Ran across a cool new site created by the National Archives people. (I’ve always enjoyed the National Archives Education page. If you haven’t been over there yet, ya gotta go. Some great lesson plans and resources tied to standards and primary sources!)

Their new site, Digital Vaults, is a different way to gather and use information. David Warlick has talked for several years about how “digital immigrants” (most of us!) are consumers of information and “digital natives” (most of our kids) see information as raw material. The problem with sites that are even as good as the NARA Education page is that the information is still organized in textual and linear ways. This makes it difficult for digital natives to access and mess with the data.

Digital VaultsDigital Vaults gives you and your kids a place to find raw materials that are arranged in ways that may make more sense to them. The site is set up a bit like a social network. Data is organized by tags and linked to both the tags as well as other resources. Like a social network, you can make your favorite documents / materials your “friends,” search for new “friends” by using tags and create “mashups” using primary sources.

All pretty neat stuff! If you’re looking for a new and easy way to suck kids into using and understanding primary source materials, this is the place to start.Digital Vaults