Thursday, August 17, 2017

Where Does EdTech Fit in the World Right Now? #EdChat

I've had a hard time finding things to write in the wake of Charlottesville. Everything that has come to my mind has seemed trivial. The frustrating aspect of this is that, as teachers, we need to speak up against hate. My Grandfather fought in WWII and passed away years ago. I can't imagine what he would have thought seeing the Nazi flag fly down American streets.

Where does EdTech fit in? Does it have a place in this conversation? Yes and no is the best answer I can think of at the moment. Tools to talk about tools is not what is needed right now. Tools that can be used to help students better understand history and connecting them with experts and FACTS, is key. There are tools out there that teachers can use to help the conversations that need to take place this year. Here are 5 websites that teachers can use to help start the conversation or support the conversations already taking place.

The Anne Frank House Virtual Tour

I was able to visit the house in my 20's and I remember that I wrote in my travel journal that every single person in the world should be able to visit this house. It would change the world. This is helpful website that allows that to happen. Students can see what it was like for Anne to live in hiding with friends and family. The virtual tour uses Flash, so it might be a bit wonky on your computer, but I'm sure that will be addressed soon. Here is a link for teachers showing how to incorporate the Annex into their lessons.

Holocaust Memorial Center Virtual Tour

This museum is actually in my backyard and it is so very important. The museum is filled with the stories of people who lived through this terrible time in our world and their stories must not be forgotten. The website has excellent resources and it worth adding to the classroom for all students to see and hear the stories.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Part of the Smithsonian group of museums in Washington DC, this museum is filled with great bits of history that are often forgotten or completely ignored. The above link is to the educator's page that has wonderful information to start conversations with your students.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Another museum in my backyard. This is a great museum dedicated to telling the story of Africans Americans from their point of view. I remember my visit a few years back where I was able to see a reconstruction of a slave ship holding area and how slaves were placed to fit as many slaves as possible for the journey.

Tolerance.org

This is a website run by the Southern Poverty Law Center and it provides resources for teachers looking to talk about diversity with their students. This article explains the alt-right (White Nationalists, Supremacists, Racists, etc). Sometimes teachers need a starting spot to have these tough conversations. This is a good resource worth sharing with your teachers.

I know there are many other resources out there, but I wanted to share these five with everyone today. Please feel free to share more resources in the comment section below.