme caution. While they can be used well, often they distract from the flow of the students' argument.
Download images at the highest resolution possible. You can always compress a higher-quality photo, but you cannot make a grainy, low-resolution image prettier.
Avoid including 10 minutes of video footage, clumped into 45-minute clips. While you may not violate the rules, you will try your viewer's patience. Choose your excerpts strategically.
If you have a lot of navigational tabs, or they have lengthy titles, choose a vertical menu template. Avoid stretching your navigational bar to two lines, or making the viewer click "more" to get to your navigational menu.
Have your students spend some time reviewing other websites -- History Fair and non-History Fair -- to find out what things they like and what things bother them. They will learn a lot!
For an example of how much might be "too much," see: http://96963447.nhd.weebly.com/cold-war.html