History as a Doorway to Literacy and Discernment

Workshop Speaker: Dr. William (Billy) Jackson

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About This Workshop

In the summer of 2016, the Nomadic Professor set out to engage students of the YouTube generation. Together with his wife and four children, the Professor crisscrossed the Americas, Asia, and Europe creating on-location “mini-lectures” for his classes. Many of his videos—featuring backdrops from places as far-flung as Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, Mississippi, Bulgaria, and Tibet—were uploaded to YouTube, garnering his channel tens of thousands of subscribers. Now the Nomadic Professor--also known as Dr. W. Kesler Jackson--has launched his first courses for a general audience.

Dr. Jackson’s rigorous content has been made accessible to high school students by high school teacher Nate Noorlander (BA Philosophy, History teaching), who provides all the scaffolding they’ll need to gain tremendous insights into history and their own capacity for discernment and literacy (through guided notes, document lessons, flashcards, quizzes, etc.).

Our first workshop (Bringing history to life for the YouTube generation) will focus on teaching history to the YouTube generation. The goal here is to break out of the classroom. Modern media tools and the Internet make this possible, and it can have a profoundly positive impact on the learning process. We'll show you how we've done it.

In this workshop, we will focus on another challenge facing students in 2021: learning how to interpret information, online and through every other form of media, with the same level of discernment as professional historians and fact-checkers. A good history course should hone skills that are far more generally applicable--skills like reading, writing, judging accuracy, avoiding manipulation, organizing information, memorizing, note-taking, finding and using a wide variety of sources, making sense of disparate claims, and making arguments.

Both workshops will present what we see as the key elements of a good online history course, based on our combined experience teaching online and in the classroom (at the high school and college levels). These workshops are intended for families who are looking for help improving what they already do, as well as families who are in the market for something new.

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