Zoom In: Free Digital Tool Improves Reading and Writing in U.S. History Class

Zoom In logo

Zoom In, a free, research-based online tool that helps students learn U.S. history while strengthening their literacy skills, will be available for history and social studies teachers to use in Fall 2015. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Zoom In was developed by EDC in collaboration with history educators at the American Social History Project, literacy experts, and media designers and with input from teachers and students nationwide (results of field tests will be available in August 2015). Lead Developer Bill Tally notes, “There are lots of new tools for improving math, English language arts, and STEM instruction, but social studies has been left out. Zoom In is filling that gap, helping students delve into compelling human conflicts throughout history, and read, write, and argue with evidence about what the past means and why it matters." This video offers a quick overview of Zoom In, and a recent EDC press release and feature article provide a close-up look at the new tool.

Zoom In complements the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, which emphasize the building of literacy skills across disciplines. Its content-rich, engaging lessons focus on key events in six National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) historical periods, support students' close reading and evidence-based writing, and help teachers monitor and assess students' learning and fine-tune instruction. Right now, teachers and school, district, and state education leaders can preview the tool, view Teacher Guides, and sign up to use Zoom In—as well as explore a series of videos about Zoom In's instructional sequence.

Last Updated: July 2015