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K-12 Technology
MLK day

Jan 17, 2023 2023-01-17

Digital Learning • Learning Support

SPOTLIGHT! On the Life and Legacy of MLK Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a tireless advocate for racial equality, working classes, and the oppressed around the world. Tap these resources throughout the year to help students learn about MLK’s significance to American culture and history.

Institute Documenting the African American Freedom Struggle
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University provides document-based lesson plans, online educational resources, and professional development, with emphasis on the modern African American Freedom Struggle. The resources focus not only on Dr. King’s visionary ideas but also on the work of ordinary people who have made extraordinary contributions to liberation movements.

Visitors to the King Institute’s website can search featured documents from the collection of the King Papers Project. Each primary source document includes contextual information and images for use in the classroom. For example, “Freedom’s Ring” is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, animated. Students can compare the written and spoken speech, explore multimedia images, listen to movement activists, and uncover historical context. The King Online Encyclopedia provides information on more than 300 civil rights movement figures, events, and organizations; a chronology of the movement; and full-text documents published online.

10 Films Exploring Different Aspects of MLK’s Life
These 10 films about Martin Luther King Jr. delve into different aspects and times in his life, from childhood through his untimely death by assassination. The list comprises both dramatizations and documentaries—many of which are little known.

For example, I Am MLK Jr. (2018) is a documentary that examines the character of King. Set in the very churches that King preached in, the documentary is a compilation of interviews that provide a vast spectrum of perspectives on why the legacy that King established is still relevant today.

The Boy King (1986) highlights a part of King’s life that is rarely showcased—his childhood. This drama shares some of the early forms of discrimination that King encountered and how it shaped him for his future. It shows how the loving and nurturing home environment that he was cultivated in shaped his ideologies.

Legacy of Love (2020) chronicles how the love between King Jr. and Coretta Scott came to fruition. The documentary includes the timeline in which King was working on his doctorate from Boston University and Scott was attending the New England Conservatory of Music. Legacy of Love not only shares the backstory of the two meeting and falling in love but also highlights their pursuit of higher education.

A Walk in Martin Luther King’s Shoes
A project from TIME Studios and Meta allows students to explore the relevance and power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech 60 years later through virtual reality. Called “MLK: Now Is The Time,” the interactive experience drills down into some of King’s themes as they relate to modern-day issues.

“Now Is The Time” follows a previous TIME Studios project, “The March 360,” which lets viewers see King’s speech as if they were standing on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 1963. As a whole, the experiences make the case that King’s famous speech isn’t just a series of vague platitudes or the eulogy for a racist American past but a set of unresolved grievances that have only grown in relevance.

Cultural Awareness Social Studies Virtual Reality • Augmented Reality

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