The Malleable Past

When presenting information to my students, I usually think about how they can access the information.  Thankfully, we live in an age where the Internet is highly accessible, and students can regularly research things they have questions on.  When I was in high school, the Internet was not as accessible as it is today.  We were just really starting to use the Internet for research possibilities, it was mostly reserved for the library.  Today, my students can research in the middle of class on their smartphones.  This can allow me to vary the way I teach different lessons.  Instead of relying on the limited school library, I can simply give the students laptops or allow them to use their smart devices to research in class and they can teach the class about what they’ve learned.  So many new lesson ideas are available to them thanks to the growth of technology.  It also enables me to fact-check myself if they have questions in class that I don’t know the answer to (for example, the origin of the phrase “out of left field“).

In museums, visitors can also “fact check” or ask questions as they see fit in exhibits.  Museums can harness this by using various technological tools to add more information to an exhibit without changing the physical exhibit.  They can use QR codes to allow individuals to read, view, or hear more about a topic.  They can also use a recording system that the visitor can listen to as they walk through the exhibit.  The growth of technology shouldn’t be considered damaging to schools or museums, it should be considered a fantastic resource to be utilized at every available chance.

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