Monday, February 22, 2010

Because the History Classroom Just Ain't What It Used To Be

No sooner did I ask you all to check out my students' new West Civ blog than Andrew B. Watt delivers a comment that turns our student editor's argument on its head.


Imagine being 15-years-old and putting your work out there for criticism and argument. And imagine receiving criticism and argument almost immediately from some source -- some real person -- beyond the walls of your classroom. Imagine having to think about that and deal with it. And having to do all that in a public sphere.

This is what learning looks like in the 21st century.

I was talking to @schickbob about it earlier, and he nailed it: "The learning starts when commenters start disagreeing with them".

That's what it's all about.

Authentic experiences. Real blogging. Authentic learning. In public.

And learning that you've got to back up what you say and that there's more than one angle to every story.

We can't just pat kids on the head for making a blog. If we do that, we're gonna end up just as inauthentic as the teachers who patted us on the head for writing crappy poetry and putting together cookie-cutter science fair tri-folds. Rather, we've got to use blogs and the connection to the world that the Internet provides to engage our students in real ways to live up to the potential of their convictions while likewise having the humility and sense of civility to provide a forum for discourse.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us along the way to initiating this project and thanks to those of you today who commented on the posts. We plan to post often and we've got some surprises in store as well.

Our tagline is: "Because history just ain't what it used to be". But it might as well be: "Because the history classroom just ain't what it used to be".

1 comment:

  1. I must admit, Shelly, that I did drop that bombshell precisely because I thought your kids deserved the chance to see how rapidly and quickly their learning process was going to shift.

    I'm hoping that I can point to your blog in a few months and say to my students and colleagues, "Look... our students could be doing //this// instead of what they're currently doing... shuffling paper."


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.