The best thing digital media and or digital tools can give in history teaching is it expands the scope and depth of teaching. It can provide more material—text, images and videos—in unlimited space and time. The teacher doesn’t have to squeeze everything into 50 minutes on his or her own and students only sit there to receive information. Like Teaching Hidden History course, the digital media and/or tools makes student-centered teaching and learning possible. This can spark the interest of both students and teachers because students play much of a role in class and the teachers do not have to be worn out after a fifty-minute class is done. The access to greater amount of sources can bring more ideas to students because they now know more. It is a trained skill to organize, discriminate and judge these documents.
This digital environment also changes my way to communicate with students. If it is a classroom teaching, I guess they will meet me in classroom and office hours. With this digital teaching, I will devote more time to talking with students and giving feedback because I need to make sure that in this student-centered learning, their questions can be answered timely so that their learning can go smoothly. In addition, I need to pay attention to students’ interaction with each other because with online teaching, they can not communicate with their classmates as they do in the classroom. For this, I consider the online meeting at regular interval and group work such as peer reviewing or pairing them up.
Because of the wide scope of sources the Internet can provide, I want to narrow down my original plan of my final project. I want to focus only on one or two events and use them as the example and the opportunity for the students to practice historical learning. I believe to teach historical thinking with one example or two, if done well, is more efficient and effective than drowning students in the sources on so many things.