(Washington, D.C.) – Amid ongoing uncertainties about travel restrictions and access limitations at planned tour destinations, the American Battlefield Trust has made the difficult decision to transition its popular National Teacher Institute to an online format in 2020. A series of webinars and interactive sessions will be held July 7-10, 2020. While in-person events are anticipated to return in future years, this first of its kind Virtual Teacher Institute has the capacity to accommodate more than twice as many educators in sessions geared to sharing the latest techniques in history education.
“As disappointing as it is not to be able to gather in person in Mobile, Ala., this summer, this was the best course of action, given the uncertainties we face during this time,” said Trust Chief Historian Garry Adelman. “The work our teachers do matters tremendously, and the Trust prides itself on holding outstanding events for them. So, as we heard that tour sites and restaurants we planned to visit might not be accessible, and that our great presenters were facing difficulties in traveling, it became clear that we had to postpone — not cancel! — our visit to the Azalea City. We are already looking forward to our rescheduled event there in 2022.”
Registration for the Virtual Teacher Institute is now open. Participants choose to attend those individual sessions that interest them, but pre-registration for each workshop is required. Those who attend four or more sessions are eligible to receive continuing education units, paid for by the Trust, through Virginia Tech.
Scheduled sessions cover many historical eras and include, “Hollywood vs. History: The Civil War On Screen,” “‘A Scene of So Much Sorrow and Anguish’: Environment and Disease after Gettysburg,” “‘An Almost Incredible Victory’: Andrew Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans and American Memory” and “Lessons in Leadership: Teaching George Washington in the Classroom.
While there has never been a fee to attend the in-person institute, a refundable deposit is traditionally required to hold a spot at the event, which frequently reaches capacity and requires a waiting list. Refunds are being processed for all 2020 registrants. Recipients of scholarships to cover travel expenses will have that award applied to attendance at either the 2021 or 2022 events in Baltimore, Md., and Mobile, Ala., respectively.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 52,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.