Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Observation 1: Original Sources

My first classroom observation was a ton of fun. I have several thoughts on it. I want to make sure that I note what teachers are doing with a laptop that they cannot do in a traditional classroom. One of the more powerful possibilities was on display in the US History class that I observed. The teacher started with a picture, not unlike the one at the right, of Ellis Island. The new unit is on immigration. The teacher then directed the students to a website on the history of many different immigrant groups coming to the United States. The potential here is for students to read the actual experiences. Laptops empower a teacher to ask all the student read a different story about who it is they think might be interesting. Then in conversation with each other and the teacher learn what is the common experience of immigrants.

This kind of analysis in a community mimics the greater work of a historian. It asks for the higher level thinking skills that our laptop program is all about.

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