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Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The school I teach at in Alberta, Canada, is considered a "unique setting" within our public school system. This means that our programming is designed to meet the complex learning, social and emotional needs of elementary children who exhibit extreme behavioral and emotional difficulties which impede their ability to be successful in school, community and home.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
As I start a new school year in a new school teaching a new grade level, I find it slightly ironic that the first theme that my textbook series addresses is courage. As I start another school year, I have thought deeply about courage and mix of emotions that come into play that very first day of school. Many may not readily admit it, but the first day of the school year for both teachers and students is filled nervousness and unease. A first impression is extremely important, and a good first day can set the tone for a very productive school year.
Friday, March 25, 2016
The question “How do you teach this stuff?” is what brought me to USC Shoah Foundation in 2010 to begin my training and work as a Master Teacher. I was beginning to understand that survivor testimony is the formative center of Holocaust education, that once a student begins to see Holocaust education content through the lens of testimony, the education and the student begin to change in ways that are profound.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
As Hannah, in the novel The Devil's Arithmetic, needed to have a first-hand experience to fully understand the Holocaust; my students must be equipped with first-hand information, too. While they cannot "time travel" as Hannah does, they can hear from survivors to have a greater understanding of the Holocaust.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
In an effort to create a deeper engagement with educators online, USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website IWitness hosts monthly Twitter chats.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I teach at an Islamic school, and I am in awe of how testimony has opened the eyes and hearts of my students and inspired them to fight injustice. This is particularly amazing considering the Shoah is not even part of the curriculum in many Arab countries.When I asked my class why testimony has affected them so deeply, their response was:“Testimony teaches us that the world isn’t about us vs. them. It is about how WE can make the world a better place by not being bystanders.”
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I found as a teacher that the most challenging task when teaching about the Holocaust and genocide, is how to do it not using material that shocks the students to the point that they do not want to look at the content, study the history or listen to present day issues due to the emotional shut down that can occur.
Friday, December 18, 2015
As 2015 comes to an end our education team takes a look at the 10 IWitness activities most assigned by educators.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
As educators, when we go into teaching, we go in with what some might call ideological visions: This concept that we can and will make a difference; this idea that the children we teach will take the lessons we’ve taught and use them to become productive people long after they leave the four walls of our classroom. As we sit here now, reflecting on our most recent efforts to teach the Holocaust in a profound manner that gives justice and honor to the victims of this atrocity, we feel fortunate that such ideologies are being lived in our classroom.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Parks’ story is insightful, inspiring and a powerful education tool for discussing racism, intolerance and the Civil Rights Movement. IWitness includes Parks’ story and many other voices and resources that you could use in your classroom. Discover five resources from IWitness for discussing Black History Month and Civil Rights with your students.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Happy Digital Learning Day! Led by Alliance for Excellent Education, the day is an effort to engage students and empower educators through effective use of digital tools. Educators, schools and organizations around the world will be sharing the power of using digital resources in the classroom.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Every once in a while, I have a moment when seemingly disconnected ideas collide in peculiar relief, bringing clarity and making sense – admittedly sometimes only to me. I had one of those days recently when I was looking at the calendar and realized that International Women’s Day on March 8 was approaching.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
For Women’s History Month, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation to help educators access more than 1,500 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides using the Institute’s online learning tool, IWitness.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be.  When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world. Explore these three ways you can bring poetry into your classroom using tools from Facing History’s partner, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Summer might be a break for students, but as an educator, I know teachers are busy enhancing their skills and knowledge to improve their curriculum and students’ overall experience in their classrooms. As you contemplate lesson plans for the upcoming year, will you be planning a unit or lesson about the Holocaust? Do you feel you have enough knowledge about the topic to teach it well? How will you introduce your students to that history and experiences? What readings and resources will you use? What approach will you take with this sensitive topic?
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Students and teachers can now download their video projects constructed in IWitness using the WeVideo editor and their word clouds built in the Information Quest activities. So here are three easy steps for students and teachers to download their work from IWitness!
Friday, August 26, 2016
As you prepare your lessons plans for this year’s school year explore seven reasons why you should teach with testimony.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
As an educator who has used IWitness to teach various subjects, units and topics here are some tips to integrating testimony into any curriculum, including Science.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
Monday, November 28, 2016
As educators, we are asked to help our students effectively process the outcome of our elections and the implications it may have in their communities. In doing so, we need to find ways to provide them a safe and supportive place to understand their changing roles.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
This morning, I stood at attention as our select chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner. Looking at the flag in the middle school auditorium, I paused a moment to feel gratitude for growing up in a country where I have the right to define and redefine myself. I grew up believing I could become whoever I wanted to be. The flag stood tall, as did I. Thank goodness, I thought, that I live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
As an educator you might be thinking how to get started with the IWitness Video Challenge. How do you encourage your students to make a difference? How do you incorporate video editing? Well, we have the answers to these questions from actual IWitness educators.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
My friends Allison (Ally) Vandal, Maya Montell and I worked with our fabulous teacher, Emily Bengels, to create a group called Poet’s Undercover Guild (PUG). With this “guild”, we drew inspiration from testimony found in USC Shoah Foundation’s educational platform, IWitness to create our winning video “A Community of Poetry.”
Monday, March 13, 2017
During a recent Twitter chat, #IWitnessChat hosted by Discovery Education, teachers shared how they are integrating the IWitness Video Challenge into their classrooms. Explore their insights and tips to help encourage your students to participate in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Educators share how they teach with eyewitness testimony for April's Genocide Awareness Month.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust April 23- 24, 2017.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The IWitness Video Challenge is a 21st century skill builder - teaching students how to use digital tools such as video editors to craft multimedia essays. Most importantly, the challenge provides students the opportunity to positively enhance their digital citizenship as they network and collaborate with others to deal with real world problems.
Monday, January 28, 2019
The controversial standoff between a tribal elder and a high school student that went viral has captivated the media and those on all sides of the political aisle. While all the details are still being uncovered, what strikes me is the climate that permeates our nation. We have devolved to a state of “othering” our countrymen, without reflecting on how our own actions may affect one another. We have stopped seeking to understand one another and instead just attack, sometimes even when the facts are not clear.