Submitted by Robert Strodtbeck, Learner High School Social Studies Teacher
Gary North is an economist and prolific writer who has been pointing out that the low cost of sending information through the Internet is changing how people get their information and causing momentous shifts in the influence of the news media. Newspapers are becoming obsolete and are being replaced by such Internet staples as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. On the morning of the last lift off of the space shuttle Endeavor, I watched an Orlando news program during which the news anchor actually quit reading the news script provided by the station writers and began reading the Twitter feeds of the astronauts on their cell phones.
This same digital technology that allows us to get information around a corporate news filter also allows us to get the documents that formed history for our own study. We can conveniently augment our understanding of a textbook reference of the Articles of the Confederation with finding an easily readable copy with commentaries within seconds on our laptop or even smart phone. We no longer are limited to those who disagreed with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution being simply labeled, “Anti-Federalists”; we can find their reasons and principles word for word as they wrote them just by typing “Anti-Federalists commentaries” into a search engine.
This easy access of information leads me to believe that the best part of a history class is having the curiosity to investigate the information given in the text. This curiosity is based upon questions of the world around you and how we got to where we are. Those basic questions are at the heart of research and, raised individually, become the basis of learning. This is the great adventure you have a chance to experience when taking in this new form of study called online schooling.