Eric Langhorst’s 8th grade American History students in Liberty, Missouri are participating in a creative blogging activity. Eric has created the “The Year of The Hangman Book Blog” to encourage students to engage in thoughtful discussions with classmates and others in a dialog focusing on the book, its issues, and the questions it raises. Read more details about how Eric is using this book blog on his blog post about it.

If you’re not familiar with it, “Year of the Hangman” by Gary Blackwood is a fictional account of what would have happened if the British had won the American Revolutionary War.

Eric has arranged for students and teachers in Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, New York and Conneticut to participate in the blog discsussions, as well as the author of the book! Check out their ongoing blog-empowered dialog!

Eric is a superb example of a passionate 21st century educator utilizing technology tools to further engage and immerse his students in the study of history. His school webpage and personal blog and podcast (“Speaking of History”) are excellent. I showcased one of Eric’s innovative educational uses of podcasts, his “Studycasts” for students in advance of exams, last week in my presentation for Dallas-area educators on “The Vocabulary of 21st Century Learning.”

The slogan of Eric’s “Speaking of History” blog and podcast is, “Because history is so much more than a bunch of boring old dead guys.” Utilizing web 2.0 tools to engage students in authentic discussions with others about curricular issues and questions is EXACTLY what more teachers need to be doing with educational technologies today. Thanks to Eric for sharing his ongoing work and educational experiments with a broader audience! We can all learn together from the experiences these innovative Missouri students and their teacher.

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