IWitness

(iwitness.usc.edu) is an educational website developed by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education that complements Echoes and Reflections. IWitness features over 1,500 video testimonies from its Visual History Archive and allows teachers and their students to search, watch, and learn directly from the eyewitnesses to history, including the individuals who are featured in Echoes and Reflections.

Designed to be participatory, academic and student-driven, IWitness addresses education standards from the Common Core State Standards Initiative and the International Society for Technology in Education, among others.

In IWitness, students can watch testimonies and use them in individual or group multimedia projects; teachers can assign activities as classwork or homework, and can even custom-build their own lessons and activities. The testimonies are searchable by more than 9,000 keywords, enabling students to pinpoint exact moments of interest within each testimony, which averages two hours in length. The IWitness video editor gives students the freedom to integrate testimony clips together with footage from other sources as well as photos and maps, voiceover audio, music, and text. In a way that transcends traditional print materials, the interactive, audio-visual form of IWitness connects learners with contextualized first-person views of history while training them to master the digital and media literacies necessary for the future.

By integrating testimony-based education with the development of digital literacy and other 21st-century competencies, IWitness encourages critical thinking and self-reflection, and helps students get a sense of their own place in history and of the profound impact their words and actions can have on the lives of others.

 

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