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Living History Presented Through Distance Learning
Posted 4/15/20

Distance Learning Screencast

TeWinkle Middle School Distance Learning

Living History Presented Through Distance Learning

As Distance Learning continues in Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), two teachers brought history to life by virtually connecting students to war veterans as part of the Freedom Committee of Orange County Living History Program.  

Eighth-grade history students at TeWinkle Middle School were afforded the opportunity to virtually connect with 12 war veterans via an online video conference, as part of one of their online classroom instruction sessions.  The veterans served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Cold War and more recently the Gulf War. One veteran, a Newport Harbor High School Alumn, Gary Tegel presented his life experiences growing up in a military family and serving in the U.S. Navy for 25 years, as a maintenance technician, senior chief, and enlisted surface warfare specialist.

Students were able to ask veterans questions in real-time, as they were assigned to compare and contrast two veteran experiences by designing infographics and compare one of the presentations to the experiences and lives of a Union or Confederate soldier from the Civil War using primary and secondary sources.  Students asked Tegel questions ranging from “what life returning deployment was like?” to personal questions like “where did you meet your wife?” Students are now tasked with creating a video or screencast to share their presentations with peers.

“We are grateful for everyone's flexibility and support as we continue to provide a great education to our students via our new normal,” said Mr. Chris Flores, NMUSD eighth-grade teacher. “We appreciate the Freedom Committee veterans for their willingness to participate and provide this valuable learning opportunity for our students,” he said.

NMUSD has had a partnership with the Freedom Committee of Orange County for many years to provide students with real-life connections to history. As Distance Learning continues we hope to continue providing students with opportunities to learn and make connections from their lessons to the real-world.