Focus on the Item: Teaching and Learning with Omeka

2:00pm - 3:00pm EST February 22, 2013

We encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians and others from the NITLE Network interested in building online collections and narrative exhibits with students to attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate. (Times EST)

In this conversation, Sharon Leon, Director of Public Projects at the Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media will introduce Omeka, a free and open source web publishing platform for scholars and cultural heritage professionals, and, a hosted version of the software. Leon will offer an overview of the main elements of an Omeka site and some of the ways that the open source software’s functionality can be extended through the addition of plugins. Next, she will showcase some of the ways that faculty are using Omeka in liberal arts classrooms by working with students to build digital collections and constructing narrative exhibits, both as individual projects and as group work. Participants in the discussion will come away with an understanding of a range of constructive assignments for students that focus their attention on a careful examination of cultural heritage materials, and that result in non-traditional narrative assessments.

Recommended Reading

Sharon Leon is the Director of Public Projects at the Center for History and New Media and Research Associate Professor at George Mason University. Leon received her bachelors of arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University in 1997, and her doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2004. Her book, An Image of God: the Catholics Struggle with Eugenics is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press (May 2013). Her work has appeared in Church History and the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. She is currently doing research on Catholicism in the United States after Vatican II. At CHNM, Leon oversees collaborations with library, museum, and archive partners from around the country. She directs the Center’s digital exhibit and archiving projects, as well as research and tool development for public history, including Omeka and Scripto. Finally, Leon writes and presents on using technology to improve the teaching and learning of historical thinking skills.


Registration for this event is closed. (Participation in NITLE Shared Academics events is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.)


For more information about this event, please contact Rebecca Davis at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.