All teachers yearn to motivate students to be "active learners" as opposed to passive sponges. In 1967 Canadian educator Marshall McLuhan, in The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1976) defined Hot versus Cold mediums, i.e., students actively engaged in their education. Students playing football (Hot) in the backyard as opposed to children "watching football (Cold) on TV" could be an example.
One strategy to move students into a hot medium is Virtual history. Below you will find references to virtual history tours using on-line media which encourage students to take charge of their learning and explore the world. These resources are organized in three sections that:
- Discuss the
history of "virtual history"
examples drawn from the better-known "virtual tours" of historical sites
- Provide further
examples and/or searchable indexes of virtual tour collections.
Virtual history: A
1997 perspective on virtual history and it's origins.
August 2007 perspective on serious games, note "building Egypt"
Censorship of virtual world
Some of the "Best of the
Best" Virtual History Tours
A virtual tour seigned for young
students revealing the social life of early humans in the Americas, including
weaving and tool making,
A head-turning three-dimensional
walk through an Egyptian pyramid.
The two principal cities of the
Indus Valley, Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, are revealed through a guided sequence
Opening page of extensive coverage
of Chinese Admiral Zheng He offers a digital reenaction of what the Chinese
"Treasure Ship" would have looked like under sail.
A virtual version of an exhibit
mounted by the Library of Congress and other materials that look at the
multicultural dimensions of the events of 1492, the life of Christopher
Columbus, and the Colombian exchange his voyages initiated.
This perhaps finest of all virtual
tours provides a glimpse into the rich cultural life of the Tokugawa capital of
The glories of tsarist Russia are
revealed in a virtual tour of the Alexander Palace at
The life of General Douglas
Macarthur and the art and society of the occupation or "Confusion" era in Japan
are the subject of a brilliant Smithsonian exhibition.
These two sites offer a panoramic
view of Tiananmen Square supplemented by an interactive tour designed for
Virtual History Tours and Indexes
Frontline Digital Nation website
World history reference desk with all topics and virtual tours...see
1900 PBS virtual tour, first one, for an example.
World History Digital Library
Virtual Tours and electronic field trips. Look left for AP History and
things, such as lesson plans, etc. al..
Virtual Library of World History
World Wide Web History/archaelogy/Economics, etc. al...
Can weave through this site and find many interactive, virtual links...
Virtual Tours via BBC
Note, more BBC history virtual tours, lower right on page.
BBC WW I virtual battlefield tours
Many Japanese sites inc.:
1. Web based educational video on Tokugawa period
2. "Edo" Japan, A Virtual Tour 9mentioned above)
3. Virtual Japan—click on "Black Ship Scrolls"
4. Gregory Smits on-line textbook, Making Japanese—full of
Kyoto, Japan early 1700's and other videos.
2007 production of Inca, Maya, Aztec...click on "icons" on left side
of page to
see more on these civilizations...
reconstructions site—Indus Valley
archaelogical virtual tours—Israel, Jordan, etc.
Ancient, Biblical sites...be patient, can find virtual sites on this page.
Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish virtual tour of Florence
NHK, Japanese tech company, and 9 pt. Silk Road series....
Kitaro music (Japanese musician) to go with Civilization virtual
program. Note you can play selections of Kitaro's music if you scroll
down and look to left...
Video conferencing with Library of Congress
Virtual Tour of Oxford Museum of Natural History...and note, lower left,
a tour of Oxford.
Virtual Marching Tour of American Revolution battles and more...
John Maunu is World History Connected's editor
for Internet Resources, is a Advanced Placement World and European history
instructor, examination Reader/Table Leader and AP/Collegeboard World History
consultant. He has taught for 36 years at Grosse Ile high school,
Michigan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org