As Matt was talking this morning during the introductory portion of the lecture, he showed the Dickinson’s “House Divided” site that we could use in the future as resources for our classes. I was especially intrigued by the page that showed the different people involved in the Harpers Ferry Raid with said images hyperlinked to other information. I was immediately excited to dig deeper into these sites, and began to consider the possibilities with my students – and how to get them into the depths of this site.
This line of thought led me to consider how to get my students to dig into sites like this on their own and not just go to Wikipedia or the first site offered by Google when they do research. How do I urge my students to really search when they do research? Being the history nerd that I am, I have always naturally been intrigued by obscure sources – especially primary sources. Before the internet became the “go to” in research, I would spend hours in the library looking through the stacks for the book that would perfectly support or refute my claims.
Yet, once again I return to my question, how do I urge my students to really search when they do research? I have a classroom blog of my own that I use, and have in the past posted lists that I created of trustworthy websites that students could/should use when doing research in various topics. This has worked in getting them to go beyond Wikipedia/Google, however, upon reflection, I feel like I have to be intentional in making my students do more. They still tend to just go the sites that I’ve provided instead of using them as a jumping off point. Better than just Wikipedia, but not great.
That will be one of my challenge this next school year – creating lessons that force students to use and explore more websites that have meaningful information. There are so many amazing sites like the ones the Matt showed us this morning and the incredible resources that the Lance showed us that the Gilder Lehrman supports.