Mapping the African American Past

Mapping the African American Past Teachers College, Creative Curriculum Initiatives, Hofstra University

Access: Open to all
Revised: February 2010
Released: February 2008

VIEW PROJECT

Mapping the African American Past (MAAP) is a public website created to enhance the appreciation and study of significant sites and moments in the history of African Americans in New York from the early 17th-century through the recent past. The website is a geographic learning environment, enabling students, teachers, and visitors to browse a multitude of locations in New York and read encyclopedic profiles of historical people and events associated with these locations. The site is further enhanced by selected film and music clips; digitized photographs, documents, and maps from Columbia University's libraries; and commentary from Columbia faculty and other specialists.

Project partners at Teachers College have devised model lessons that have been published in an instructors' resource section of the MAAP website, offering educators across New York State purposive strategies for incorporating the project's multimedia material into various curricula. Teachers College graduate students will also use MAAP to practice effective curriculum-building in a multimedia environment. Additionally, in February 2010, the Center for Public Archaeology at Hofstra University contributed to MAAP by providing 10 new place profiles of historic locations on Long Island, such as the Booker T. Washington House and the Eastville Community.

This project was developed by CCNMTL in partnership with Columbia University's Teachers College and Curriculum Concepts International (CCI) and funded with generous support of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

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Project Details

In fall 2007, the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) received a $200,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to develop Mapping the African American Past. MAAP is a public, Web-based learning environment designed to enhance the appreciation and study of significant sites and moments in the history of African Americans in New York from the early 17th-century through the recent past.

Launched in time to celebrate Black History Month in February 2008, MAAP's Web site is a geographic learning environment, enabling visitors to browse a multitude of locations in New York that played significant roles in the cultural and political history of African Americans. The environment includes profiles of historical people and events, commentary by Columbia faculty and other specialists, film and music clips, and digitized documents from Columbia University's libraries.

MAAP is a multi-dimensional project in both creation and implementation. The project was developed by CCNMTL in partnership with Columbia University's Teacher's College and Curriculum Concepts International (CCI), a leading producer of educational products for the K-12 market. Project partners at Teachers College devised model lessons that are published in an instructors' resource section of the MAAP Web site. These lessons offer New York State educators purposive strategies for incorporating the project's multimedia material into various curricula. In spring 2008, CCI will provide elementary and middle school instructors with paper-based alternatives and supplements to content developed for the MAAP Web site.

Teachers College students are using MAAP to practice effective curriculum-building in a multimedia environment. Using a new lesson builder tool created by CCNMTL, these students utilize the content in the MAAP site to create social studies lesson plans for fourth and eighth graders. Standout lessons created in these class exercises will be promoted to the public MAAP Web site.

Elements of MAAP will also be incorporated into classes at Columbia taught by Kenneth Jackson, Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences; and Kellie Jones, associate professor of African American, African Diaspora, and Latin American Art in the art history and archeology department.

"The struggle for social justice for African American people begins with the reconstruction of our collective memory," said CCNMTL executive director, Frank Moretti. "The MAAP project raises into the light for study and investigation the often submerged past of the African American people. It gives students of all ages access to a trove of resources accessible from any computer with an Internet connection."

Related news:
Feb-2011: New Mobile Version of Mapping the African American Past
Feb-2010: MAAP Enhanced With New Content
Oct-2009: CCNMTL Accepts Award for Innovative Use of Archives
Sep-2009: MAAP Wins Archivist Round Table Award
Apr-2008: NYPL.org Lists MAAP as City Resource
Mar-2008: Columbia Spectator Checks in with MAAP
Mar-2008: New York Times Article Features MAAP Project
Feb-2008: Mapping the African American Past launches on Web and iTunes
Oct-2007: Mapping the African American Past For Students of All Ages