2014 Review

2014 in Review

With 2014 coming to a close, the TPS MSU Denver  team has taken the opportunity to look back on the last year to celebrate some of our accomplishments.  Here are some of our favorite moments from the 2014 calendar year:

Regional Achievements

During 2014, the Western Region has been working on gaining exposure to all sixteen states within the Western Region by finalizing details for grants in Hawaii and South Dakota.  This milestone will mark the first time that the TPS Regional Program will affect all fifty states.  We are hoping to have everything finalized to include Hawaii on our list of grantees by the end of the year.

Much of our time this year was devoted to launching, promoting, and enhancing the TPS Teachers Network.  Since the launch in early 2014, we have conducted a variety of usability tests and focus groups to better understand how users are utilizing the network to engage, collaborate, and connect with other educators from across the country.  Look for new features, tutorials, and a promotional video coming in 2015!


2014 was a big year for re-branding our look and strategy  for keeping our partners updated and connected.  We redesigned our monthly newsletter into a fancy looking digest, revamped this blog (TPS Connect) to have a cleaner and more organized design, and finalized plans to modernize and mobilize our Western Region and TPS MSU Denver websites.  Be on the lookout in 2015 to see the spiffy new website designs!


Keith Patterson, Taylor Kendal, and Peggy O’Neill-Jones also traveled to several conferences throughout 2014 to present to educators the power of teaching with primary sources.  Some of the conferences they attended included: Western History Association (WHA) in California, and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) in Boston.  We look forward to continuing our involvement and sponsorship of conferences like these into 2015.

Local Achievements

Within Colorado, TPS MSU Denver had another busy, successful year!  We continued working with several local school districts to promote teaching with primary sources, specifically Cherry Creek, District 11, and the Boulder Valley School District, and also hosted a pilot regional workshop that took place in November 2014 focusing on primary source analysis through the lens of geographic thinking.


Participants of the Ludlow Field Experience gather in front of the Ludlow Memorial.
Participants of the Ludlow Field Experience gather in front of the Ludlow Memorial.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre (Colorado Coal Field War), TPS MSU Denver conducted a special four-part professional development series for teachers of grades 4-12.  Participants of the series utilized newspapers and primary sources to examine the event from multiple viewpoints.  The Ludlow Institute was incredibly successful and participants were excited to begin utilizing what they learned in their classrooms immediately.  If you missed the story about Ludlow, you can view the recap here.


2014 was also another successful year for conferences and symposiums for the MSU Denver team.  We played host to over 80 educators for the National History Day workshop , and also held a special 10th anniversary Teacher Librarian Day conference in February.  We successfully streamed TLD 2014 so that those who were not able to attend the conference could still participate in the event by watching remotely.  In case you missed any TLD from the past decade, you can view our retrospective video below.

 Sneak Peek at 2015

One of our favorite parts of 2014 has been uncovering the secrets of what 2015 has in store!  We are very excited about the opportunities ahead for the next calendar year.  Here is a look at what’s in store for 2015:

TPS MSU Denver has already secured several partnerships for 2015, including: WHA in Portland, Oregon, collaboration with new partners like National Geographic, and continuing our relationships with partners like the Denver Post Educational Services, History Colorado, National History Day in Colorado, Rocky Mountain PBS, and Colorado Humanities.  We are excited to see what these collaborations will bring in the new year.

We are extremely excited to announce that TPS MSU Denver will be venturing into the post-secondary education realm by collaborating with Metropolitan State University of Denver to bring primary sources into the college classroom for a new general studies course.  This new class, Critical Thinking Through 21st Century Media, will utilize primary sources to engage students in thoughtful discussion and analysis to reach its educational objectives.  While we are still hashing out the specifics of the course, we expect enrollment to begin for the Fall 2015 semester!

The TPS Western Region and MSU Denver team want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday season.  We have enjoyed collaborating with you during 2014 and look forward to continuing a prosperous and productive partnership in 2015!