Pedagogy can be a tricky subject to tackle just based on the fact that everyone is bound to teach differently. This week’s readings made me stop and think just how easy, however, it could be to cater to student’s with different needs if more effort was put in. Too often are students allowed to fail without attempts to help them. I spoke about this on Terence’s blog, but when I was in middle school and high school, I failed almost every math class I had. Every teacher just thought I was dimwitted or lazy until my 12th grade teacher suggest I be tested for a learning disability. Turns out I have dyscalculia. A lot of heartache could have been saved for me if someone earlier had just worked with me to figure out the issue.
When I started college at NOVA, I had a math professor who made the class extremely accessible to me down to having me do the homework on an online program instead of on paper. I wish more teachers/professors would make courses that accessible! (I think Dr. Otis and my other class, American Art, have done an excellent job at this. And I had a professor a few years ago whose online Irish Art course was a joy.)
Google Maps: This tool absolutely could help students who learn visually by providing spatial content for them to situate their lessons on. It could be used to create maps of different time periods and use markers for battles, graves, capital cities, etc. Street View is a thing… perhaps this could also be implemented for historical views?
Timeline JS: This tool appears to make timeline creation simple which would help students actually be interested in the content versus staring at a paper handout a teacher/professor gave them. Interactivity will help with this as well.
Voyant: This tool is a bit more cryptic to actually utilize (in my personal opinion) but with guidance on how to use it, I think it would be useful for analyzing historical documents and extracting possible meanings from them. Of course, the student would still have to critically think about the meaning extracted and decide if it applies.
Wiki Education: I think including the Wiki Education modules is a super interesting choice! This is because yes, Wikipedia is frequently cited by teachers/professors as a source that one should not consult. However, learning how the site’s articles are constructed will be helpful for students because that knowledge comes from somewhere, after all. Not counting false info here. (I actually remember a professor once telling me that you can go to the works cited on Wikipedia articles to find the more professional sources.)
Zooniverse: Much like Timeline JS, Zooniverse could help with interactivity in the classroom by giving student’s real time tasks to complete. This will be much more useful than, as I said before, completing paper packets. I checked out the Embryo Cam project to get a feel for the interface: It’s definitely something that will visually keep students engaged, I think.