Going Back to the Future with the Wayback Machine
Type of technology: Website
SAMR Model Rating: Redefinition
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Social Studies
Have you ever wondered what a newspaper in the Middle East looked like during September 12th, 2001? With the Wayback Machine found on Archive.org you can answer questions like this and get a glimpse into the past. Most if not all of our students were born prior to 1996, so for them this educational tool allows students to experience what it was like to see the news of 9/11 on a front page of a newspaper.
What exactly is the Wayback machine? It all started when a software invented in 1996 began downloading all publicly accessible World Wide Web pages, which now allows you to revisit webpages from 1996. Then in 2005, “Archive.org” was developed to help institutions and internet content creator preserve collections of online content and create digital archives. Shortly after, it was opened to the public in a ceremony at the University of California-Berkeley.
I like to use the Wayback machine as part of a daily warm-up. For example, I have students create a Venn diagram comparing one current event published by a newspaper in the U.S. with the perspective of another countries’ newspaper. I teach U.S. History, so you can also have students compare the views of different states in the US on a certain issue, like same-sex marriage, gun control, etc., but if you teach World History you can have your students compare two newspaper front pages from any two countries. You can have them create a Venn diagram or a pros and cons chart.
- Step 1: Visit: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Internet-Archive%27s-Wayback-Machine. This site will show you in 7 steps “How to Use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.”
- Step 2: Visit the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine page at http://www.archive.org/.
- Step 3: Open a new tab and visit: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
- This is “Today’s Front Pages Gallery.” It presents daily front pages from more than 80 international newspapers.
- Step 4: Click on the word “Map” for a visual of a world map and the news outlets in a given region. To view and search news outlets by the region they are based out of, simply click the down arrow.
I hope you and your students find the Wayback machine and Newseum.org as useful tool to help analyze the pros and cons of different perspectives on a variety of historical events.