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Tuesday, September 6, 2016
As an educator who has used IWitness to teach various subjects, units and topics here are some tips to integrating testimony into any curriculum, including Science.
Friday, April 1, 2016
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
This year I focused on eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust and it changed the experience for my students and for me.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Happy Digital Learning Day! Led by Alliance for Excellent Education, the day is an effort to engage students and empower educators through effective use of digital tools. Educators, schools and organizations around the world will be sharing the power of using digital resources in the classroom.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
For Women’s History Month, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation to help educators access more than 1,500 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides using the Institute’s online learning tool, IWitness.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In January 2015, I traveled to Poland for the Auschwitz: Past is Present professional development program, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau. This entire experience, was and continues to be a life changing event for me on every level personally, professionally, and academically.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
Monday, October 10, 2016
Much like testimony shows how regimes have constructed borders; testimony demonstrates how individuals can construct bridges to connect with people of different beliefs and identities.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Poland’s new right-wing government wants to change the way children in that country learn about the Holocaust, casting Poles as only victims or heroes. In this new narration, the Polish people were always helping the weak, were good neighbors and cared about minorities.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Bertram Schaffner’s story is a unique one because of the multiple roles he played as a gay German American during the period that saw the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be.  When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world. Explore these three ways you can bring poetry into your classroom using tools from Facing History’s partner, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Students and teachers can now download their video projects constructed in IWitness using the WeVideo editor and their word clouds built in the Information Quest activities. So here are three easy steps for students and teachers to download their work from IWitness!
Monday, August 15, 2016
Polski nowy, prawicowy rząd chce zmienić sposób nauczania polskich uczniów o Zagładzie Żydów, kreując Polaków na wyłącznie ofiary lub bohaterów. W tej nowej narracji Polacy zawsze pomagali słabszym, byli dobrymi sąsiadami i dbali o mniejszości.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
I see two pictures of America. One that is open, free, respectful, fun-loving. The other which is divisive, fearful, angry, and violent. These two Americas have much that sets them apart, but they share missing elements, because neither America is integrated, fair, multicultural, embracing, or color-blind. Not in practice anyhow.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Every once in a while, I have a moment when seemingly disconnected ideas collide in peculiar relief, bringing clarity and making sense – admittedly sometimes only to me. I had one of those days recently when I was looking at the calendar and realized that International Women’s Day on March 8 was approaching.
Friday, May 27, 2016
The young Nazi approached 13-year-old Szulem Czygielmamn as he walked on the sidewalk of Lubartowska Street in Lublin, Poland, and shoved him off the sidewalk. Szulem was lucky; Jews had died for less.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
Friday, June 17, 2016
June 20th is recognized by the United Nations as International Refugee Day to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees around the world. In the Visual History Archive, the testimonies of genocide survivors include their personal experiences as refugees. As of now, the world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. To shed light on the current and past refugee crisis explore 10 interesting facts about the refugee experience.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
As educators, when we go into teaching, we go in with what some might call ideological visions: This concept that we can and will make a difference; this idea that the children we teach will take the lessons we’ve taught and use them to become productive people long after they leave the four walls of our classroom. As we sit here now, reflecting on our most recent efforts to teach the Holocaust in a profound manner that gives justice and honor to the victims of this atrocity, we feel fortunate that such ideologies are being lived in our classroom.
Monday, February 8, 2016
How do we begin to remember the millions of victims of the biggest genocide in human history? How do we echo the gravity of the world’s loss to students? How do we work to create a meaningful moment that memorializes humankind’s greatest tragedy? In planning a Holocaust unit in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations, these are questions that were prevalent in our minds as we devised a memorial program that paid tribute while emphasizing the need for continued human rights education in classroom’s across the world.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
You never know what you will find in the Visual History Archive. You hear stories of survival, death, life, hope and even friendship amidst the chaos of genocide. Sidney Shafner and Marcel Levy have remained friends for over 70 years – since the liberation of the concentration camp Dachau.
Monday, January 25, 2016
In January 2015, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Poland with other students from across the country for USC Shoah Foundation’s and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: Past is Present program. We toured various sites in Warsaw and Krakow, Poland, with teachers and our friend Paula Lebovics, a survivor of the Holocaust. Each point in the trip was remarkable and extremely inspiring. However, the visit to the Auschwitz-Birkeanu Memorial Museum impacted me the most.
Friday, August 26, 2016
As you prepare your lessons plans for this year’s school year explore seven reasons why you should teach with testimony.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
As the sun sets on the Danube River, I felt the need to pinch myself. I am really here in Budapest? It doesn’t feel so far away from my home in Los Angeles. But looking at the architecture and the castle in the distance, I fall in love with the romance of this old European city.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
As the indexer for USC Shoah Foundation’s Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection, I have to listen carefully to hundreds of testimonies assigning keywords to each minute so that these stories will be accessible in the Visual History Archive. Now just in time for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we will be integrating an additional 155 indexed testimonies into the Archive. I thought this would be a fitting time to highlight some of the most interesting aspects of the 245 testimonies that will be available in the Visual History Archive Online.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in 1894, was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. He spent most of his life studying theology and dedicating himself to the church, traveling across Europe and Asia during his lifetime.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
As the first anniversary of my life-changing trip to Poland is upon me, I take time to reflect on the impact that trip has made on me both personally and professionally.  I have learned so much from my experiences as a teacher in USC Shoah Foundation’s and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: The Past is Present program.

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