Virginia has so many gems, but I continue to maintain that my favorite among them is James Madison's Montpelier. Specifically, the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution.
It is literally a virtual treasure trove for teachers on the East Coast, as well as now a resource for teachers all over the world.
I have written in the past about their wonderful campus and nearly free in-person courses. I maintain, they are wonderful. You get academic expertise coupled with great accomodations over a weekend to really immerse yourself in your content.
I made connections with amazing teachers in my area, as well as resources that I cherish like Your Weekly Constitutional, hosted by Appalachian School of Law professor Stewart Harris. He has amazing weekly podcasts with subject matter experts like A. E. Dick Howard on the Magna Carta's 800th anniversary.
I have been connected to the nationally-acclaimed We The People community through peers and training, and intend to become one of the thousands of teachers involved in competitive government. The resources alone housed at Montpelier and the summer training course offered by the center and led by Ms. Emily Voss is superb.
Now, the Center has expanded its offerings to reach more educators and students via Internet resources.
ConText, a collaborative effort with the Brookings Institution, picks up where the Comparative Constitution Project's Constitute leaves off. ConText allows students and educators in academia (and heck, the public, too) to read, interpret, and annotate around 550 primary source documents like the Federalist Papers, Magna Carta, and other Constitutions. All for free. I personally like former Madison family slave Paul Jenning's A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison. I was going to buy the book for $10, but it is free online.
If that is not enough for you, how about a suite of self-paced, online courses on topics related to the Constitution with wonderful readings and flipped classroom videos from a cornucopia of Constitutional scholars? Oh, did I mention it is free? And if you want 15 CEUs from James Madison University, you just pay $25 total? Yeah, that one is amazing. I had to double check my notes. Those videos... you can also use them for your own classes! They are fantastic, and of varying lengths.
Right now there are three, but the Center is working on creating more.
I feel like that is a pretty fantastic set of new resources, so make sure you stop by and check them out, either in-person or on-line. I am one of the many happy customers who travels to Center whenever they can squeeze me in to their wonderful seminars!
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan