Middle Ages for Educators
Middle Ages for Educators is a digital resource designed for teachers and students to learn more about Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. This site was created by Princeton University and a cohort of Middle Ages specialists during the COVID-19 pandemic to help teachers shift to digital teaching. Middle Ages for Educators offers a variety of resources for middle school, high school, and undergraduate educators to explore this often mystical and distant period.
This website curates different digital resources from across the Internet into one place, handpicked and vetted by experts. According to its homepage, the site boasts more than 40 videos and video playlists, more than 125 different resource links, and worked with more than 50 subject matter experts on this project. Users can browse resources by era, geography, century, topic, or type. The diverse types of resources include adjacent fields, digital exhibits, digitized archives and manuscripts, linked resources, multimedia learning, museum and image databases, primary sources, related databases and websites, teaching with digital tools, and video. These resources are a good balance between prepared content options to find additional materials. The “Experts” tab also offers a directory of medievalists who can be contacted for teaching or research help. Users can filter the list by discipline, era, and geography of interest.
Because of the diversity of resources on this site, it can lead to many different uses for teachers. Educators could use a video or a podcast as supplemental lecture material to bring in a professional and new perspective. The site also has a topic category called “Silly Stuff,” which could provide fun, digital classroom activities or homework. One recommended resource is the website Medieval Memes, which allows students to explore medieval art and culture through the modern language of memes. Students can make their own memes with medieval art while learning about the context of the images. This is just one example of how this website can be used to generate classroom content and student activities.
The variety of sources provides resources for a wide audience. Site navigation is very straightforward and intuitive, making it easy to find what one needs. The site’s biggest weakness is its lack of original contextual information for its resources. Each resource is accompanied by a short paragraph explaining how the resource could be used. This is helpful if you already grasp a topic, but less so if you are unfamiliar with the field. Educators will also have to dig for the specific period, region, or topic they are looking for due to the variety of topics covered on the site. Overall, Middle Ages for Educators is a good collection for teachers or students looking for additional resources about the medieval period.