My students will be collaborating with Mr. Murphy’s students on a project involving the Holocaust. His 8th graders, who are studying the Holocaust in literature such as the play based upon The Diary of Anne Frank, will chronicle the family histories of my students, whom Mr. Murphy’s students will interview. I teach at a private Jewish high school, and many of our students are the family members of Holocaust survivors. Students on both sides of the project are excited. I think Mr. Murphy, our students, and I all know that this could potentially be a big, life-affirming, amazing project.
Mr. Murphy posted our e-mails back and forth on his blog. I will lay credit for coming up with the idea squarely at his feet. All I did, as you can see if you read the blog, was offer to help in a small way. It was his idea to make our classrooms “flat” and reach out across the country to enable our students to exchange real stories, making history come alive. In the apt words of Mr. Murphy’s student: “We should make a book out of whatever we get. That way we have a history book that’s about the stories, and not just history.”
It could be delusions of grandeur, but I thought, yes! It could be a book! I am excited about this project. This couldn’t happen without current educational technology, namely blogs and wikis. I wouldn’t have ever cyber-met Mr. Murphy if not for his blog, and our students could never have collaborated on such a project. You’ll indulge me perhaps if I throw up a little appropriate (but somewhat nostalgic) tune that sums up how I feel: