EDU 520 Blog Post #4, or “Group projects are the devil!”

And if you get the reference in the above quote, you are my new favorite person, cause that movie was HORRIBLE.

 

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Kathy Bates, tho.

I’m such a perfectionist, y’all, that I hate being beholden to anyone for a grade. I’ve never liked group work. In fact, when discussing with my department head what types of assessments we wanted to set up for our brand-spanky-new Honors course in the fall, I adamantly opposed any kind of group work, even though group work is part of the honors program. “If these kids are anything like me,” I told her, “then they won’t like their grade being in someone else’s hands.” So no group work for those kids. And a lot of times, the reason for that is because there’s no differentiation between the roles–there’s nobody who specializes in one thing over another, which is typical in the real world group project scenario. One person specializes in this section, another specializes in that section. Each person in a group has a valuable job–in the real world. In the classroom? Everyone’s on the same page.

 

Which made the group project for 520 a bit unique. Each person in the group had a unique function (though, in our case, we all did everything because one person was on vacation for a week, and then I ran a Tough Mudder another weekend, and another member was away for a chunk of time–so our group isn’t really…a good indicator of group work. That and we’re all perfectionists, but I digress), so each person contributed something different to the final product.

THAT is what good group work is all about–splitting the work evenly between people who are specifically suited to the job. If we could turn classroom group work into a more realistic scenario that translates into actual real world experience, then maybe I wouldn’t hate it so much.

….no. I really, REALLY hate having to depend on anyone else for my grades.

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Anyway. If y’all are interested, you can find my group’s final Wiki page project here:

EDU520 SU16B Group E

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EDU 520 Blog Post #3, or “Digital history and why it’s important”

It’s that time again y’all! So I spend a lot of time in this blog talking about what I’ve learned in my class and connecting it to what I do as a historian and as a teacher. This week was an awful lot of video presentations, and how to make things pretty and engaging with Powerpoint. First thing–I finally learned how to record my slides in Powerpoint and turn it into a video! You’ll see that below in a minute. What I really wanted to do for my video blog this week was film myself talking to y’all. But…well…I have anxiety about screwing it up, so I didn’t. Instead, you get a Powerpoint recorded by moi talking about digital history–namely, how we utilize various multimedia in a historical setting.

I realized as I sat waiting for my Powerpoint to turn into a movie that it’s possible that one of the pieces of media I included in a slide wouldn’t work within the movie itself so that video is below.

Here’s the list of the examples I was telling you guys about. I highly recommend Liz Covart’s podcast. Also? She’s pretty prominent on Twitter–@lizcovart. Y’all should check her out.

National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/index.html

Library of Congress American Memory Project: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html

Ben Franklin’s World podcast: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com/

-Doing History: A Podcast Series about How Historians Work: http://blog.oieahc.wm.edu/doing-history/