During the second part of my internship at RRCHNM, I get to work with the World History Commons project and create content for this site. The World History Commons is a free OER platform that offers high school and college teachers and students of world and global history access to high quality tools and sources that can supplement their teaching and learning. The platform includes methods for teaching and doing world history, access to relevant digital archives and primary sources, as well as lesson plans. My role is to write reviews of wonderful world history websites, which will showcase platforms for teachers to consider when creating their courses.
There are many aspects I enjoy about my work, such as discovering platforms with digital collections (e.g. museums, archives, libraries, etc.), selecting the ones that will be relevant and fun to further explore, and creating content that will be useful to WHC audiences. What I enjoy the most is engaging in an exercise where I get to put myself in the shoes of a world history teacher/student and enter these websites from their perspective, something that is challenging since I don’t come from a history background.
Reading through the high-quality, peer-reviewed content that already exists in WHC will certainly help me make of this experience a more fulfilling one, as it allows me to embrace the style, the tone, and the ultimate vision of WHC. Establishing a good relationship with my mentor, Nate Sleeter, has also contributed to a positive experience at RRCHNM. During our meetings, we set up clear goals and expectations and exchange ideas on which sites would be best suited for WHC. I find that by providing Nate with a list of potential websites to study and with drafts of my reviews, gives him the chance to get to know my approach (as a librarian) to these platforms. It also affords me with excellent feedback on how to think of my writing process from world history teacher/student point of view.
As a result of our bi-weekly conversations and email communications, I get to learn about interesting aspects of the education system in the U.S., particularly, some of the challenges that history teachers are facing when designing curricula. This work style provides me with the context I need to approach my website reviews and to gain more appreciation for the teaching and learning of history through the use of digital tools and platforms.