Dickinson College, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to Offer
Online Course on Abraham Lincoln

“Understanding Lincoln” is designed especially for K-12 educators seeking graduate-level credit and ideas for teaching the new Common Core State Standards 

(Carlisle, Pa.) – Dickinson College, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will offer K-12 educators as well as American Civil War enthusiasts a unique opportunity to explore the life, leadership and legacy of Abraham Lincoln through an online journey titled “Understanding Lincoln.” Available for graduate credit, or as a free course for personal enrichment, the course blends online seminars and virtual field trips with opportunities for in-depth discussions with noted Lincoln scholar, author and educator Matthew Pinsker, associate professor of history at Dickinson.

The course begins on July 23, and concludes on Nov. 19, during the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Gettysburg Address. The course will culminate with live-streaming presentations from the historic Wills House in Gettysburg conducted by students from the course who will be invited to attend the ceremonies based on the quality of their final projects.

The abundance of multimedia materials and opportunities to access primary-source documents make “Understanding Lincoln” a web-based resource for social studies and English teachers to implement the Common Core State Standards, nationally developed state standards for learning.

“We are attempting something new in the world of online education, by making a graduate course in U.S. history not only open and online but also infused with liberal-arts values,” says Pinsker. “Our course will promote interaction with participants, not discourage it. Lincoln was perhaps the greatest self-made learner in American history, and we are aspiring to live up to his ideal. This will not be an exercise in merely watching videos and taking quizzes.”

Pinsker holds the Brian C. Pohanka ’77 Chair in American Civil War History at Dickinson College, where he also serves as the director of the House Divided Project, an online repository of digital American Civil War resources for K-12 and undergraduate classrooms. Since its 2011 public launch, House Divided has had more than 500,000 unique visitors. Pinsker is the author of “Lincoln’s Sanctuary” and the forthcoming “Boss Lincoln.” He has led numerous K-12 educator workshops for the Gilder Lehrman Institute and has been designated as a “Distinguished Lecturer” by the Organization of American Historians.

Course sessions will include live-streamed virtual field trips; live, interactive video seminars led by Pinsker; and discussion sessions led by pedagogy experts from the Gilder Lehrman Institute. The open section of the course is free and provides a certificate of completion for all participants who successfully finish a series of document-based assessments. There also is a limited-enrollment graduate section available for tuition-payers seeking a full master’s level course credit certified through an official transcript from Dickinson.

Graduate section participants will engage directly in the interactive seminars with Pinsker and will work under his supervision to create various research and writing assignments, including a major final multimedia project. Three students who submit the best final projects will be invited at no cost, including free travel and accommodations to attend the commemoration ceremonies on Nov. 19 at Gettysburg. They will present their work as part of a final live-streamed virtual field trip to Gettysburg that will conclude the online course.

For more information or to register, visit http://housedivided.dickinson.edu/sites/blogdivided/2013/05/28/register-today-for-understanding-lincoln-a-new-online-course/


Website Updates and Thank You

by fifer1863 on June 7, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU so much for reading my website and blog.  The statistics are through the roof.  I also want to apologize for lack of posts and podcast.  Other things have become a priority recently and while it is not an excuse I need to get back at it.

Thanks to my good friend Andy Traub and his book Early to Rise, I’m recommitting myself to this website, the blog and podcast.  I have book reviews, app reviews, interviews and much more on tap.  I have a plan, just need to move forward.

Another plan is to update the site more.  I want to add more video, resources and Civil War themed lesson plans.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to LIKE MY FACEBOOK page as I frequently update that page with photos, links and resources.  You can also follow me on TWITTER.

Again, THANK YOU for staying subscribed.



NHD in PA Teacher’s Workshop -June 1st

by fifer1863 on May 19, 2013

Registration for the June 1, 2013 National History Day in Pennsylvania Teachers Workshop at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA is now open.  The workshop will run from 9 AM to 4 PM with a break for lunch.  Lunch is available from our on-site café.

Thanks to scholarships provided by the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources program, there is no cost for attending teachers.

Workshop sessions will include:

  • Topic development for the 2014 contest cycle.
  • Archival resources in the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center collection.
  • Writing and Refining a Thesis
  • Engaging students with primary sources.
  • Developing evidence based NHD projects

To register, please follow this link:  http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e7ih9jjihgtg6ngd/start

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jeff Hawks at   717.258.1102 or eddirector@armyheritage.org


Teaching the Civil War Resources – 1/09/13

January 10, 2013

Just a quick post to some links that I found recently.  Remember to follow my on Twitter (@fifer1863) to get all the links I share.   Battles Wiki – http://lonerganpmsdhistory.wikispaces.com/Home Civil War in the American South http://www.american-south.org/?Welcome&Welcome&Welcome   Free Civil War Related Resources from the Federal Resource for Education Excellence  AHA Today Blog Post on […]

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Cool Civil War Infographic

July 9, 2012

This is a cool infographic on the Civil War from the Civil War Trust  

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4 Cool Civil War Apps for your iPhone/iPod/iPad

November 12, 2011

4 Cool Civil War Apps for your iPhone/iPod/iPad Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to take a look at several civil war related apps for the iPhone and iPad. The following is a review of four of those apps. Civil War Preservation Trust Gettysburg app The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) has created […]

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Tracing the Polictical Aftermath

August 23, 2011

The Civil War: the War that Never Truly Ended The Civil War was fought nearly 150 years ago, and was among the most brutal wars in American history, both on and off the battlefield. Over 600,000 soldiers lost their lives fighting their own compatriots, and even the civilian death toll is estimated in the hundreds […]

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Which Civil War General Are You?

April 26, 2011

This is weird… In 2007, I took the “Which Civil War General Are You?” Quiz and scored: You scored as General Ambrose Burnside, The good news is, you’re considered a person of scrupulous honor and well liked by no less a personage than Abe Lincoln. The bad news is you’re pretty much inept, the worst […]

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New podcast about the Civil War

March 27, 2011

I received the following email the other day and thought I’d share with you: “That a Nation Might Live” is an online weekly podcast series (also available on iTunes) launched recently that traces the events of 150 years ago, reporting the week’s key developments in the run up to and during the war. The site […]

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Civil War Battlefield Markers website

March 14, 2011

Here is a cool link that I cam across recently, a database of battlefield and historical markers. According to the website, “Listed here are blog entries, pages, and links to marker lists which detail the historical markers located on Civil War battlefields.” It goes on to say, “The intent is to offer “virtual tours” of the […]

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Look what I found 7/24/10

July 24, 2010

Just a quick list of items that I’ll be adding to the wiki.  I hope to be doing these more frequently so stay tuned. Harriet Tubman Interact Map from Harcourt School — A cute little interactive that allows students to learn more about Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman Webhunt from Scholastic — A great resource that […]

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Causes of the Civil War Podcast

May 26, 2010

The Teaching American History Podcast series has a two-part lecture that I would like to share with you. The lecture is on the causes of the Civil War and is presented by James McPherson. You can read a description of the lecture HERE: Here is the link to Part 1 and Here is the link […]

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Introducting Patriot Pete

March 31, 2010

As you know, my daughter has her Civil War Sallie project that is traveling around teaching and learning about the Civil War.  Well, my son CJ has created his own project named Patriot Pete.  As the newest member of the Follow Me Project family, Patriot Pete was created to get kids to learn more about […]

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Live Webcast – Discovering the Civil War Online

March 1, 2010

Discovering the Civil War Online – Live Webcast from American Public University Best practices and tips from the experts for researching original Civil War documents online Have you ever handled a document over 150 years old? The American Civil War left behind a vast paper trail of soldiers’ letters and diaries, as well as newspapers […]

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Museum Curator to live like a soldier

January 22, 2010

The National Civil War Museum here in Harrisburg is a great place to visit to see all of the wonderful artifacts and exhibits.  Well, from February 6th to the 20th, it will also be a great time to visit and talk to a living historian who will be experiencing life as a Civil War soldier. […]

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The Edublog Award Nominations

December 1, 2009

The Edublog Awards 2009 are open for nomination! This is a chance for educators to nominate and celebrate the achievements of edubloggers, twitterers, podcasters, video makers, online communities, wiki hosts and other web based users of educational technology. Here are the categories, I would like to nominate the following individuals: Best individual blog — Speaking […]

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MIT Journal Podcast

April 4, 2009

The December 2008 issue of The New England Quarterly has an interesting podcast, “From Mashantucket to Appomattox: The Native American Veterans of Connecticut’s Volunteer Regiments and the Union Army.”  This podcast gives a unique perspective on Native American involvement in the Civil War. Listen as author and host, David Naumec along with The New England […]

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