3D Digital Artifact Collection

Bill's Memorial Blog

February 20, 2016

Talking Tools

Because humans make tools for specific purposes, tools have evolved as people and societies have evolved.

February 16, 2016

The Interdisciplinary Nature of Artifacts

Artifacts contribute to student acquisition of a broad base of knowledge, and also assist in building competency in sharing that knowledge. Because humans have created artifacts for specific purposes, every artifact has a story. Why was the object created?

February 12, 2016

Creating an Artifact-Based Lesson III: Employing the Lesson

After choosing the appropriate artifact, and creating the questions that will assist your students to be successful, it is time to employ the lesson. Here are some guidelines to help insure a successful learning experience.

February 9, 2016

Creating an Artifact-Based Lesson II: Choosing the Appropriate Questions

In the evidence-gathering phase, questions should assist students in the analysis, synthesis, and initial decision-making process. As they analyze, it is imperative that students record their observations without making assumptions, or attempting to interpret the information.

February 5, 2016

Creating an Artifact-Based Lesson: Choosing an Artifact

How do you choose an artifact for use in your classroom? Are there rules? Guidelines? What comes first, the artifact or the lesson? Where to start?

January 29, 2016

Artifacts and Learning Part VI: Artifacts and Rigor

Let’s talk about how artifacts establish rigor in your classroom. We have adopted Barbara Blackburn’s definition of rigor.

January 26, 2016

Artifacts and learning, Part V: Generation

What happens when you present an artifact to your class and ask, “What is this, and why is it important to us?” Beyond the groaning and incessant whining for you to provide the answer, learning of the highest order occurs.

January 22, 2016

Artifacts and Learning Part IV: "Interleaving Practice"

“Real education is about genuine understanding and the ability to figure things out on your own; not about making sure every 7th grader has memorized all the facts some bureaucrats have put in the 7th grade curriculum.” - Aaron Swarz, Internet Entrepreneur


  • “Every object has a story to tell if you know how to read it.”
    – Henry Ford
  • “Dealing with objects is a great way to teach the different steps involved in analyzing different kinds of materials. With just a little background, you can get students to engage with entirely new materials in extremely fruitful ways.”
    – Anita Nikkanen
    Harvard University
  • “Using objects helps students develop important intellectual skills.”
    – John Hennigar Shuh
    Curator, Nova Scotia Museum
  • "Whenever I used objects in my EFL classroom, I was surprised by how many questions I would get. I was especially excited when students who usually sat quietly were tempted to ask a question based on my object.”
    – Jenny Wei
    Specialist, National Museum of American History
  • When we examine the parts, we get a new perspective on the whole. There is nothing like holding a dinosaur bone, or the smell of cedar baskets…”
    – Burke Museum
    University of Washington, Seattle WA
  • “Every object has a story, right? Actually that’s a bit limiting. Every object has multiple stories.”
    – Rob Walker
    designer of Significant Objects and How They Got That Way

Teacher Questions