On Becoming a Document-Based Lesson Designer – A Reflection on “Collectivization and Propaganda in Stalin’s Soviet Union”

In doing this project I have be impacted as both an educator and a content creator.

As an educator, this project has helped me think about ways to better engage students and make them the historians. By providing students the tools, in this case the documents that inform a subject, and scaffolded questions that encourage historical thinking behaviors, students can take on that role of expert. I also began to think more about the verbs of student learning, about what students would actually do with the information they are gathering. Too often students are asked to take on heaps of content knowledge without being provided a purpose for it. This process, in the end, was a true testament to the power of project based learning–there is so much value in providing students the opportunity to create. In the process they build, as I myself did through this iBooks project, both deep content knowledge and skills.

As a content creator, I found the design process really enjoyable. From the proposal in Google Slides, to a Google Site, to the iBooks final format I really developed a lesson that was both educational and interactive. I began to think about how things would look to the person, the student, using them and how the format would either encourage or discourage users. I see myself creating more educational content, on iBooks (this is a maybe, as I am an avowed PC user), on Google Sites, or on other platforms that lend themselves to high quality design and functionality.

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Image from page 344 of “The boy travellers in the Russian empire: adventures of two youths in a journey in European and Asiatic Russia, with accounts of a tour across Siberia..” (1886)

Thomas Wallace Knox

 

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