At the beginning of the semester, the Literacy in the Digital Age class was asked to pick a topic on which we would research and learn about one particular topic for the rest of the semester. Picking this topic was the hardest thing for me, because it was so wide open on what we could choose. Not a lot had come to mind, because everything I would have an interest in learning, I already went out myself and learned. Coaching soccer, basketball, and track were something that I was interested in and I would look up YouTube videos on how to teach a particular skill. Fishing was a passion of mine, but I did not want to look up information that I had already learned from my dad all my life. I decided to pick a topic that would benefit me in the future. Since I was already doing a class for teaching, I thought “why not choose to refine my skills in teaching by learning about what I wanted to teach”. I chose to look at different disciplines of history and what they were all about.
Through the semester there were rough patches of not wanting to learn about the topic because I had trouble finding which discipline I wanted to pursue next. Other than finding the discipline to study, I enjoyed learning about the different types of history because it is something I am very passionate about. Being a history major, writing comes easy because writing is heavily valued in history almost as much as in English classes. There was not much that was too challenging about learning about my independent learning project.
The best part of the independent learning project was researching a topic such as economic history which I am not too fond of. Learning new things helps you grow as a learner and makes you more ready for the future as a teacher. The disciplines I had newly learned may not be fully beneficial if I am not using them in my classroom but I will at least know of them. History disciplines overlap in one way or another, so to have this background knowledge is always helpful.
Independent learning projects sound like a wonderful idea for in the classroom. Learning should be about what you as a student want to learn, not what you have to learn. I always dread the topics in school that you were not fully interested in. This makes it so much harder to keep focused. I think I will do independent learning projects within the scope of my classroom like an aspect of history but I will give them the freedom to choose which aspect they would want to choose.
Overall, I have grown from the independent learning project that I did. I do not regret choosing the topic that I chose because I was passionate about it, and a driven learner.