My friend, Janice Friesen, recently spent five weeks traveling throughout the Mediterranean. Her husband is a religious studies scholar, and I assume this had something to do with the trip. As part of the experience, Janice (an instructional technologist in Austin, Tx.) kept a blog describing what they were seeing and learning. Before leaving, she invited social studies classes to monitor and discuss what she was writing.
I’ve read through parts of it, post excursion, and it’s fascinating. The Mediterranean an area of the world that I have only glanced at (Barcelona, 1997), but would love to tour.
What’s more, I see this sort of thing as a potentially motivating way to get students to talk about and challenge themselves to learn more about a region — by reading travel blogs. When covering Roman life, the class might read those entries and then generate some questions from what Janice has seen and been motivated to write about. Then, through discussion, the questions can be refined into research tasks and then, perhaps, personal blog writing, about digital tours.
You can read Janice’s blog at: http://2009-odyssey.blogspot.com/
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