Meghan Manfra
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Meghan Manfra's blog post was featured

Using Educational Blogs to Teach U.S. History

I recently wrapped up two rounds of a research study and a series of articles in collaboration with John Lee that focused on the integration of an educational blog as the primary instructional tool in a high school U.S. history classroom.  It was apparent to me that the teachers I worked with in professional development workshops or met at professional conferences often reserved creative and engaging uses of technology for their brightest students.  Lower level students would have few…See More
Jan 17, 2012
Meghan Manfra posted a blog post

Using Educational Blogs to Teach U.S. History

I recently wrapped up two rounds of a research study and a series of articles in collaboration with John Lee that focused on the integration of an educational blog as the primary instructional tool in a high school U.S. history classroom.  It was apparent to me that the teachers I worked with in professional development workshops or met at professional conferences often reserved creative and engaging uses of technology for their brightest students.  Lower level students would have few…See More
Jan 14, 2012
Meghan Manfra posted a blog post

McKenna's NLC talk

Dr. McKenna drew attention to the "uneasy transitions" involving technological innovations.He traced several trends: 1. drive towards intertextuality2. tech invites nonlineraity (e.g. website front page and text book page)3. tech extends the limits of print (e.g. periodic table)4. tech invites multimodality (e.g. harry potter effect)5. tech facilitates "encyclopedic drive" (e.g. wikipedia)6. tech challenges trad epistemology (e.g co-construction of knowledge from multiple sources)7. tech…See More
Nov 11, 2011
Meghan Manfra's blog post was featured

Will new literacy collaboratives faciliate interdisciplinary study? An example from STEM: Global climate change education

--- This blog post was adapted from an on-going project I am working on with Dr. Gail Jones and Dr. Sarah Carrier in the College of Education. We welcome your ideas and comments. ---STEM education continues to dominate national curriculum initiatives. (For instance, the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition, which will distribute $4.35 billion in education stimulus money to…See More
Aug 9, 2010
Meghan Manfra posted a blog post

Will new literacy collaboratives faciliate interdisciplinary study? An example from STEM: Global climate change education

--- This blog post was adapted from an on-going project I am working on with Dr. Gail Jones and Dr. Sarah Carrier in the College of Education. We welcome your ideas and comments. ---STEM education continues to dominate national curriculum initiatives. (For instance, the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition, which will distribute $4.35 billion in education stimulus money to…See More
Aug 9, 2010
Meghan Manfra updated their profile
Jul 16, 2009
Meghan Manfra added the App My Twitter Tracker
Jul 16, 2009
Meghan Manfra posted a blog post

New Literacies Institute - Online Comprehension "digging deeper" with Julie Coiro and Don Leu

Coiro & Leu provided strategies & resources for working with students in a 1:1 laptop environment to enhance on-line reading comprehension. They argue that teaching students on-line comprehension skills can improve off-line [text-based] literacy. They propose 3 phases for Internet reciprocal teaching (IRT): (1) Teacher Led Instruction; (2) Collaborative Modeling; (3) Online Inquiry.How can I use this info?In my research:Train student leaders in participating classrooms, e.g. digital…See More
Jul 14, 2009
I am an assistant professor of secondary social studies education at North Carolina State University.

Meghan Manfra's Blog

Using Educational Blogs to Teach U.S. History

I recently wrapped up two rounds of a research study and a series of articles in collaboration with John Lee that focused on the integration of an educational blog as the primary instructional tool in a high school U.S. history classroom.  It was apparent to me that the teachers I worked with in professional development workshops or met at professional conferences often reserved creative and engaging uses of technology for their brightest students.  Lower level students would have few…

Continue

Posted on January 14, 2012 at 8:17am

McKenna's NLC talk

Dr. McKenna drew attention to the "uneasy transitions" involving technological innovations.

He traced several trends:

1. drive towards intertextuality

2. tech invites nonlineraity (e.g. website front page and text book page)

3. tech extends the limits of print (e.g. periodic table)

4. tech invites multimodality (e.g. harry potter effect)

5. tech facilitates "encyclopedic drive" (e.g. wikipedia)

6. tech challenges trad epistemology (e.g co-construction of…

Continue

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:22pm

Will new literacy collaboratives faciliate interdisciplinary study? An example from STEM: Global climate change education

--- This blog post was adapted from an on-going project I am working on with Dr. Gail Jones and Dr. Sarah Carrier in the College of Education. We welcome your ideas and comments. ---



STEM education continues to dominate national curriculum initiatives. (For instance, the Obama administration’s…
Continue

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 2:30pm

New Literacies Institute - Online Comprehension "digging deeper" with Julie Coiro and Don Leu

Coiro & Leu provided strategies & resources for working with students in a 1:1 laptop environment to enhance on-line reading comprehension. They argue that teaching students on-line comprehension skills can improve off-line [text-based] literacy. They propose 3 phases for Internet reciprocal teaching (IRT): (1) Teacher Led Instruction; (2) Collaborative Modeling; (3) Online Inquiry.



How can I use this info?

In my research:

Train student leaders… Continue

Posted on July 14, 2009 at 12:00pm

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Learn Digital History Blog

Gettysburg Address: Online, in the classroom, and In history

Gettysburg Adress from Matthew Pinsker - Google Cultural Institute.

On this sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address, I've been looking at online resources and thinking about how the speech is represented speech online and in the classroom. The Google Cultural Institute (http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/home) -- which aims to elevate and present important works of art, historical works and other cultural treasures --- has a very interesting online presentation of the Gettysburg Address (HERE).  The presentation, developed by Lincoln Scholar Matthew Pinsker, functions as a timeline of sorts, focusing on Lincoln's composition of the speech. As you scroll from left to right, the story of Lincoln's refections on Gettysburg unfolds, beginning July 7, 1863 and culminating on November 19. The presentation offers a long view of the Gettysburg Address that is often missing when we teach about the speech.

Another online resource I looked at today was the well traveled close reading lesson from Achieve the Core on the Gettysburg Address. While I really appreciate the rigor and clarity of this lesson, I worry that it perpetuates a short-sighted or even sort-circuited historical interpretation of the speech. This post from the Washington Post raises similar concerns. Tim Shannahan offers a useful perspective, reminding us that the Achieve lesson is an exemplar from english education and should not be confused with what might be done in a social studies class.

Problem is that the Achieve the Core lesson is being used to teach social studies.

The lesson (HERE) - download over 16,000 at this posting - presents a guide for a close reading of the speech. While the close reading aims of the lesson are laudable, it comes up short as an exemplar of disciplinary literacy. The lesson's instance on students' sticking with the text as the only source for information (hence close reading) is understandable, at least from the perspective of close reading. However, this determined focus on the text, is problematic from a disciplinary perspective.

For example, the lesson offers guidance on the following"erroneous guiding questions."

Why did the North fight the civil war? 
 Did Lincoln think that the North was going to “pass the test” that the civil war posed? 

The guidance reads.

Answering these sorts of questions require students to go outside the text, and indeed in this particular instance asking them these questions actually undermine what Lincoln is trying to say. Lincoln nowhere in the Gettysburg Address distinguishes between the North and South (or northern versus southern soldiers for that matter). Answering such questions take the student away from the actual point Lincoln is making in the text of the speech regarding equality and self-government.

Of course, no historian would pose such limitations. Such thinking is antithetical to historical inquiry. Historical are constantly on the hunt for sources - leaving no stone unturned. So, while this lesson may serve an important purpose in getting students to making meaning from the text, it is highly problematic as an historical exercise. So much so, I think it would be better to use a non-historical text for close reading exercises.

This lesson (HERE) from Gilder Lehrman makes clear the importance of context in trying to determine the historical value of the Gettysburg Address. The lesson opens by suggesting that teachers ask the following questions.

Where is he giving the address? 
What happened there?

Of course, both of those questions will require that students leave the text to build out a context around the speech toward making interpretations about the meaning and important of the speech from an historical perspective.

Both of these lessons are valuable and important, but given the current dominance of the Common Core, we have to be careful that close reading does not strip away the disciplinary literacies that make social studies the rich subject it is.

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