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Leading By Example, in the 21st Century...

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"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." ...Bob Dylan

       The three assigned video texts constructed by Eyse Eidman –Aadah, Henry Jenkins, and Charles Leadbeater, examined the role of participatory media on society, politics, and culture.  At the heart of each video text was the underlying perception that we are on the cusp of an emerging new era of enlightenment brought about by the tools of our age.  I would disagree.


       Eyse Eidman Aadah reminds us that although we have incredible new technological tools for…


Added by walter betz on October 23, 2011 at 5:18pm — No Comments


Elyse Eidman-Aadahl was right about one very important thing that I think is a centralized theme throughout these videos, “Humans have and will always need a way to communicate.” It seems we have expanded technology from something that was originally built to make our lives easier (for example the automobile) and into something that is generally used as another facet of communication (like Facebook, Myspace etc.) I liked how she pointed out that in the past it would take several different…


Added by Lydia M Lantz on October 19, 2011 at 3:45pm — 1 Comment

test blog

test blog

Added by Megan Lenoir on October 18, 2011 at 9:21am — No Comments

The lessons of history edited by MJB from a lecture by Prof. Fears U of OK.

The lessons of history


1) Despite the importance of doing so, we do not learn from history.  (those that do not learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.)


2) Science and technology cannot immunize us from history's lessons.  (see Carl Sagan and the dangers of 21st century technology v 14 century mindset)


3) Freedom, which Americans believe is longed for by people worldwide, is not a globally shared value. By contrast, desire for…


Added by Mark J Biberg on June 10, 2011 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Our stories

we keep each other alive with our stories. We need to share them, as much as we need to share food. We also require for our health the presence of good companions. One of the most extraordinary things about the land is- that it knows this- and it compels language from some of us so that as a community we may converse about this or that place, and speak of the need.

Barry Lopez

Sense of Place

Arctic Dreams

Added by Mark J Biberg on June 9, 2011 at 10:11am — No Comments

Debbie Merriner is checking in

Debbie Merriner is checking in Continue

Added by Deborah Merriner on June 2, 2011 at 10:17pm — No Comments

Response to immigration articles

Well, since I don't see any questions posted about the immigration articles, I guess I'll post some thoughts here.

I recently attended a conference in which we (the participants) were advised to avoid the trap of "whose water is colder?"  This relates directly to the idea of competition between different ethnic minorities or immigrant groups.  Rather than supporting each other in the quest for equal rights and living/working conditions, they competed with each other for individual…


Added by Erika Rhodes on March 18, 2011 at 10:19am — No Comments

Local History

I am still teaching my students the history of Port Alexander and the Baranof Islands.  They are enjoying it and it is great to have community members join us for lessons.  The kids journal entries about PA have been interesting and they are writing more per journaling session.  We went on a hike to look at what is left of a hotel that used to reside here.  The only thing left is a hole in the ground that used to be the basement!  I would never have known a structure had existed on this piece… Continue

Added by Crystal Nelson on March 8, 2011 at 8:20pm — No Comments

Teaching and Learning in rural Alaska

After my first year of teaching in rural Alaska in 2001, I knew I had to add some things to my reperotoire (sp) if I was going to stay. A friend recommended a class with Ray Barnhardt in cross-cultural studies. I soon learned what a great teacher he was and how mcuh he wanted to empower teachers in rural Alaska.


One of the highlights of his class was to travel out to old Minto (down the Tannana River from Nenana) to spend some time with a group of Athabaskan Elders.  We spent…


Added by Mark J Biberg on February 15, 2011 at 3:31pm — No Comments


A few months ago we had a trainer from Apple computers spend a couple of days with us.  He inspired us to start using Garageband, iMovie and other Apple products.  He also encouraged us to enter some tech projects into the Idida Contest.  I realized that my students could learn new computer skills and make little histories of their lives here in the bush at the same time.  Each of my students made their own short movie about something interesting in our small community.  We had a blast doing it… Continue

Added by Crystal Nelson on February 8, 2011 at 8:19pm — No Comments

Pro and Contra

After reading the David J. Voelker's article, "Assessing Student Understanding in Introductory Courses: A Sample Strategy," I began to reflect on some of the assignments I've given this third quarter. Voelker argues against the "fact first" coverage model, that is, that students need to learn the facts and chronology of history before we can begin to have them think critically and analyze events. "That before we can learn to think, we must first absorb a large body of facts." Sample…


Added by Karen Michele Beranek on January 20, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

study abroad and the teaching of American history

Eurospring 1996

By Mark J Biberg

One of the highlights of my undergraduate education at Bemidji State University was having the chance to take part in an overseas study experience in England.

Europsring is the name of the program and it included 8 weeks of study at Oxford University in Oxford, England follow by a 3 week tour of the continent.

As a teacher I could not have asked for a better experience. I believe in experiential learning and this was…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 10:40pm — 1 Comment

using art as a metaphor to teach American history.

Today I am going to plug for my web site on Manifest Destiny a bit by introducing some of the artwork that was included on the site.

Manifest Destiny was the basic notion that the United States had a destiny, a divinely sanctioned destiny at that, and it was the responsibility of the leaders, both political and intellectual to make this destiny manifest, to make it real.

One of the strongest and most effective aspects of Manifest Destiny is the artwork that goes along with…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 10:38pm — No Comments

How can we focus our teaching of American History?

How important is culture in education and in our everyday lives?


By Mark J Biberg

By culture I mean a lot of things: language, religions, celebrations, art, music, stories, laws, dress, among other things.

In this short essay I would like to examine the question of culture in education and how important it is to be "culturally inclusive" as teachers, students, and anybody else involved in education.

I think everybody's story, culture, traditions are…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 10:11pm — No Comments

who can remember their first year of teaching (when we knew everything about history)

On Desert High School


By Mark J Biberg

Ten years ago, the 1999-2000 year, was my first year of teaching.

I left home in Minnesota and drove accross country to Edwards Air Force Base, where I had signed on to teach Senior High history.

To say the least this was a learning experience for me. It was not only a long way from home, my first year of teaching, but also a environment that was both hostile and unforgiving.

I did not enjoy living in…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 10:09pm — 1 Comment

manifest destiny and teaching American history

Manifest Destiny.


compiled by Mark J Biberg (from Gerry Schnabel's lecture)

In a somewhat overheated editorial in July of 1845, John L. O'Sullivan, used in the Democratic Review a phrase that was to become the most potent phrase of the decade and a key word in Us History in general.

He coined the phrase Manifest Destinly to describe the ongoing expansionistic activities of the US in its first 70 years of existence.

The most basic definition of…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 6:28pm — 1 Comment

very insightful essay that gets to the heart of teaching and learning (and if you insist assessment)

very powerful essay for me by Mark J Biberg


I would like to share an excerpt from an essay that I just read. The essay is called: All the Fish in the River: An Essay on Assessment.

As anybody who has been in education, the term assessment or assessment movement may bring back flashbacks.


This essay was a very valuable  way for me to think about "what works" as far as assessment goes.

Below is the excerpt I would like to…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 6:10pm — 3 Comments

How can we improve how we teach history in rural Alaska?

Teaching History


by Mark J Biberg


When I was in high school, history seemed like a "go through the motions" class; that is, I went to class, took notes that went along with the textbook and every other week we took a multiple choice test. It was not hard to ace the test and required very little thinking.


I enjoy history and sensed that there must be more to it than the fairy tale approach as offered by the soon to…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 6:06pm — No Comments

To speak a language is to have an "in" to the culture and history of that language.

Mark J Biberg


I am learning a new language. It is going OK. I try to keep it simple: simple vocabulary, short phrases, etc.  I also try to use cognates: words that have a common root or common usage that transcend languages.


My wife is from Peru and she teaches me a lot. One of the key things is immersion: a person has to spend a lot of time hearing the sounds of a language and you have to make an effort to use what you have learned. Obviously it is tougher to…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 6:03pm — No Comments

doubt as a skill in history


a take on what I study


by Mark J Biberg


In my field of History, a person must be on constant guard. Why! For folks who try to write history in a way that does not jive with the evidence.  I do not have a problem with history changing, it happens all the time.


But there must be standards for that change; and one…


Added by Mark J Biberg on January 19, 2011 at 6:01pm — No Comments

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