The question is everywhere these days: how do we navigate the ever-expanding body of information available online?
Reify Media recently got to engage that question while creating the National Humanities Center’s first online course, Humanities in Class: Digital Literacy in the Classroom. The goal of the project was to create a new online course for teachers, one that offered teachers a space to create lesson plans and assignments related to digital literacy.
A Course Made for Educators
Our team worked directly with NHC to shape the course from the ground up, writing its learning objectives, syllabus, and course assignments. We focused on supporting interaction; we knew the course would be offered online to teachers, but we wanted to help the participating educators to share ideas, collaborate, and peer review.
As the teachers work through the course’s assignments and forums, they will steadily build a set of lesson plans to bring to life in their own classrooms. To build those plans, they are first asked to explore the history of media literacy, starting far before the digital age (through primary documents, such as The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798) and working all the way up to today (by combing through online news stories that just broke that morning).
The Payoff for Classrooms
Teachers get to engage with the online content–really, play with it–in ways that encourage critical thinking and make space for creativity. The assignments are sleeves-up, the forums are interactive, and we are certain that teachers will translate that energy to classrooms across the US.
Teachers who complete the course will have a unique opportunity to develop digital-literacy-focused learning plans for their classrooms, giving NHC’s course immediate impact in our K-12 classrooms.
NHC: What’s Next
NHC, headquartered on a beautiful, forested campus in RTP, is renowned for their world-class humanities research and their engaging, and well-researched scholar-led webinars. But Digital Literacy in the Classroom, which begins this month, is their first step in their plan to create toward a robust library of online courses.
Reify Media also helped NHC to build a Moodle space for the course. And since the Moodle space is scalable, NHC will be able to—with the help of their incredible in-house technical staff—add many other courses to the space in the future.
Reify president and founder, Dr. Sarah Glova, commented, “We need to be critical consumers of what we read and watch… but of course, that was true long before information was digitized. Now we just have access to more information, which makes digital literacy such an important topic for teachers to feel confident sharing with their students.”
This timeless-but-right-on-time quality, combined with the opportunity to work alongside content experts and scholars, made this project a real treat for the team at Reify Media.
We can’t wait to see what’s next from NHC!