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Teacher Uses Digital Technology to Teach Research and Tourism

Middle and high school history teacher Kerry Gallagher wrote about the research process she took her students through when teaching them about travel and tourism.

"I wanted my students to experience [the research process we take when we plan to travel or relocate], and to arrive at an answer relating the question of why people are drawn to places," Gallagher wrote on EdSurge.com. "After all, project-based learning should allow students to experience authentic processes while learning content. Bu I also wanted them to show their learning through a product that professionals typically publish: tourism commercials."

According to the article, these are the steps she took:

Step 1: Frame the Task

Gallagher showed her ninth graders real tourism advertisements she found on YouTube, then they talked in small groups and as a class about what made each place attractive. "In our early North American colonies unit, students learned about the cultures and economies of the 17th century colonies. What was the draw? Why did Europeans take the risky trek across the volatile Atlantic Ocean to put down roots in a place so far away? It was time for my students to start investigating."

Step 2: Start the Research

In small groups, students chose an early North American colony, and began researching about the founding leadership, relgiion, economy, climate and culture. "When students gatherer their information in Evernote or Google Drive, they shared it with me for extra input and approval."

Step 3: Pulling it Together

Students wrote scripts, and used programs like iMovie to put together their commercial. "As students began writing their scripts, they were instructed to use what they learned about persuasive technologies from their English classes," Gallagher wrote. "My colleague Kate Crosby even pointed me toward a handy guide to the Aristotelian Appeals ethos, pathos and logos they'd used in her freshman English class, making this a truly interdisciplinary endeavor."

Step 4: Hosting a Viewing Party

Students showed their final commercials to each other in the classroom, and were instructed to look for varying information on economy, culture, religion, leaders, and the method of persuasion utilized.

Step 5: Reflect, Report, Publish

Students began sharing what they learned on blogs. "The benefit of this medium is that the final work can be a mix of written expression illustrated with images and video clips."

Here's a final product from one of the students:

 

Read the full story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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