By Namik Sercan, Fulton Science Academy High Principal
AP U.S. history students at Fulton Science Academy High School recently participated in a webinar with Professor Michael Schwartz of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, part of an Ashbrook Center initiative to bring some of the nation’s best scholars and teachers of American history into the high school classroom.
Professor Schwartz, who teaches classes in early American history at Ashland, joined the class via the WebEx web conference platform which allows students to see, hear, and speak with professors live and online. The webinars have been designed to track with the AP U.S. history curriculum.
Students prepared for the session by reading assigned primary source documents covering the end of the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln’s plans for reconstruction.
Professor Schwartz conducted an interactive lecture and discussion with the students. While students first felt a bit intimidated by having a college professor in the classroom asking them questions, Professor Schwartz put everyone at ease.
After the session, students voiced their enthusiasm about the opportunity to use technology to bring a professional historian into the classroom. Student Juan Sepulveda called it a great experience to learn at a higher level. Jack Joiner, another student in the class, said it was reaffirming to have a professional historian validate his ideas. Teacher Kelly Rodgers called it an excellent opportunity for students to experience the college classroom and hoped that students were inspired to continue studying history beyond high school. The students hope to have the opportunity to participate in another webinar next semester.