AMERICAN LIFE VS. HAITIAN LIFE
AMERICAN LIFE VS. HAITIAN LIFE 
Workshop Overview 
Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills
The intellectual skills noted below are to be learned through, and applied to, the content standards for grades nine through twelve. They are to be assessed only in conjunction with the content standards in grades nine through twelve. In addition to the standards for grades nine through twelve, students demonstrate the following intellectual, reasoning, reflection, and research skills.
Chronological and Spatial Thinking
Students relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.
Students will carry out this task by comparing and contrasting American life vs. Haitian life. This will include relating current events such as the earthquake in Haiti and the struggling economy in the America. These types of current events effect how Americans and Haitians live their lives.
For this lesson, students will complete the following tasks:
Before You Get Started 
WordPress has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. WordPress is an open source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. It also means you are free to use it without paying anyone a license fee and a number of other important freedoms. It started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as a full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes.
For an in-depth tutorial on Wordpress visit this YouTube video:
For this assignment, it would be advisable to let the students have access to your admin account that way only you are your class can make alterations to the class blog. Those who are not able to log into the admin account can only leave comments. They will not be able to alter any of the content that you post on their as a class.
Workshop Plan/Teacher Suggestions 
Articles that Support this Lesson/Additional Resources 
Dewey, J. (1916). Demogracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education(pp.49-62). New York, NY: The Macmillan Company.
This article supports this lesson in a sense that it gives students to chance to grow on their own and to be reflective. This lesson also connects to this article because it promotes interdependence in a social context. For this lesson students must respond and react to one another's responses on WordPress. WordPress and being given the time to truly reflect, compare, and contrast might be new to most students and will allow them the potential for growth that is described in the article. The lesson also attempts to eliminate habituation, a common habit that occurs in education.
Stigler, J.W., & Hiebert, J. (2009). The teaching gap: Best ideas from the world's teachers for improving education in the classroom (pp.25-54). New York, NY: Free Press.
This article described teaching in Germany, United States, and Japan as the following: "developing advanced procedures" "learning terms and practicing procedures" and "structured problem". This article relates to this lesson in a few ways. This particular attempts to allow students some breathing room to compare and contrast their own way, and to also block out the noise that can occur in the classroom if this assignment were to be carried out in the classroom without the use of WordPress. This article also brought up the importance of structure. Not only is structure important for students in the classroom, it is also important in an online environment.
Gentner, D., & Loewenstein, J., & Thompson, L. (2003). Learning and transfer: A general role for analogical encoding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 393-405.
The article tested three studies that claimed that analogical encoding- comparing two instances of a to-be learned principle- is a powerful ways to promote learning. This relates to this particular lesson because this lesson attempts to engage students by having them compare and contrast their own lives to that of others in real way. By learning how to compare and contrast in this instance, it is possible that students will be able to transfer this compare-contrast schema to another situation that calls for it.
Barab, S., Scott, B., Siyahhan, S., Goldstone, R., Ingram-Goble, A., Zuiker, S., et al. (2009). Transformational play as a cirricular scaffold: Using videogames to support science education. Journal of Science and Educational Technology, 18(4) 305-320.
As educators, we want our students to be able to do and apply the knowldege they gain in the classroom and apply it to the real world. This article mentions that the more control and structure a teacher places on a particular task, the less room their is to learn for the students. This brings up the fine line between too much breathing room and stifiling a students creativity. This lesson attempts to place students in a safe and somewhat controlled environment, but does not dictate them and leave no room for expressing their own opinions.
Gee, J. (2008). Games for learning institute. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/4513412
This video discussed intential problems in games that promote intrinsic learning and 21st century skills. This connects to this lesson in the way that this lesson is organized in a way to illicit deep conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills, which are both important 21st century skills.
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Fostering Classroom Norms: Using Wikispaces