California Educator

August 2016

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IWitness supports teachers with relevant curricula and activities, including, at left, a class visit to the Rosa Parks Bus at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. Below, students at Valhalla High School in El Cajon watch and listen to IWitness personal testimonies. curriculum," says Lesly Culp, IWitness's head of programs in education. Educa- tors can choose what content works best for their students. "Teachers can access single clips that are very universal for teaching Romeo and Juliet, or a unit on cultures," Culp says. "Or they can use full-length tes- timonies for student research projects or community ser vice. Activities can be done quickly, or over the course of a semester or year." "Finding Your Seat on the Bus" has activity modules for high school and middle school students, with content tailored to each group. In "Narratives of Identity : In the Open or in the Shad- ows?" students in grades 6-9 consider the many identities we carr y as indi- viduals and decisions we make to hide them. Video interviews include a young undocumented student from Mexico liv- ing in America, and a Holocaust survivor who hid being a Jew. "e idea behind the concept of iden- tity is the universal themes in human experience — not just one particular group of people," Culp says. "Testimonies lend themselves to universal themes, with their perspective and experiences through the ages. You're able to find your story and experiences in the testimonies, and make those connections." Teachers register with IWitness to create private digital classrooms, allow- ing them to monitor students' progress and let students share with one another. In addition to reading, watching and listening during the activities, students answer questions and express them- selves through poems, video journals and other exercises. Learn More I W I T N E S S U S E S T H E power of sto- rytelling, best practices in education, and the advantages of technology to improve students' academic perfor- mance and global citizenship by: • Connecting the past to the present and the future. • Boosting subject matter knowledge. • Cultivating empathy and an understanding of other races and cultures. • Improving critical thinking skills and developing digital literacy skills. To date, 13,000 educators and 60,000 students in 71 coun- tries have active IWitness accounts (California has 1,800 educator accounts). For more information, see iwitness.usc.edu. 41 August 2016

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