If you were a student which websites would you want to save for future generations? What would you want people to look at 50 or even 500 years from now?
These questions are central to the K12 Web Archiving Program, a partnership between the Internet Archive and the Library of Congress. Now in its third year, working with 5th to 12th graders in schools around the country, this innovative program has the students make the decisions about what website content will be saved, as each of them actively participates in a collaborative team environment, developing problem solving and critical thinking skills. An important piece of the program is for the students to attach descriptive metadata to the websites, providing information as to why a site should be saved. By enabling students to preserve websites, the program gives them an opportunity to not only document their culture and learn about the fragility of digital content, but their work also becomes a primary source of information for future researchers.
The Library of Congress recently shot a 8 minute video with 8th graders from Moran Middle School in Wallingford, CT. The video provides an inside glimpse into what the students think about the program.
The student’s digital collections can be found here at: http://archive-it.org/k12/