Manzanar Multimedia for Kids

ManzanarThe Manzanar National Historic Site was a recent selection for an Electronic Field Trip conducted by the Ball State University. According to this piece in the NPS Digest, as many as 20 million kids participated in the web event last month on Feb 13th. The field trip may be over, but the multimedia can still be accessed.

Archived program of live broadcast: Manzanar: Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire
say hello to Sec. of Interior Kempthorne at about 5 min. in

If you've got iTunes, you can access 10 programs of about 7 min. each. These programs apparently were made available as pre-workshop materials for the kids, but anyone can access these full resolution video files on the 'net.

iTunes: Ball State Electronic Field Trips Webisodes

The videos are fun. And they're interesting. It's pretty clear that they are well produced. Looks like the money for this project came from both public and private. I see the logos for National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, Ball State University, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Apple Computer, and even Best Buy associated with this project. I'm sure this is a public/private outreach model that we'll be seeing a lot more of in the months to come.

It does make me scratch my head just a little though because there is restricted access to some of the material. And if that material was paid for, in-part, with public dollars, why should I have to register to access it using a free Best Buy Children's Foundation Scholarship? I may be making too much of this. It's totally possible that the educational material, including lesson plans and more, were developed completely outside of the oversight and public funding dollars of the Park Service. And, in that case, why shouldn't they be able to restrict access to whomever they want? It is hard to make that distinction though, when the public/private logos are all sitting together on the same page.

One last note: I know that not everything created for the Park Service automatically becomes public domain. It all has to do with the way the contracts are written. For instance, if I shot an hour's worth of footage for a 10 minute project, would the 50 minutes of extra footage become property of the US Govt? The answer is: it depends on the contract. As mentioned earlier, I'm not trying to make a federal case out of this -- it's just that I'm wondering how would one know what is and what is not public domain in these Electronic Field Trips when the whole thing is a mash-up of public/private resources?


This is awesome Jeremy. I'm teaching about Japanese internment this week and needed some video clips for tomorrow. Thank you thank you thank you!

The vids are indeed high quality. Did you find the background music and sound effects a bit cheesy?

Again, thanks!
This particular field trip was sunded by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Ball State University. The reason for the registration is so we can send you updates and our funders want to see the reach. Our goal is to give as much access as possible. Kudos to the Manzanar folks for a job well done... Mark Kornmann, EFT Director, Ball State University.