VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 4 CATEGORY: Social Sciences POSTED ON: 7/21/2010
E Ix third grade students in a Spring-Ford, Pa., elementary school study local history, they will engage with digital photos of swords, breeches, surveyors' tools, and other Revolutionary War artifacts found at nearby Valley Forge. Denise Emel, the school's media specialist, created a Google map of area historical sites that students and their families can visit to learn more about primary sources close to home.
THE MEDIA CENTER by Mary Alice Anderson Online Adjunct Instructor University of Wisconsin–Stout Menomonie, Wis. Expanding the Power of Primary Sources With Web 2.0 WHEN third grade students how the recent closing of the local in a Spring-Ford, Pa., elementary General Motors (GM) plant is af- school study local history, they will fecting their families. The plant When inquisitive engage with digital photos of closing has provided a connection swords, breeches, surveyors’ tools, to another avenue for accessing students use and other Revolutionary War arti- primary sources. Strieker ex- facts found at nearby Valley Forge. plained: “The recent closing of the They will access the photos on a GM plant in 2008 sent the local Web 2.0 tools in Google site developed for the pro- newspaper into a reflection mode ject, use a graphic organizer to or- and resulted in some terrific inter- ganize their observations and views with longtime autoworkers’ combination with “thinking questions,” and collabo- remembrances of Janesville’s GM ratively share what they learned history. These are saved, of course, from the artifacts using Edmodo, a digitally in the local paper’s news- primary sources, Web 2.0 discussion tool designed paper archives. I have been in- for education. volved informally in my classes documenting this history. I have they are no longer EDMODO students record their experiences The students will learn even as this transition to life after GM more about their history-rich area is underway. They are powerful just viewing, reading, while participating in a Summer in primary sources that I have digi- the City project. Denise Emel, the tally saved for my future students or listening to digital school’s media specialist, created a to look back on for rich Janesville Google map of area historical sites history.” Strieker’s project provides that students and their families a powerful way to show students primary sources— can visit to learn more about pri- that primary sources aren’t just a mary sources close to home. Addi- thing of the past, as young histori- tional information about local his- ans are also creating them even they are interacting tory sites is posted on Edmodo, now. (See Figure 2.) along with a customized Google map so students and their parents VOICETHREAD with each other can learn and share ideas with one VoiceThread, another popular another over the summer. In the Web 2.0 tool, has powerful potential fall, students will create scrap- to foster engaged discussion about in new ways books to document their experi- a primary source photo, map, ences. (See Figure 1.) broadside, document, movie, or au- When the “Young Historians” at dio file. Any digital primary source and creating history teacher Steve Strieker’s that can be uploaded or hyper- high school in Janesville, Wis., linked can be a discussion center- new resources. study the Great Depression, they piece. Adult learners or K–12 stu- reflect on a current situation im- dents can contribute to an ongoing pacting many of them. Using Ed- discussion by adding comments us- modo, students anonymously share ing their voice, keyboard, webcam, 36 www.mmischools.com
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