Thursday, March 26, 2009

Despite common Opinion...

Despite common opinion, History and all elements of Social Science really can be fun sometimes. As an aspiring History teacher, I always look for ways to make history just a little more interesting for the students I'll be teaching. One of my favorite resources that I've come across, and I'm sure many others have seen it as well, is a website called . It's a GREAT mock-news website that has absolutely hilarious twists to issues that are actually pertinent to our day. While it is clearly not a good source for an actual account of what's happening, it almost always deals with issues that are prevalent in the news scene. If you're an aspiring Political Science, History or Social Sciences teacher, I would strongly encourage you to look through some of the videos and see if there's anything that you think you could use in your classroom. here are a couple of my personal favorites. Go to these websites:

The first video is a satire making fun of the lull in political action following the election, and the second one is a just plain hilarious satire of statistical misuse and health care. Anyhow, I thought they were funny. I hope you find some good ones too.

The Great Fear...

So you know how when you're a kid, everyone always tells you "you are the future." That always got me pumped up. But now as I'm preparing to be a teacher...and a teacher of history, I'm starting to realize that I'm not only becoming the future...I will eventually be the past. I think about how many generations have gone before me and how much has been lost about them and what they loved to do. Well, I don't want that to happen with my generation. Of the things that come from my generation, there are many that hopefully will be forgotten (Backstreet boys, mullets, shirts of all neon colors), but here are just a few that I certainly hope will not be forgotten. In the history books fifty years down the road, I'd better read about culture in the 90's, and when I read about the 90's, I'd better hear about: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slap-on Bracelets, Old school Nintendo, Michael Jordan, killer phrases like, "no duh!" "NOT!" and "Kawabunga", The growth of the love of Pizza (which I attribute to the Ninja Turtles), Steve Urkle, sideways pony-tails, and Water Socks/moccasins. The question I'd like all of you are are "the Future" of our world to consider is this: You know you will be the future, but as your present becomes the past, what do you hope will be remembered in history? What cultural elements of your childhood do you fear will be lost? I then challenge you to write it down so that they don't get lost...or even better, put it online so that you know it won't.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Know Your Sources!

So do you remember when you were a kid and your Dad came running into the room because he heard you and your little brother screaming at the top of your lungs? Like all dads, his first question was "Whoa, whoa, whoa! What happened here?!" The response, not doubt, was unintelligible (could not be understood) as you and your brother both yelled even louder to try to drown out the other. After your dad finally calmed you both down, he probably asked each of you to give "your side" of the story. I hated it when my dad said that...there was no "my side" about it! My side was THE side! I was always right....or so I thought. Well...if you were like me, chances are that your dad probably always sided with your little brother, and as much as you'd like to blame it on preferential treatment, it was really because your dad knew his sources. He knew that you presented your side of the story from a highly biased viewpoint. "Bias" is something that impacts the way you express what you've experienced. Cultural background, personal opinions, and self-interest are all examples of "bias" that impact the study of History. Identifying bias in sources is just as important to historians as it was to your dad in his parenting. As students begin their inquiry to History, studies have shown that they have a very difficult time identifying is an activity that may help out with that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New to the blogging world

So this whole blogging thang is kinda' new to me. I've never been one for putting all the updates of my life online, though I really have enjoyed reading my relatives' and friends' posts. I can't even hope that my posts will be half as entertaining as theirs are, but who knows... life just might bring some fun adventures my way.