Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Students Bring History into the 21st Century

High School history teacher Kathy Day is getting her students connected to history in a way none of the figures the students are studying could have imagined. Many teachers in the district are using Facebook as a communication tool for students and parents but in Day's AP History classes, Facebook Fan Pages are a way for students to give historical figures a new voice. Day gave students a choice between creating a Google Apps Web site or a Facebook Fan Page. Students with accounts then created Fan Pages in the name of their assigned historical figure or Google Web Sites using their Navasota ISD student Google accounts.

Day said using this format allowed her to cover more material in this unit across three classes, extending the project to outside school since students could easily interact with projects of students in the other two classes.

"Posting comments and using the online chat let the students clarify information," Day said. "They could ask questions of each other as well as add videos and photos. Plus, they love using the technology, they really get excited."

Students enjoyed the projects, offering such responses as " was fun taking on the person's personality. You get a different point-of-view..." and " learn more about your person because you enjoy the technology..." and ..."two thumbs up, I really liked it..."

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