High school mashup: Digital History Class

We’ve long been admirers of the creative things educators and students do with SketchUp. Michael Hathorn is a high school teacher in Hartford, Vermont who teaches an innovative class that he describes as a “digital history” of their small town. They document White River Junction’s history by constructing 3D models of the town’s buildings and geo-locating them in Google Earth.

We’ve blogged about Hartford High before – and even found his work as an educator deserving of an official case-study video. Mike and five of his students presented at our Google Geo Teacher Institute last summer; since then, all of those students have gone off to college with a serious tool set of skills learned in Mike’s class.

This year, high school senior Michael Bateman created a video about his teacher’s class (above). In it, he and others explain why their project is so valuable in relation to typical high school classroom coursework.

There’s no doubt that engaging students can be difficult; it’s fun to see why Michael and his peers are so jazzed about this class. I’m also envious of his mad videography skills. Nice work, Mike and Michael.

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