Each semester during my first class meeting, I start with paraphrasing Gerda Lerner’s last essay in her book Why History Matters. We discuss that everyone has their own story and therefore their own personal history. I ask students what story would they tell about themselves, their experiences and their stories. Of course, this discussion leads to questions that we would explore throughout the semester: creations of narrative, bias, context, audience, and multiple perspectives to name a few. However, I first start by sharing my story and one thing I tell my students is that I believe we should always be learning and that I try to learn something new everyday and often I learn something new or interesting from my students. I decided to take my own advice to heart and jump into something outside my comfort zone and find myself at an NEH Grant- Doing Digital History 2016. Today, I created my own domain, downloaded software, created a WordPress account, have a Twitter handle and instead of writing in my journal tonight, I am blogging. My mind is swirling thinking about how to apply this knowledge and these tools to my classes, teaching and projects in meaningful and intentional ways. What will I tell my students after my first day– I am still uncomfortable and hesitant about social media, keeping my private world private, and that it was the right decision to push myself to learn new ideas and tools. Let the digital adventure continue.
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