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Learning Technologies Podcast- Sept 10 – History Example
Topic: World War II Atlantic Wall
Lily: Welcome to Emily and Lily’s Podcast!
Emily: Today’s topic is The Atlantic Wall from World War 2
Lily: The Atlantic Wall was a massive building effort ordered by Adolph Hitler. The “Atlantic Wall” spanned almost 2,000 miles, in Norway, along the Belgium and French coastline to the border with Spain. The Atlantic Wall contained 19 million tons of steel and concrete, minefields, all kinds of weaponry, and concrete bunkers for 300,000 soldiers. 260,000 workers, and, of course, all kinds of weaponry and minefields.
Emily: The Atlantic Wall was Germany’s defense from invasion along the western coast of Europe and Scandinavia against invasion of mainland Europe by Great Britain and the Allies of World War II. It was completed in May of 1943.
Lily: The Germans had highly experienced men, heavy infantry weapons, and powerful anti-tank capabilities to defend the Atlantic Wall. Germany assumed the attack would most likely occur in Normandy, France and they concentrated their efforts at this location. There was some controversy about the building of this wall as French construction companies were hired to build much of it, then after the war these same companies were hired to reconstruct the area or take it down. The construction workers were not prisoners and at first were able to go home on Sundays, but after the Battle of Stalingrad they were fenced into a work camp with barbed wire. Those working the wall were paid a minimal wage for the work they carried out.
Emily: The allies bombed the Germans’ occupied territories relentlessly, day and night. An invasion was eminent. In 1943 Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took over command of the Atlantic Wall construction.
Lily: Soon Rommel realized that he wasn’t going to prevent an invasion, but rather he needed to use the Atlantic Wall to prevent the Allied forces from gaining ground quickly during their invasion through Europe. So General Rommel built up a defense of over 6 million landmines and gun emplacements along roads away from beaches. Rommel set slanted poles with pointed tops to stop gliders and parachutists and did everything he could to defend the beaches.
Emily: Rommel’s realization was correct. The Allied forces did attack on June 6th, 1944 at the beaches of Normandy, France. This day was better known in history as D-Day or Operation Overlord.
Lily: General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Commander of the Allied troops. More than 160,000 Allied troops landed at Normandy, France and breached the Atlantic Wall. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion giving the Allies the foothold that German General Rommel feared. The Atlantic Wall was effective to some point as the cost to the Allies was high: over 9000 Allied casualties. By nightfall of the first day, British, American, and Canadian infantry divisions forced Hilter’s troops to retreat.
Emily: The Atlantic Wall was built to stop an Allied attack on Nazi occupied Europe. Remnants of the Atlantic Wall still exist today although it has fallen into disrepair. Many structures have fallen into the ocean, some have been demolished, and others have been dismantled.
Lily: In recent years historians have begun movements to preserve the remaining structures in order to preserve the memory of what existed during World War II.
Emily: This has been “Emily and Lily’s Podcast.” Join us again next time!
Please leave a comment and let’s keep the discussion going.
Learning Technologies Podcast – August 30- Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms?
Welcome to the Learning Technologies Podcast. Today’s topic is … Do We Need a GPS to Find Our Classrooms? This question emerged when I visited an EdTech discussion board hosting a discussion on the value of face-to-face training over eLearning, blended learning, and other types of training. The consensus seemed to be that there is room for training in F2F classrooms. These face-to-face classrooms were labeled as “controlled learning environments.” I parked on the label of “controlled learning environments. Hmmm… I wonder, “are there really learning scenarios, outside of university research labs, that can accurately be classified as “controlled learning environments” and if so, do we really want these? Do we want learning to be controlled, or, in the spirit of socio-cultural learning, do we want another outcome? Also, can we expand the definition of classrooms to extend beyond four plastered and/or windowed walls?
Thank you for considering these questions with me. I enjoy learning from you! Please leave a comment and let’s keep the discussion going.
Learning Technologies Podcast – April 10- Primary Sources and their Use in Digital Reading
Welcome to the Learning Technologies Podcast. Today’s topic is … Primary Resources and their Use in Online Courses. This podcast occurs in conjunction with my facilitation of PBS TeacherLine’s Online Course in Digital Reading. Primary sources are the raw materials of history — they are the original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without experience. Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills.
Resources matter. How we reflect on them matters too. Sometimes our students get caught up in their impression of what is said and who is saying it. They mix their opinion of the source with what the person may or may not be trying to communicate. But students of Historiographytell us this does not change the efficacy of the resource itself.
For example, last year, there was a renewed interest in Ireland on the events of the 1916 Easter Rising, also referred to as the Rising. Researchers are returning to primary sources such as journals, diaries, death records, and cemetery listings to discover that many more people died than previously thought in the uprising for Irish Independence from Britain. One historian, Ray Bateson continues to search for a comprehensive listing of the previously unrecognized heroes of the Rising. Although records of the Irish Easter Rising are scant in the United States’ Library of Congress, they are included and it is significant to note that the importance of Primary Resources is part of global endeavors.
Perhaps the best benefit of online courses is the time given (and even encouraged) for reflection and consideration. So, consider with me- Is there a place for primary sources in courses delivered online and, if so, what does this mean for citing sources and pointing students to primary sources?
Thank you for considering these questions with me. I enjoy learning from you! Please leave a comment in our Week 3 discussion board to keep the discussion going.