News Article

Learn History, Improve Literacy

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In the push to create digital learning resources for schools, social studies have often been ignored. That vacuum is being filled by Zoom In, a free online tool that helps middle-school students learn US history while also strengthening their literacy skills.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Zoom In was developed by CCT—in collaboration with history educators at the American Social History Project, literacy experts, and media designers—to complement existing history curricula.  With Zoom In, students read authentic primary documents, compare their perspectives, and write their own historical arguments, helping them to build literacy and historical thinking skills required by the Common Core.

“There are lots of new tools for improving math, ELA, and STEM instruction, but social studies has been left out,” says CCT’s Bill Tally, lead developer. “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.”

Zoom In is available free at the website,