Students from schools across the country are participating in a project that archives important websites in an effort to save important digital content for future generations.
The K-12 Web Archiving Program, a partnership between the Internet Archive and the Library of Congress, explores archiving the web from students’ perspectives. Students use Internet Archive’s Archive-It service to create “time capsules” of different websites and digital content that is important to the students or that illustrates the students’ world.
“Stimulating young people to think about history in the context of their own lives will enrich their study of history, provide an opportunity to actively engage in selecting the matter of history in the future, and help students begin to grasp the tremendous challenges presented by a world in which information can be both generated and removed with a key stroke,” according to the program’s description.
Internet Archive and the Library of Congress worked together for about 10 years archiving digital content from adults’ perspective, but the groups realized they had not consulted children, said Kristine Hanna, director of archiving services at Internet Archive.
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“We were interested in how they would make those decisions,” Hanna said. She added that the teams determined students would need collaboration skills, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills to successfully navigate a web archiving project and select digital content for inclusion—skills that are in high demand from employers.
Twenty-five percent of the websites selected by participating students had never before been archived, she said.