29 August 2018

How to Teach About the Holocaust Through Technology

Intro Copy

This is the third in a series of posts on how to mindfully approach Holocaust education in the classroom. You can read our first posts here: Ten Considerations for Teaching About the Holocaust and Three Subject-Based Approaches to Holocaust Studies. In this post, we continue to examine Michael Gray’s book Teaching the Holocaust: Practical Approaches for ages 11-18. Gray’s book, which was published by Routledge in 2015, provides sound strategies on how educators can take a mindful approach when teaching the Holocaust. In Chapter 7, Gray examines how teachers can incorporate digital learning and new technologies in teaching the Holocaust. There are benefits and challenges that digital learning tools and other types of technology bring to Holocaust education. The Internet makes access to information both instantaneous and easily accessible to students. However, Gray maintains that educators should make students aware that there are websites that can mislead them with unreliable or false information about the Holocaust. While there are many reliable websites on the Holocaust, there are also ones that distort or deny the Holocaust and/or contain antisemitism and other hate propaganda. Gray also warns about websites that trivialize the Holocaust or contain a range of graphic images that dehumanize the victims in addition to sites created by well-meaning people who lack the necessary expertise or knowledge to cover this topic. Providing students with specific website links is one way to reduce the likelihood of them visiting the sites that are misleading, inappropriate or unethical. Gray notes innovations where technology and the teaching of the Holocaust have been combined. One such resource is the work of the USC Shoah Foundation, which contains more than 55,000 audio-visual testimonies through the Visual History Archive. The New Dimensions in Testimony project contains the Holocaust survivor and witness testimonies within the Visual History Archive. (Disclaimer: ProQuest is an exclusive distributor of USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive to colleges and universities.) Below are links to examples mentioned in Gray's book as well as a few we have selected.

Educator Resources

IWitness: This free educational resource site from the USC Shoah Foundation contains a wealth of multimedia learning activities for the classroom. Mapping the Holocaust: Google Earth: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses Google Earth to map Holocaust sites with content from its collections. ProQuest Research Companion: This literacy product helps students find, evaluate and use information. It contains a source evaluation aid, which can help students gain insight on web domains and alerts them to possible hate sites or fake sites. Stories of the Holocaust, from Google Arts & Culture.  This online platform provides access to high-resolution images of artifacts and objects; video; panoramic views of the Jewish Museum in Oswiecim, Poland; more than a dozen links to collections of Holocaust materials, including those from Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Visual History Archive: This repository, created by the USC Shoah Foundation, includes more than 55,000 audiovisual testimonies including those of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. The archive includes testimonies of survivors from other genocides as well. -- The final post in this Holocaust education series will address how to deal with the issues of antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion in the modern world. -- Subscribe via email to Share This and never miss a post. Teaching the Holocaust: Practical Approaches for ages 11-18 is available on ProQuest Ebook Central or wherever books are sold. ProQuest Guided Research products have more resources to help teach about the Holocaust. Free trials are available.