"I became a teacher by accident but on reflection it was a calling and one of the luckiest events of my life. The ability to help shape the future, I believe, makes teachers the luckiest people and most important profession in today's world. Not just for the next generation but for the world future generations will inhabit. We have a duty to help prepare our students for an ever changing world that takes care of our needs and environment."
Learn how Robert uses QR codes, Google Streetview, Expeditions and Cardboard to engage learners in his Grade 11 History classes.
With this lesson we wanted to teach beyond the curriculum, not just make the history content relevant but embed 21st century skills within the content of the lessons. We planned our lessons to include the 4 C’s: Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Communication. We also wanted to promote Historical thinking which is related to critical thinking but also help students see through Fake news and apply these skills to the world in which they find themselves. Lastly we wanted to let our students develop empathy as this will be a key human skill that will be needed in the fourth industrial revolution.
This learning facilitated the development of the following skills identified in CAPS:
My class had a discussion about bias and different viewpoints and fake news in the world at present. We explored whether such things can be acceptable in historical documents and about the concepts of bias, empathy and historical thinking.
We used Google Tour builder as our main online structure as it allows for the students to go on an online field trip and get to experience key sites and areas that they might only read about. But also to help provide context and stories.
After exploring the content I created, the different groups had to create their own Google Tour. This gave them the opportunity to engage with the content in depth but also exercise their creativity, think critically about which sources they would use in order to be as objective as possible, and work collaboratively to build and tell their version of the story.
The Google Tour builder was just one of the platforms the students could use. Some Students also used Google Cardboard to add a more immersive feeling at the different sites.
The students then experienced at least 2 of their peer groups' projects and gave feedback based on the 4C's and evidence of historical thinking.
I had the opportunity to take this concept and present this project l to 4th-year History teacher students at the University of Pretoria as an innovative way to teach students historical thinking where they themselves had to create their own lessons.