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VOL. 22, NO. 17MARCH 7, 1997

Computerized Archeological Site Helps Teach 6th Graders and a Ph.D. Student

By Roy Campbell

Evangelia Dimaraki, a native of Athens, is now studying for her doctorate at Teachers College, but she regularly returns to Greece--or, at least, a computerized simulation of a fictional city in her native land.

Dimaraki is writing her dissertation on "Archaeotype," a social studies curriculum consisting of two simulated archeological digs being used to teach sixth-graders at The Dalton School, an independent school in New York City.

One of those sites--created by multimedia technologies--is in the Near East but the other is in Greece.

Mary K. Brown and Neil Goldberg, two of the principal designers of "Archaeotype," have placed the fictional site between Thebes, Athens and Cornith, Dimaraki says, and have modeled it on religious sites of antiquity at Delphi and Olympia.

Working with multimedia, the sixth-graders at The Dalton School regularly uncover new findings in the virtual archeological digs. As the children work on the sites, they improve their ability to reason historically by dealing with a "rich, complicated and perplexing information base," Dimaraki says.

Her dissertation is sponsored by Professor John B. Black and cosponsored by Professor Robert O. McClintock.

Dimaraki is also designing a new multimedia project--a Virtual Gallery Design CD-ROM project that gives students the role of museum curators who create an exhibit on "Women of Ancient Greece."

At Teachers College, Dimaraki is a Ben Wood Fellow--the recipient of a fellowship named for a noted graduate of the College who was a pioneer in the field of communications and educational technology.

When she returns to Greece after finishing her degree, Dimaraki wants to work "to advance the integration of computing technology in education, in and out of schools," she says.

"I am particularly interested in developing interactive applications, in collaboration with libraries, museums and other cultural institutions in Greece," Dimaraki says. "In that way, we can make the rich and unique material of Greek culture accessible to learners through computer-enabled task environments and make their learning more meaningful and engaging."

Dimaraki is a graduate of the University of Athens.