Reflection

I learned so much in this class.  I know a lot of people in the course have been in many more history classes than I have.  I took it because I am a web technology major.  This class taught be a lot about how computers are used for information purposes.  The world is ever-changing, and the way people access information seems like it changes every few years.  A couple of my favorite topics were crowdsourcing and wikipedia.  I use wikipedia daily, and it was really interesting to learn what goes into the up-keeping of the website.  I found crowdsourcing to be really neat, although I found it underused.  I think the importance of digital history can’t be understated.  To think about how quickly news has become primarily digital, the same thing is happening to historical ideas.  Digitizing history makes it more available to more people.  It is easier to access a website than it is to visit a library.  It also makes history available in various types of media.  If I was going to change anything about the class, maybe I would do more hands-on with some of the things we learned about.  I am just being picky however, I really enjoyed what we learned about. I like how much conversation we had, and the blog posts by the class led to good conversations.

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History Blogging

The three blogs I chose to follow included Teaching History, History in the City and picture this.  I have a lot of blogs that I keep track of, mostly for football.  Even though I am thoroughly aware of blogging, I never really considered how it is used as a history medium.  I learned a lot about how history is becoming more digitized, and how historians keep up with technology.  I also learned more about how history is taught.

Teaching History intrigued me because, as a former perspective teacher, I took so many education classes that I always am interested in way that teachers incorporate material.  This blog, however, didn’t post throughout this semester,  However, when I read it at the beginning of the semester, I thought the posts were very interesting.  One article talked about incorporating student primary sources into education so that students are learning through their peers’ perspectives.  Another post told the story of a teacher who brought students to a university campus to teach them how to use primary sources.  That teacher had the students learn through the primary sources and create an exhibition about Milwaukee civil rights.  I am always terrified that our country is becoming way too test-oriented, so I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some of the great ways teachers taught their students to learn.

History in the City caught my eye initially because of its unique setup.  I have never seen a blog organized in this way, where the stories are all titled in boxes.  Then I read some of the articles about teaching, writing and history.  A lot of it had interesting concepts about integrating technology and digitizing history.  It had many different articles about using social media with history, revising wikipedia articles, and had different info-graphs..  I had no idea what some of the articles were talking about, but the ones that I did were very interesting.

Picture this was really neat because it focused on photographs that contained history and interesting stories.  Even if I wasn’t that interested by the title, usually the picture got my attention that I still wanted to read about it.  They described the ongoings in the picture and followed up with links to learn more about the topic.  On articles of topics I thought were especially interesting, I found myself surfing the links reading up more on the topic(such as the March On Washington post and the Revolutionary War post)

I think blogs are a great way to get information on the internet.  I think it is interesting to learn what historians know and think about certain subjects.  I think a downide of history blogs is it is difficult to build up a following of readers.  Most of these blogs are very particular subjects, and don’t have mass appeal.  However, I think they are a great way to reach the people that would want to read them.

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History Blogging

The three blogs I chose to follow included Teaching History, History in the City and picture this.  I have a lot of blogs that I keep track of, mostly for football.  Even though I am thoroughly aware of blogging, I never really considered how it is used as a history medium.  I learned a lot about how history is becoming more digitized, and how historians keep up with technology.  I also learned more about how history is taught.

Teaching History intrigued me because, as a former perspective teacher, I took so many education classes that I always am interested in way that teachers incorporate material.  This blog, however, didn’t post throughout this semester,  However, when I read it at the beginning of the semester, I thought the posts were very interesting.  One article talked about incorporating student primary sources into education so that students are learning through their peers’ perspectives.  Another post told the story of a teacher who brought students to a university campus to teach them how to use primary sources.  That teacher had the students learn through the primary sources and create an exhibition about Milwaukee civil rights.  I am always terrified that our country is becoming way too test-oriented, so I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some of the great ways teachers taught their students to learn.

History in the City caught my eye initially because of its unique setup.  I have never seen a blog organized in this way, where the stories are all titled in boxes.  Then I read some of the articles about teaching, writing and history.  A lot of it had interesting concepts about integrating technology and digitizing history.  It had many different articles about using social media with history, revising wikipedia articles, and had different info-graphs..  I had no idea what some of the articles were talking about, but the ones that I did were very interesting.

Picture this was really neat because it focused on photographs that contained history and interesting stories.  Even if I wasn’t that interested by the title, usually the picture got my attention that I still wanted to read about it.  They described the ongoings in the picture and followed up with links to learn more about the topic.  On articles of topics I thought were especially interesting, I found myself surfing the links reading up more on the topic(such as the March On Washington post and the Revolutionary War post)

I think blogs are a great way to get information on the internet.  I think it is interesting to learn what historians know and think about certain subjects.  I think a downide of history blogs is it is difficult to build up a following of readers.  Most of these blogs are very particular subjects, and don’t have mass appeal.  However, I think they are a great way to reach the people that would want to read them.

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Technology in Education

Technology in schools has really grown since I was a student.  I have two minors in education, so I have been in schools throughout my years at WCU.  I have recently been in an elementary school for my one educational psychology class, and every classroom I was in used a ton of technology. Every classroom in the school has a smart board.  Every classroom in my high school had smartboards, but most of the teachers didn’t know how to use them properly.  They would just sit there as a reminder of how taxpayer money is being wasted.  Now, teachers are much better with them.  Young students get excited to go up and write on the smartboard.  In the kindergarten classroom I observed, students would use it to practice writing letters with an app after they were finished with their assignments.  In the educational support classroom I was in, the students would get excited to play learning games on the computer during their free time.  I think that certain learners are better when they can go off on their own and use a computer.  Information is more accessible because of technology.  I know for me, I looked forward to high school more when I had a web design or digital imaging class.  Things like that were fun to me, and got me excited.  

I think where technology hurts learning is that it creates worse writers and readers.  Like the “Is Google making us stupid?” article, we learn to skim.  I know I never read textbooks(although I think that also has to do with educational exhaustion and workload in all courses).  I also think that when people are texting and tweeting all day, they become lazier writers.  They get used to using bad grammar and writing fast, therefore it carries over to their formal writing.  There is a running joke with a lot of the people that I follow on twitter that sports writers don’t write anything anymore.  Instead, they manually retweet other reporters adding a “wow” or “oh” at the front.  While this is different than learning, I think it is a good representation on how technology is making us think and work less in certain ways.

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