Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2008


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Kush

Committee Member

William Gibbs

Committee Member

Mary Anne Battaglia


educational technology, civil war, social studies


This study examined the practices of social studies teachers in south central Pennsylvania regarding their use of digital historical resources for the teaching of the American Civil War. Teachers completed an electronic survey that examined rates of digital historical resource use for the teaching of the Civil War. After data collection, responses were examined to answer the established research questions.

Based on the findings, areas for improvement were identified and conclusions were reached that pinpoint these areas. Suggestions for effective professional development programs are also presented. After completing the study, it is clear that there is room for additional development of the use of technology for teaching the Civil War as teachers struggle with time constraints and lack of access to technology.

This study of digital historical resources use in the teaching of the Civil War is the first of its kind and the findings from this study will serve as a benchmark for future studies. Teachers can use the data from this study to justify the need for technology use within their classrooms or the need for increased professional development to their administrators.

A summary of respondent demographics revealed that a majority of the respondents were male, that they had less than 15 years of teaching experience and that a majority of them had at least a master's degree. Respondents further indicated that they are from medium sized schools that teach the Civil War primarily in the 8th grade during the 4th nine-week period. In general, the results showed that there were no differences between males and females in the extent of their use of digital historical resources when teaching about the Civil War. The data further showed that males reported that they were more aware of resources available for the teaching of the Civil War than were females. The results of the study further indicated that the most inhibiting barrier to integrating DHR was a lack of access to classroom technology despite having access to adequate Internet bandwidth and relevant online resources. Finally, the results showed that the most popular type of professional development was district-led workshops.