Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Archive for the ‘Online Learning’ Category

This class changed my teaching forever. It was powerful!

Congratulations to science teacher Stacey Balbach who will be speaking about Primary Sources Science at the
National Science Teachers Convention in March 2012.  Way to go!

When she was a student in Teaching With Primary Sources, a Wisconsin science teacher discovered primary sources are not just for history or serious  researchers. Primary sources can enhance student learning throughout all content areas and for for students of all ages. She used Leonardo DaVinci’s   journals and notes help students understand the importance of scientific observation and note-taking.  The science teacher discovered that  Primary sources are exciting  from the point of a chemist or physicist.  ” With the new accessibility of the sources really the opportunities for teachers are endless.  The sky is the limit.  Really you can build any type of multifaceted project that you want ”

A health/science teacher used maps depicting the spread if diseases as the United States expanded westward to the study of today’s infectious diseases. She connected the health curriculum to literature by reading Peg Kehret’s  Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio to her students.

A middle level teacher was excited to learn how she could use primary sources to help teach resource validity and overall literacy.  Instruction became more student-centered, there was a high level of student engagement, and students developed a deeper meaning of the subject matter because of increased accessibility to primary sources. She concluded, by learning how to locate and use primary sources I was reminded of what my responsibility is as an educator:  to increase student achievement and understanding.  By failing to incorporate primary sources, I fail my students.

The next Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources course begins soon.
See what former other students have to say.
Register Online: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/register.cfm

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I remember being all dressed up in my angel wings for a school pageant and in come’ One Shot; he got our attention took his photo and was on his way.”   Kathy Greden, Winona Photographer
Friends and I had fun remembering One Shot’s Friday night appearances at area basketball games.
He came in wearing with his wool coat and  fedora, pipe in his mouth; took a picture using flash bulbs and went on his way to the next town.
People  are enjoying enjoy photos taken by One-Shot and his sister at the Winona County History Center. There are lots of smiles as people recall One-Shot’s Columbo like appearance and share memories of recent decades.
Minnesota author Joseph Helgerson remembered One-Shot, too.  One-Shot, also known as Merritt Kelley, makes a cameo appearance in Horns & Wrinkles, Helgerson’s fantasy adventure set in a river town, aka Winona.  It seems that trolls are inhabiting the area under the bridge. . . .My friend’s third grade students love the book.

Primary sources are right around the corner ready for us to enjoy.  They can help us teach local history, add to the enjoyment of children’s literature,  or help students acquire  digital and media literacy.

What’s in your backyard?   Teaching with Primary Sources

A university student’s eyes lit up when I said I taught a course for teachers on using primary sources in the classroom!

I learned about them in high school; I’m glad I did; my university professors expect us to know how to find them and use them for research.   I wish we had used them more in high school; they would help me write better.  It’s like being a detective!

Thanks, Megan!  You are so right.

The eagle map of the United States, Library of Congress

Primary sources are all around us in our homes and communities. They bring learning to life; they add meaning to our experiences and learning. State standards require students to use primary sources.  The Eagle Map of the United States added excitement and enthusiasm to a 4th grade teaching activity I created — and it was a perfect match for current classroom activities.  We all had fun learning.Treasures like these  are now more accessible and exciting  than ever thanks to ever expanding digitalization.

How can I find appropriate resources? What do I do with them?
We have a course to help you!   Check us out!

Teaching with Primary Sources  begins soon!
Comments from Past Students
Register Online: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/

Eagle Map of the United States, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3700.np000151 

Social studies and other content standards require students to use primary sources.  Consider this example:

Virginia Standards for the Professional Practice of Teachers: History and Social Studies Teachers 

Standard Two: Knowledge of Content: Teachers of history and social science demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge, skills, processes, and democratic values of history and social science.

Key Element 3: Teachers of history/social science use content from history, geography, economics, and civics to develop the skills of (1) acquiring, organizing, and interpreting information from primary and secondary sources; (2) historical inquiry; (3) reading and interpreting maps, graphs, charts, and political cartoons; (4) making and defending decisions on public policies; and (5) actively participating in groups.

The time crunch is often a major concern.   Using primary sources does not have to take a lot of time.  When the Library of Congress American Memory fellows (myself included) first worked with the resources we excitedly developed lesson plans and wanted to “do everything.”   The daily reminder was start small!

Starting small — using  just a single resource to teach a concept or topic or encourage higher level thinking  — can go a long way to enhance student learning.   The  dilemma is which resource to use when there are so many treasures!    Learn how  in Teaching with Primary Sources, an online course that begins in June.
Comments from Past Students
Register Online: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/register.cfm

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War and today’s news media stories about Fort Sumter have left my head spinning.

There are an abundance of primary source  Civil War documents, photographs, maps, political  cartoons, and ephemera readily available to us in digital format. But how do we find it?   Digitalization makes these resources come alive and accessible to everyone.  Digital  Civil War resources range from photographs and diaries on county historical society web sites to countless museums and  libraries including the Library of Congress.   Primary sources  aren’t that hard to find, but how do we use them to enhance student learning through inquiry and critical thinking.

Even teachers experienced with using primary sources find the vastness of digital collection overwhelming.  One teacher is concerned about the amount of time a research project using primary sources will take.    But, using primary sources does not have to take a tremendous amount of time; finding the right resources doesn’t take long if you know where to look.  Start  small.  Focus  on a narrow topic or even on a single resource.  

The teacher who descried herself as “overwhelmed” introduced me to The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection, a collection recently added to the  Library of Congress.     This unique collection was donated to the Library by the  Lillenquest family of Virginia.  Two  teens, previously the teacher’s  students,  became interested in the photos when they began purchasing them at auctions.  What a story!

The collection is available for viewing at the Library of Congress and online.

Learn how you can starting small and  create engaging, thoughtful student activities.
Online course: Teaching with Primary Sources,
Comments from Past Students
Register Online: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/register.cfm

Glogster is emerging as a new favorite tool for students in the primary sources class.  This fun easy to use tool for creating interactive posters and collaborative class projects is yet another way to enhance the use of primary sources and engage students.  Monica, a media specialist in Georgia created a glog about Agirama, Georgia’s Agriculture Museum.   The enticing glog features a photos of primary source artifacts  and a You Tube video about a steam train. Take a look; you will want to want to take a trip to Georgia.

More ideas about The Power of Primary Sources and Web 2.0

Take an online course!
Teaching Information Literacy with Primary Sources

More  Multimedia & Internet @ Schools articles
The Power of Primary Primary Sources
Power of Primary Sources: Build your Own Professional Development

Mary Ann Bell hit the proverbial nail on the head in her July/August 2010 Belltones column about teacher use of web 2.0.  Where are the people who are doing all of the interesting things? Who are they?  Media specialists credit (blame) the lack of time, skills and technical restrictions or filtering on the limited  web 2.0 excitement in their schools.

But the early adapters are out there.  I’ve seen a few podcasts, wikis, and YouTube videos in my district.  Others love Skype, RSS.  A number of teachers have discovered that Google Docs is the best solution solve a multitude of problems ranging from home/school  file incompatibility to “I forgot my flash drive at home” excuses.

Folks who are using web 2.0 are self-starters learning on their own.   But, when introduced  to something that is both practical and fun,  the excitement is there and teachers want to continue if it will make their life easier.  There are still plenty of opportunities for media specialists to lead the way with staff development activities focusing on instructional and technological  innovations.  It’s best practice!

If media specialists don’t lead the way, who will?  It’s our job.   Learn more about getting started in Innovations and Opportunities for Media Specialists.    An opportunity to learn withand from other media specialists starts in late September.  Learn with media specialists just like you.


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