Engage Students to Weigh in on Historical Hero Controversies Take them to Chromebook Court!!

Court is in session in your classroom and for all in Chromebook Invited Community
Makes Historical Figure Controversies Real for Classes One Whole Class Case

As a dedicated television reality fan, I have enjoyed the equivalent of literacy popcorn sprinkled with law related education the People’s Court and Judge Judy and other shows for two decades.  While these feature actual civil cases where the litigants agree to the decision rendered by a celebrity judge, often one with actual legal credentials, I realized as a digital literacy educator to boot that this format was rich in the basic literacy skills in spoken action and in necessary collegial and collaborative research, use of writing genres, persuasive and argument writing.  The reality format turns on special domain use of words and nuances of language. But how beyond having students use their own disagreements or conflicts as sources of cases, could the Youth Court Reality Format be adapted to become more than an exercise of basic literacy skills as a fun project?  Why not tap the ongoing current headlines in which the urge to revision and to retry American historical figures honored with plaques, portraits, holidays, statues, street names and highways?  Why not access students to the burgeoning online stories centered on controversies which result in removal and l literal toppling of historical figures from their local heights or actual public defacement of their monuments?   How about using adapting aspects of the reality show People’s court and Judge Judy brand  for a student engagement participatory Youth court format that thrusts students front and center as citizens back into history and into today’s cultural context history past judgments.

How can this become a reality?  Chromebook and connected device classroom community use can easily immerse students visually, textually and interactively in ongoing sis First, have students take a controversial historical figure case from their independent Google search of local or national news.  For example , even before the 21st century, 15th century Columbus ‘s reputation bore the slangs and arrows of century’s forward cultural diversity and global community values.  If students are already studying  Columbus or have studied his explorations an excellent source of the various controversies surrounding his 15th century achievements as seen through human and indigenous person’s rights 21st century would be: History Channel’s  sources on the Columbus  Controversy http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/columbus-controversy.  Teachers can preview and custom curate the selected excerpt of these sources fit class study student grade, age and needs.

After students review Chromebook/connected device available resource on their own, they can research online stories about the current year’s Columbus controversies and the actions by local and state governments taken to address or to react to these issues.  Next, ask students to vote with their writing and spoken voices by taking a position on the controversy or even deciding not to take one side or another because the controversy is inappropriate in that it involves judging an historical figure by a set of criteria established long after the figure’s time frame.  Do not judge the student’s individual position since in none of the current historical figure controversies is there a single correct answer and some of the decisions obviously overturn past community decisions to establish a memorial or ceremony or parade or statue or hang a portrait. Rather record and post the audio file with the Chromebook community circle.   Rubric judge student’s individual votes by their spoken clarity, spoken persuasiveness, written arguments, and use of details from their research.  Have the students use the rubric to judge contributions and even note in their individual word docs how well they expressed in spoken language and backed up their point of view.

Next, have the students watch selected episode excerpts from either People’s Court

https://youtu.be/wgq-LIYviXc  or  Judge Judy teacher curated “Top Ten Best Judge Judy Teacher Moments” – https://youtu.be/CS7W64rXPiw.

Ask that they watch these excerpts with a focus on noting down components of the format which can engage the entire class in convening a Youth Court of Historical Heroes Reality Citizenship Case at their school site.

Have them focus on the roles that are inherent within each of these two long running reality show s and how students with various talents might fill them.  Ask that the students note alongside the roles they have selected the type of research and spoken dialogue necessary for playing the roles.  Stress that the students will have to fill all the roles seen on the reality shows which include beyond the litigants, the announcer (sometimes not seen), the courtroom spectators who sometimes wear distinctive clothing and interrupt or asked to leave, the guard, and in some shows a reporter who interviews the key court room lawyers and litigant after a decision is rendered.

Challenge students to observe the proceedings and to note other behind scene creative roles such as costumer, segment directors-before case, writers of frames, case research for similar case citations and more.  Students might also be prompted to think about musical producer, who can identify appropriate historic or current public domain music for various historical characters.  Students can also be camerapersons to film and edit the court case for Youth Court video posted on school site or for a podcast discussion with the key on trial historical figure, defender and accusers.   Given its digital file, audio file, music file uploads, and slides, students who enjoy these tasks can immediately use their chromebooks /connected devices to get to work on these tasks.

Give students a chance to discuss their notes and reality Youth Court ideas.    If desired, a camera student team can film this as part of a complementary Youth Court in process mini documentary. That can be uploaded as a video to the aggregate class file saved on the teacher Chromebook console.

Post the various court case roles they come up with including the defense lawyer, key historic figure, related historical or other contemporary defense witnesses and prosecution historical figures as well as defense figures.

Make certain that every student signs up for a role intricate to the production success and dissemination for feedback to a peer and invited adult audience.

Beyond Columbus are there other key historical heroes of our recent past now on trial and as their statuary topple?

The New York Times  recently posted an interactive quiz featuring 16 US historical figures once acclaimed now on trial in cultural correctness and 21st century court of local, state and national communities- https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/29/upshot/statues-quiz.html.

This quiz concludes with how NY Times voters decided the case.   Students may decide to adapt this interactive quiz format to their Chromebook connected community.

Beyond making engaging reality courtroom television come live acted by students as court spectators, judges and jury (the jury members might all be required to explain their individual verdicts if desires), this project makes participatory citizenship a reality for students in grades 5 to 12 .  Through a video posted online or a podcast or their own website, they add their own 21st century voices as part of ongoing actual historical figure revisions.  That means that through their connected device/Chromebook they are using mandated literacy powers of researching, reading, forming a perspective, advocating, arguing, listening and speaking as real-world citizens.  Reality television formats can ironically help enable and empower students to step into the reality of their community political world.  While the verdict may not yet have been rendered about the shifting through the cultural values of time historic heroes, use of reality television as a citizenship tool is case won for educators seeking to link history, literacy and citizenship.  Order in the court, Chromebook situated, has engaged students who leave the classroom to participate in ongoing community issues.  Connected Chromebook route to informed civic controversies student citizen conversations!!

Dr. Rose Reissman,

Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5

About Sector 5,

Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on http://www.twitter.com/sectorfiveinc and http://www.facebook.com/sect5 and find further information at http://www.sector-five.com. For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.


CONTACT: contact@sector-five.com.






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