Active History is proud to present a video each week from New Directions in Active History. The conference took place at Huron University College on October 2-4, 2015 and brought together scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to active history.
In this week’s video, Neil Orford, a history teacher in the Upper Grand District School Board, discusses a program he designed and implemented called the Digital Historian Project. The Digital Historian Project attempts to tie together history and math through a blended learning environment. In this video Neil outlines his motivations as well as the program’s core vision. He also discusses the challenges faced in running this program, and how integrating an “outside the box” historical and mathematical outlook creates a positive learning environment in which most of the participants will thrive. Using an online database, the program is taught at the local museum in Dufferin County, emphasizing the necessary relationship he has built with his municipality and local museum. This innovative approach to teaching history has garnered support from international organizations. His students were selected to be youth representatives at the 71st D-Day Memorial service in Normandy. Through this program, Neil has hoped to offer history and math in a richer and more involved environment in order to stimulate self-driven interest in history.