Big History Project Chat: Rich Content, Rich Discussion

We are huge fans of Big History Project, and we’ve featured their rich content in a blog series we are writing about next gen tools for classrooms focused on inquiry pedagogy. The New York Times just featured Big History Project in a magazine feature titled “So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class.” While we appreciate the article with its focus on the background and history of Big History Project, we also want to feature the teacher voice in the conversation about how BHP engages students!
The good news is, Tom from Getting Smart, along with Eric from Big History Project, just recently conducted a Google Hangout with 2 teachers who use Big History Project in the classroom.

The teacher voice is important- as is hearing from the students directly about the impact that Big History Project has had on their engagement in science and history. From teachers we have heard repeatedly that students have a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all knowledge. As we move from schools that seek to contain knowledge in silos to project-based, real-world, and blended approaches that recognize that learning can’t be contained into traditional subject areas (or contained in classrooms!), Big History Project leads the way in providing rich content for Deeper Learning.
Featuring Traci Pannullo and Amy Hiebel, the educators discuss the larger contexts of the universe, featuring a 13.8 billion year timeline, in teaching middle school history and science. Eric mentions that BHP is deployed in a variety of types of classes. The teachers use social media network Yammer to connect with one another, share ideas, and obtain feedback from one another. Also check out a blog post featuring Traci and Amy. The teachers suggest locking yourself in a classroom to check out the website! “The amount of content is breathtaking and beautifully presented,” said Tom. Traci added, “You come to understand the deeper connectedness of all content. The teacher has to learn more about all these different pieces…as a teacher, you become a systems thinker.” Happy searching…and learning!
This blog is brought to you by Big History Project as part of a series. For more stay tuned for the Getting Smart on Big History bundle and see the other posts in this series:
Life’s Universal Themes Capture Student Engagement
Top 10 Reasons to Use Big History Project in Your Class This Year
25 Next Gen Tools for the Inquiry Classroom

Bonnie Lathram

Bonnie Lathram is a student advocate and former teacher.

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