Today’s post comes from Kerri Young, engagement manager at Historypin, and Kimberlee Ried, public programs specialist at the National Archives at Kansas City.
The National Archives has teamed with Historypin, the National WWI Museum and Memorial the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Library of Congress and a growing number of cultural heritage partners to develop an engaging World War I app and website to dynamically highlight WWI content. The beta release will be available early this fall.
The app invites people nationwide to contribute their own stories and play a part in the centennial commemoration of the First World War. Building on an amazing moving image archive being digitized and preserved especially for the centennial, a flood of rarely seen, public domain images and films will encourage discovery and creative reuse.
In late June, teachers from across the country gathered in Kansas City at the National World War I Museum and Memorial to review an early version of this WWI app. Traveling to the workshop from Michigan, New York, Missouri, Arkansas, California, Tennessee, and Mississippi, those who attended were able to test out the functions and features of the app and provide critical design feedback. The primary aim was to explore realistic scenarios for how the app and its growing set of rich primary source materials can be used in a classroom setting.
This lively group of teachers provided invaluable feedback to the National Archives, as well as app-designer Historypin, who fed this information back into the app’s design process.
Our WWI app is part of the larger Wartime Films Project, focused on taking a user-centered design approach toward engagement on a major digitization initiative of a unique collection of wartime films and rarely seen still images from WWI.
Workshops like the one in Kansas City are a key part our engagement project, in that we strive to maintain relationships with key external representatives who will follow our progress and feed it as we iterate. Teachers are one of our primary audiences for this project, and we are grateful for those who participated in our Kansas City workshop and helped to influence how this WWI app will be used in classrooms across the country and in Europe.