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Tech in the Classroom: Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

What is it? For the first time in history, people around the world are able to view the actual Dead Sea Scrolls without having to travel to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The museum has contracted a digital photography expert to shoot every square inch of the scrolls in super-high definition, and has posted the images to an interactive Web site.Users can literally thumb through the ancient texts, not only reading the printed words, but also viewing the frayed edges and delicate medium. .

How does it work?  Users simply choose which scroll they’d like to view. Mousing over an area of text provides an English translation of that area. Beneath each of the animated scrolls is information about the scroll in question

How hard is it to use? Not difficult at all. It takes a few minutes to get the hang of the controls, and users might at first roll past a desired area of a scroll, but after a few tries, it becomes very manageable. Getting the translations windows to appear takes no effort at all, and the zoom feature is very intuitive.

How well does it work?  It works as advertised. Users can literally zoom in close enough to see the grains in the writing without losing any clarity. The only other way to get this detailed a look at these important documents is to fly to Jerusalem.

How do I use it in the classroom?  With the aid of a projector, or even individual iPads or computers, students can read and examine these documents. Widely considered to be the greatest archeological discovery of the 20th Century, the classroom applications are only limited by your imagination.

Related resources

Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.

Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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