Featured: The Travels of Ibn Battuta

October 5, 2016

The Travels of Ibn Battuta: a Virtual Tour has been one of ORIAS' most successful, most widely used projects. The Travels of Ibn Battuta: A Virtual Tour began as a Web resource written in 1999 by Nick Bartel for his students at Horace Mann Middle School, San Francisco, California. It was one of several large online resource units Nick constructed during the early days of curriculum on the internet. Most units were lost during technical changes over the years at San Francisco Unified School District, where the original pages were hosted. Since that time, online resources for teaching world history through traveler's narratives have increased dramatically, but Nick's pages are still some of the most valuable for classrooms. In 2012 he gave permission to ORIAS to rebuild and rehost the site at UCB, where it could be updated and "rescued" from the virtual void. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies provided funding to help in this process.

This month, ORIAS moved the project to its website. While much of the text is the same, some updates have been added, reflecting the growth of online resources since the project's inception. These include the addition of some new images and embedded videos, as well as updates to possible student projects to reflect changes in technologies and resources widely available to students. Your comments and suggestions for further work are welcome!

ORIAS Summer Institutes for Teachers

Campanile windows

ORIAS Summer Institutes invite educators to be students again.

ORIAS hosts two summer programs at UC Berkeley. Teachers of many disciplines, from elementary through high school, are invited to attend the k-12 Summer Institute. The Community College Summer Institute is designed primarily for community college and AP-level history and social studies teachers, particularly those who teach World History or regional histories.

Summer programs explore unique themes in World History and teachers leave ready to incorporate new content into classroom lessons. Presenters explain recent scholarship and address participants' questions. Throughout each day, educators have opportunities share ideas about both content and pedagogy.

Summer Institutes are free and open to all educators. Participants in the k-12 Summer Institute may also receive UC Extension professional development credit. 

photo credit: Top of the Campanile via UC Berkeley (license)

National Resource Centers

There are dozens of federally funded National Resource Centers (NRCs) at universities around the United States. One of their many functions is to provide curriculum materials, teacher education, travel opportunities for teachers, scholarly speakers, and more. Through these sites you can find a wide array of resources: lesson plans, culture boxes, Skype-based classroom speakers, and more.