I have this problem with always thinking about stuff that can be done and then thinking that I have to do it. Now. It's no wonder I'm always behind on sleep and little pesky things like that.
So I've come up with an idea for an oral history project which just popped into my head a couple of days ago, and I already have a committee assembled to start working on it. What I want to do is to build on USM's project and focus only on retired teachers in Mississippi, mainly two-year college teachers and even more specifically from my own school. The goal is to build an archive of materials chronicling the history of education in Mississippi as remembered by the teachers. I'm thinking that we will do interviews with retired teachers, record the interviews on digital voice recorders, then transfer them to CDs and to some sort of online format. Then the human experience of the history of the school and the state will be preserved for future students and researchers to access. And, of course, I'll have yet another item of interest to blog about.
Call me a nerd, but I'm excited about the idea.
I'm also trying to formulate how I might transfer this kind of thing to the classroom. I'm considering doing a local history theme in a composition class and have the students do oral history interviews then write about them. I also thought they could use the original response paper to the interviews as a springboard for getting into a more focused research project and paper.
Another idea I had was to give them a choice of doing a photo essay on local history and writing in response to it.
Have any of you ever tried anything like this before? Any advice would be welcome.