Chicago Public Schools Partners with Freedom Center for Distance Learning

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Extra Credit
Slavery Resources Online

Slavery is not just part of America's distant history. It's estimated that, worldwide, there are some 10 million to 30 million human beings held in slavery today, with some 15,000 to 20,000 human slaves trafficked into the United States each year.

Teachers who would like to bring a contemporary (and emotional) tie into their history lessons can find several resources on the Freedom Center's site, including links to activist organizations, educational materials, and other resources.

--D. Nagel

Students in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will be learning about slavery--both historical and contemporary--through a new electronic learning initiative in the district. CPS has partnered with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for an educational program that combines distance learning technologies with digital media. The program, funded by Ariel Mutual Funds, focuses on slavery in the United States and around the world.

The Freedom Center is a museum and organization that provides resources on historical and contemporary slavery. Through the partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the Freedom Center will supplying electronic learning materials to CPS teachers digitally for classroom instruction.

"We find our students are eager for content that is pertinent in their lives today and they respond best when that content is presented dynamically," said Arne Duncan, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, in a statement released Friday. "Our students are energized and demonstrate solid academic results when we offer them curriculum in changing and creative formats. There is no limit to how this partnership with the Freedom Center could expand to all of our students within our system. And there is no limit to the impact it will have in their academic lives, and importantly in their everyday out-of-the-classroom lives as well."

"With this partnership and distance learning technology, we are able to take the content that the Freedom Center has developed--and continues to develop--to students and interested learners across the globe. With the technology available today the number of people who will be able to receive this content is endless," said Donald W. Murphy, CEO of the Freedom Center.

The materials the Freedom Center provides will be designed to match CPS' curriculum requirements. CPS teachers will be visiting the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH in June for tours as well.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

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