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on research shifts

Yesterday, once again, it was time for our 12th grade honors Global Studies classes to engage themselves as stakeholders in our ever-morphing Middle East Peace Summit simulation.

We updated our lesson and the resource page and watched the classes as they attacked understanding of their roles.

But this year it looked different.

Instead of focusing on the maps and documents and news sources and biography databases we linked to, the students chose a different launching pad.  They opted for primary sources we neglected to emphasize.

Almost as a group, they walked to the desk to borrow headsets so they could listen to their characters’ speeches and news conferences.  They went directly to the media embedded in the resources and to YouTube videos to hear and see their characters in action.

Some actually looked for their character’s Twitter stream.  While we found a number of imposter Tweeters. This led to discussion and a few promising hashtags and some fascinating links to blogs and to even more discussion.

My guess is we’ll have a more authentic summit this time around.  I’ll keep you posted.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Have you used Newsy with your students?
    Newsy offers videos on 9 different headings. And a diverse viewpoint. Today there is a video “Palestinians Reject Peace Offer: Can Talks… Students can access it from iphone, droid. There are also blogs. Videos can emailed, embedded, shared, and a transcript is available.

  2. Thanks, Nancy! I added Newsy to our pathfinders.

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