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Incorporating Peer-Culture and Student Interest

Written by Ariel Tyson
June 20, 2014

My main goal as an educator has been to incorporate peer culture and student interests in lessons and assignments as a way of encouraging students to become actively involved in history. Students should not be bystanders to history; they should be involved in it! History is a subject that many students are not inclined to be interested in; honestly, many students find history to be boring and irrelevant, particularly at the middle school level. To give you a better idea of this struggle faced by many history teachers, here is a brief list of common student frustrations:

  • “Why do we have to know this?”
  • “Why is this important to me?”
  • “What does this have to do with anything?”

While there are many different approaches that could be used to address these complaints, I have found technology to be a great way to create connections between students’ lives and events that may have occurred long before their existence. Allowing students to use a variety of digital tools that they are familiar with results in learners of all ability levels creating connections to the material in a way that speaks to them.

Throughout the course of the #CLMOOC, we explored the concept of Makes, which I have incorporated into my classroom. These Makes can range from thirty minute in-class activities to long term assignments that are completed outside of the classroom. Participating in these projects has increased students’ ability to relate to the content and show the connections that they have made by linking the content to modern forms of technology, namely social networks.

– See more at: Four Score and Seven “Likes” Ago…