I spent most of the day today with Mrs. Eva Hance and Mr. Mark Geeslin, who gave morning and afternoon presentations at the Texas Tech International Cultural Center on the topic, “Surviving Dachau, Liberating Mauthausen.” This is education that matters. Please take the time to listen to the podcast of their presentation, which is just over an hour long.

After her talk this morning, I gave Eva a big hug. It was an overwhelming presentation. The students in attendance here in Lubbock and via distance learning / videoconferencing asked over 30 minutes of questions, which are not included in the podcast version. If you and your students are interested in this presentation or other similar programs, contact Diane Crowley in the Texas Tech International Cultural Center’s K-12 Educational Outreach office.

We have ethical and professional obligations to provide our students with learning opportunities like this, which can help them connect in a very personal way with the events and issues of history. Storytelling. It goes back to the cave. Our brains are hard-wired for stories, as Dr. William Casebeer related in my podcast earlier this month entitled, “Storytelling and Cognitive Neuroscience.” So why do most schools engage students so infrequently in the processes of listening to and recording stories? The correct answer for this is, “No excuse, sir.”

Let your students listen to this presentation by Eva and Mark. Share it with your children and other members of your family. And then engage them in the authentic and worthwhile activity of recording the oral histories of your family, neighbors and other community members. This is podcasting as it needs to be done– and an intrinsically rewarding opportunity to acquire digital literacy skills for the twenty-first century. It is also a process of historical archival of oral histories. If you don’t preserve that person’s story you are thinking about now, who will? All the resources and tools you need are free or very inexpensive.

Listen and share this podcast. Then get busy making your own. 🙂 After you do, publish the results to the Internet Archive with ccPublisher and let me know about it. I’ll spread the word here within our own social network. Don’t be a passive observer and consumer in the Web 2.0 environment! Get engaged and get involved!

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On this day..

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