I recently had the pleasure of hearing from Mary Grace Wheelan (New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH)) and Krista White (Rutgers University Libraries), who helped put together a Historypin training workshop for teachers at Rutgers’ Price Institute this past July. The workshop, part of a NJCH teacher development series called “Making Local History Matter,” introduced Historypin amongst a variety of digital tools to aid students in becoming community historians. Mary Grace and Krista had some really good feedback, not only about their experiences running the workshop but first-hand experiences from teachers on using Historypin. Some examples:
- Mary Grace stressed the importance of showing and not just telling during a workshop. “You need to let people practice.”
- Prep work always helps (and we second this!): They asked teachers to bring in one photograph of a place in their neighborhood beforehand so they had something to pin during the workshop. They also thought about the staff they would need to assist teachers during the session, and ended up enlisting two aids based upon how many people signed up.
- File management: Krista and Mary Grace brought up that many teachers did not immediately think of file management when going in to use Historypin. They suggested Google Drive as an option for administering their projects, where teachers can have students initially submit photos plus the accompanying information via a simple Google Form. Analog forms are also an option, examples of which we have on our schools page.
- Speaking of Google tools: They also pointed out that you shouldn’t assume that all teachers are familiar with Google tools (some of the teachers in the workshop were not), and have a way of gauging this either before or at the beginning of the workshop so no one gets left behind.
This is a sample of some of their useful feedback, and we want to hear from you too. Do any teachers have tips on running Historypin workshops? What works for you and what doesn’t? Do you as a teacher have particular concerns over using Historypin with your students?
Leave your comments here or via our Twitter or Facebook pages. Your feedback is extremely valuable as we continue to develop our tools and projects!