I’m redesigning my World History 1 course around digital history projects with texts that are free to my students. So that my students have access to the sources I selected five sources from one of our college libraries databases, downloaded those sources as pdfs, stitched the pdfs together using Acrobat Pro, wrote up citations for the sources in Markdown (recall I want to be able to give this course away so documenting everything in a format that others can easily play with is important) and . . . then, uploaded the sources to a third-party clearinghouse (SIPX) that will ensure our use of the databases clears Title XVII of the U.S. Code on copyrights. That last part requires minor navigation of our college’s learning management system so that students don’t have to sign in to our library or another website to do their readings.
Now, if you teach, I’d wager that little in the above paragraph impresses you. You probably do similar electronic jumping jacks all the time. But if you don’t teach, please note my activity was for one week’s worth of reading. I still need to design the quizzes and the digital history assignments around the readings. I’m on summer “break.” This is what we do- a highly-skilled and time-consuming dance that requires time away from face-to-face contact in order to continuously improve our teaching.
So tonight, if one presidential candidate makes a snide comment about educators, I’m going to roll my eyes. Congress may not have its eye on our students’ futures, but I do. . . you too I bet.