Paper and Pixels: The World War II Poster Project
In an effort to find creative ways to develop students’ research, information literacy, and technology skills within the context of a course, David Del Testa (Chair of the History Department, Bucknell University) and Abby Clobridge (founder of and consultant at FireOak Strategies) developed the "Paper and Pixels" pedagogical model. "Paper and Pixels" refers to students working hands-on with both archival materials and related digital objects that the students created themselves. The model was first put into practice through their World War II Poster Project, a six-week learning module embedded in an introductory history course, History 100: Thinking about History," the focus of which was “World War II.”
While the original unit's thematic focus was World War II, the pedagogical model is independent of any thematic area and can easily be adapted for other subjects.
This project won the 2009 Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section Innovation Award. Throughout the project, students worked hands-on with original World War II-era posters in order to become proficient at the processes of describing, researching, analyzing, digitizing, and cataloging artifacts. The skills emphasized were those that professional historians working into today's ICT environment need in order to be successful.