The New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust have announced La Escuela Electrónica/The Electronic Schoolhouse, a bilingual website for teachers focusing on the Latino experience in New York. Using historical records such as photographs, letters, flyers, broadsides and more dating from 1861 to the present, the website combines historical records and technology to promote the development of critical thinking skills, reading and writing skills, understanding historical content and context.
La Escuela Electrónica includes two introductory videos, in Spanish and English, explaining how teachers can use primary resources in their classrooms and the type of institutions that care for these one-of-a-kind materials. The records on the site are from nine organizations in the state: the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, the New York City Department of Records and Information Services, Cornell University, Hofstra University, Hostos Community College, the Dominican Studies Institute at City College (CUNY), the Onondaga Historical Association, the Rochester Museum and Science Center – Latino Alliance Partnership, and the New York State Archives.
The web site is organized by topics such as immigration, civil rights, women, and education that connect to the New York State Education Department’s core curriculum and the learning standards and assessments for elementary, middle, and secondary education. Lessons researched and developed by New York State teachers accompany most documents. “Build Your Own Worksheet” is a unique feature of the site that allows teachers to customize the lessons to meet the needs of their classroom.