In class this week, I couldn't help but think about some more memorable alternatives to student demonstration of knowledge. Project-Based learning is a very accepted way of learning, but has logistical challenges that can prevent educators from fully embracing daily application of allowing the students to demonstrate understanding through projects that integrate other areas of the curriculum and teach them to use research tools and be discerning, critical thinkers.
I am seeing that technology may be an important bridge over the logistical challenge gap. For instance, we learned about "Fakebook". This is an interesting tool that could help a student to synthesize historical knowledge in a way that speaks to how they understand 21st century interactions in social media. Even though the subjects they research may have been dead long before computers existed, they can still create a fun Facebook-like page that shows how they would have interacted with their contemporaries had it been available. For fun in class this week I made one about Mickey Mouse that brings in some light information about the Red Scare and international relations at the time of Mickey's inception. It is very short, but helped me see the possibilities of engaging students with history in a new way. To learn about the causes of World War II, a teacher could have the students write a term paper, OR they could create a Fakebook page that demonstrates their understanding of figures, dates, and context. I think many students would prefer the latter project.
I think that as teachers find more and more tools and resources available using technology, students will receive a higher quality education. I look forward to learning more about what other "tricks" I could use to keep learning novel and engaging. This is becoming easier and easier as I can connect with educators through Twitter and other PLN building tools.