IEEE, the largest professional engineering association in the world, maintains the GHN as a service to society. The historical contents of this website are more diverse than on any other on the history of technology. The GHN is a hybrid-wiki that allows any registered user to contribute contents to the site or edit existing material on the site. To maintain quality, registration is restricted to engineers, scientists, and historians. But anyone in the general public can read and comment on the contents. The objective of this Education Portal is to provide an environment in which teachers can directly produce, share and discuss lesson plans related to the role of technology in world history. As a result, any social studies teacher can register to be an active contributor, editor, and commentator for the content in the Education Portal.
A recent Standards Task Force for the National Council for the Social Studies listed 10 themes that must underpin all social studies courses. “Science, Technology and Society” is one of these themes. Most pre-university educators acknowledge that technological changes have strongly influenced the course of human history and that this importance should be reflected in the curriculum. Equally important, courses in social studies should also convey the idea that society is not a passive agent to technological change. Humans and their social, economic, and political institutions have had, and continue to have, an important hand in shaping the very face of technology. To explore the historical relationships between technological change and societal change with their students, many social studies teachers face a very real practical hurdle: creating lesson plans that delve into technological themes while maintaining close relevance to existing topics taught in pre-university history courses. The Education Portal has been created to help pre-university educators overcome this hurdle
Using the lesson plans in the Education Portal, social studies teachers will be able to show students the cause and effect of engineering to specific developments within the global story of humankind. Each of the lesson plans in this website will enable teachers to lead their students through a series of readings, questions, charts and other pedagogical tools to understand the links between events and their technological causations. Students will understand that events, major changes and even their own lives are influenced daily by engineering concepts and their developments.