- One is dealing with connectivity issues in Central Pennsylvania
- One is just returning from ten days of being off the grid in Mexico and poor hotel wifi in Toronto
- One spent six days at wrestling camp--no time after three a days and three showers a day.
- One is in China and finding the Great Wall applies to the internet as well. After five days of silence he finally reappeared to write an eloquent comparison of a speech by abolitionist Angelina Grimke and an essay by slavery apologist George Fitzhugh.
- One student is in Italy
- Six other students are chugging along juggling work, friends, US History and managing to have some fun as well.
- I am behind in my grading.
- I SKYPED with three students since last Thursday and had email exchanges with the rest.
- By design I was less active in the Discussion Forum. The kids carried on beautifully.
Tonight we shared projects! Every meeting adds some new experience and some new snag. The new feature was figuring out how to share videos with the kids. When I tried this the first week they could see but not hear. Tonight I had a solution and we had two student produced videos. The first two students shared a video they had created about women's participation in the Civil War. One student said "I had no idea women dressed as men to enter the army, I thought they were just nurses". This led into a discussion of nursing and Florence Nightengale and his "just nurses" comment withered. Discussion shifted to disease in the camps, medical practices and what made this a modern war. Another student researched the role of drummer boys and created a film demonstrating some of the drum signals.
And now the snag: I had a great deal of lag caused by my audio. It got so bad, my computer froze and I decided to exit the program and reenter with IE instead of Chrome. Tonight I learned that the class continues even if I exit the program! While I was out a student shared a poetry slam on the Ghost Dance and Wounded knee. Other than the fact that my name disappeared they didn't really notice and judging by the chat when I re-entered they had a lot to say about this poem.
In all there were presentations on drummer boys, a case for the most illustrative of the time events from 1878-1900, the Diary of a Mill Girl, women's contributions to the Civil War effort, and a poem on the Ghost Dance.
We finished with a short discussion by me on the overall strategy of the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War and Lincoln's generals.
I asked one student to stick around after the other's left to discuss with him the need to be more active in the chat! I was worried he had left on his computer and walked away. He talked with me about some of what was discussed and I was reassured he really had been present.
Overall a good class!