Hello! My name is Chris Bickel. I currently am the Supervisor of Social Studies for Livingston Public Schools in NJ. I wanted to share some exciting news developing in the ongoing partnership between schools and the Museums/Historic Homes/National Parks that exist within their borders.
Last summer, as a Teacher Ranger Teacher with Morristown National Historic Park in Morristown, NJ, I created a Teacher Immersion Workshop that “flipped” the field trip experience for teachers. Instead of being a passive bystander to local Docent or Ranger led programs, my workshop showed educators how to be creators, co-leaders and facilitators of the experiences they wanted their students to have while on site. Essentially, the Teacher Immersion Workshop exposed educators to all of the cultural, recreational, and historic resources their local National Park/Museum/Historic Home had to offer. During the Teacher Immersion, we stopped frequently to “prototype” ideas on how to increase engagement among visitors, how to incorporate technology as a “hook” and how to make sure student/visitor experiences are fun and rigorous at the same time. The Teacher Immersion workshops were a huge success.
I enjoyed the work so much that this summer I decided to “consult” and work with Museums/National Parks/Historic Homes on strategies to engage visitors more deeply while utilizing relevant technological resources as a “hook” to increase visitor engagement. Essentially, I have a team of educators across the K-12 spectrum that will develop lessons and corresponding activities for your site. I have elementary specialists, technology integration specialists, document based question (DBQ) specialists, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) specialists, AP teachers and educators that can design lessons with accommodations built in for struggling learners.
If you or anyone you know is interested please contact me and I’ll provide references of local NJ places I have worked with, scope of work, cost and more. Thanks for reading!
Supervisor of Social Studies