Describe the audience for the final project that you have in mind and why you chose that audience.
My final project will be aimed at high school students, predominantly studying American history in their junior year. I will specifically design the unit to suit my AP English Language and Composition students who are reading nonfiction novels, articles, essays throughout the year with a small sprinkling of poetry and fictional pieces. These readings designed to raise questions regarding political, ethical, cultural, and social issues, thus we will look at how a virtually unknown local flight school that operated during WWII in their town affected local history and their assumptions and views on pilots, patriotism, and more. I believe that this lesson in local history will enable students to look beyond the textbook and realize that history is constant and living.
How will digital media and/or digital tools be important to teaching my target audience one of the essential lessons I’ll be focusing on in my project?
My project will aim at teaching high school students about American history during WWII in connection to local history. While the knowledge of historical events and places are important to the lesson, students will mostly rely on primary sources and first person accounts to piece the puzzle of this time period together from the local front. Digital media will play a role in watching interviews, documentaries, reading diaries of WWII pilots, and analyzing images using the following websites:
- The WWII Combat Diary of Lt. Kermit D. Wooldridge – https://sites.google.com/site/ww2pilotsdiary/
- The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII – http://www.radiodiaries.org/the-wasps-women-pilots-of-wwii/
- Diary of Bruce Johnston – http://lancasterdiary.net/
- World War II First Person Accounts, Letters Home, Diaries, & Journals – http://www.teacheroz.com/WWII_Oral_History.htm
- What did it take to be a fighter pilot? – http://www.talkingproud.us/Retired/Retired/WWIIfighterpilot_files/becoming-a-wwii-fighter-pilot.pdf
- Aviation Cadet Training Program – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_Cadet_Training_Program_(USAAF)
- Pilot’s Log at Mesa del Rey – http://acsleonard.org/pilotslog/
- Life Magazine Covers:
What, specifically, about the digital environment will influence what you do and why?
The digital environment will provide the literature, images, and overall the resources for the lesson. Students will be “mining” sites and browsing for material to compare, to ask questions, and to be better informed about the the journey of pilots. Then they will create their own site about one of the pilots who were trained at Mesa del Rey similar to the Bruce Johnston Diary website. Since they will be inventing a life for a person after training, it will be crucial that they understand what it took to become a pilot, to serve during the war, and to make the sacrifices.