The Social Studies Help Center was originally created in 1998 by a teacher named David Miller. Please read the letter below for more information about the original author of the site.
Thank you for taking the time to see who put this all together. I began the construction of this web site in 1998. I had the notion then that integrating technology into the regular habits of me and my students would be a good thing. My general belief was that I had seen too many educational sites that were links, to links, to links! I really felt that I wanted my site to have its own content. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. The original American History notes took about a year, each weekend I would spend a few hours, usually from 11pm to 2am on a Friday or Saturday night. If you consider my children are now 5 and 8 you can figure out I was one tired teacher! From 1999 to 2000 the site grew immensely. I added notes for Economics, AP Government and Politics, Supreme Court Cases, How To Write A Research Paper, Rubrics and a section of modified American History notes for competency level class. My student would access the site for homework assignments and were able to get their grades and weekly updated progress reports online. This was long before PowerSchool, Infinite Campus or other school information software.
In the beginning the wen site had few hits. My students would use it sporadically, some more then others. I used free web space from my ISP to host the site. Then it happened... I ran out of space... 10megs! I couldn't believe it. I then decided to take the big leap and register my own domain name and buy server space. Since I registering my own domain name the web site received hundreds of thousands of hits. I have also received some really hart warming emails such as one from a man in jail attempting to research 18th century France for his son and a teacher in Thailand who will be tutoring an American student. I have received email from hundreds of high school teachers, school administrators, college students and high school students from around the nation who use the site as resource. I thank all of you who have used the site because it makes my time an effort worthwhile.
Since moving into administration regular update of the site became sporadic at best. I no longer had any utility for my own students, it was costing money to keep running and I began to think very hard about shutting the site down. What prevented me from doing so were all of the wonderful emails and feedback I had received over the years. It also seemed like such a waste to just lose all of the work.
In December of 2005 I was approached by a web site developer who wanted to buy the site and take it commercial. He agreed to maintain the content and to leave it free an accessible to students and teachers. How could I turn this offer down? I am thankful for the generosity of the new sponsor and for his willingness to maintain the spirit of the site. In fact, if I want to I can even add more content. This is not likely but I am glad to know the offer is out there! As of January 2006 I no longer own or maintain the site but I maintain a keen interest in its survival. After all, this was a labor of love, now off to live on its own… sort of my baby all grown up!
I am thirty eight years old and have been teaching for 16 years. As of this writing I am one of the Assistant Principals at Schreiber High School in Port Washington. From 2002 to 2004 I was an AP at Northport High School and from 2000 to 2002 I was the Chairperson of Social Studies at Herricks High School on Long Island, New York. I also had the pleasure of serving the New York State Council of the Social Studies as Chairperson of the Technology Committee. Serving as Chair and being involved in curriculum development was gratifying. As an advocate for the integration of technology in education I had the pleasure of seeing veteran teachers do things they never thought possible. Most importantly, the students at Herricks really made the most out of the online enhancements to their course work. I miss the classroom but find tremendous satisfaction out of being able to effect change on a larger level. The first ten years of my teaching career were spent in the Sewanhaka Central High School District and New York City school. These were great years where I truly learned how to teach. Many thanks go out to my former chair people who taught me how to teach, observe and serve.
I have been married to my wife Lois since 1993. Lois runs a very successful trade show and meeting planning business and I am very proud of what she has accomplished. Prior to starting her own business Lois was the Vice President of the Luggage and Leather Goods Manufacturers of America, a trade association based in the Empire State Building in Manhattan. Her main areas of operation included running one of the largest trade shows in America as well as all financial and internal operations. She left the association several years ago. You can visit her web site here: Guess who built it??!!!
Updated February 23, 2006
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