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Preparing for our trip, and a NEW Irish Studies Website

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

As we enter the Spring and the month of May quickly approaches there is a growing sense of excitement for the upcoming trip.  Our Tuesday evening classes are buzzing with questions and excitement and chaperones and students are counting the days till we board the bus to JFK airport.

Class lessons continue on Irish history, The Famine, politics (both past and present) and emigration. Readings from the text(s), web sites, articles and letters help better inform students about where they will be working and studying, what they will be seeing and experiencing while travel through the Emerald Isle.

This year students will be using social media tools to tell the story of the Irish journey.  As they prepare for the trip, students are reviewing the web sites from previous years. This year, they will be applying lessons learned and using some exciting new tools to share their stories online in our revamped Irish Studies website.

wordpress_logoA WordPress weblog will be used as the foundation for the site. The blog will host posting from each of the areas of studies in which we will be working, along with posts from chaperones and students about the trip.

We will be using Twitter to “micro-blog” about the trip, providing short text message like updates. Followers will be able to visit the blog and view the posts on the site, view our Twitter page (http://twitter.com/irishstudies) or “follow” our Twitter feed from their own Twitter application.

YouTube and Flickr with be used to share out videos and images with our audience. You will be able to visit the trip’s site to view these item or you can view our Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/mkairishstudies) or our Flickr Photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/irishstudies/).

The changes to the format of the site are designed provide for more authentic authorship of the students work and to invite comments and dialog about their work. It provides a true opportunity to be “published” authors and contribute to the online Irish Studies knowledge base.

For more information and detail on our use of these social media tools and the change in format check out: http://irishstudies.mka.org and explore the pages and posts there.