During this phase in the process of creating the 1898 War Political Cartoons prototype, I have become better acquainted with WP platform, develop two activities (draft mode) for students, and discovered exciting complementary primary sources. This is a good pausing point for me to resolve one crucial challenge: who’s the audience? who’s going to visit this site and engage with these political cartoons? History educators, students, or both? Knowing the answer to this ether it is going to determine the organization of pages and content type. After a discussion with Prof. Schrum, we felt it would best if I dedicate this site to students for a couple of reasons. A site tailored for students will help history educators have content and activities ready to go, saving them the extra time to create material from scratch. Also, building a student-centric site can help teachers develop their own historical thinking skills, and hopefully inspire them to lean into digital technologies and to new teaching approaches in general.

The site reorganization will simplify the amount of content to be covered. Up until now, I was creating activities for both the instructor and the student, which was generating twice as much content. Whereas now, I can just focus on student activities, and take them to the cartoons much sooner. The landing page will now include a hook, which consists of zoom-in introductory video with a political cartoon that may capture their attention (the origin of “fake news”). This restructuring will also allow a new section devoted to teaching resources, and another one for other primary sources (newspaper articles and theatrical pieces created around 1898) and secondary sources (scholarly articles and websites).

Once this modification is made, I will then finish up the instructions for both activities (cartoon analysis and the zoom-in activity), then create the intro video. More to come…


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