Author

Caitlin Gayles

This has been a year of unprecedented firsts and challenges. One of the most notable firsts has been the swift and abrupt transition to nationwide online learning due to COVID-19. Going hand in hand with this has been a newfound focus on racial equity and injustice through the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and across the globe. With this recent focus, there has been a strong call for analyzing curriculum through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now, bringing these two massive challenges together can create a daunting task for educators to create an equitable, accessible curriculum that can all be done online. This can be overwhelming, but we are going to provide you with 3 tips for how to teach Black history online.

1. Vet the Content in Your Black History Curriculum

How many times have you scrolled Facebook or Instagram and seen something re-shared on your timeline that you know is inaccurate? It’s incredibly common, a study from MIT revealed that misinformation traveled 6 times faster than accurate information. With how fast news spreads today, it is so important to vet the Black history lessons and content you are using with your students AND teach your students how to analyze what is truthful information vs. what is not.

2. Multimedia is Possible

Youtube, Instagram, gifs, Tik-Tok, Google Chat, games, you name it — students know about it. With all of these new avenues to connect and learn more, students no longer have to learn about Black history through dry textbooks! Instead, they can watch, listen, and learn through engaging, interactive online formats. Leveraging a variety of media platforms to teach Black history in school is one way to really emphasize to students that a lot of what we see in history books didn’t happen hundreds of years ago, it happened when their grandparents and great-grandparents were alive. In addition, being online gives them the opportunity to explore digital activism avenues and dive deeper into topics after they are covered in class.

Engage and Inspire with EVERFI’s 306 - Online Black History Curriculum for High School Students

3. Embrace the Anonymity

One of the biggest critiques of online activity is the anonymity of it; the ability to hide behind a screen. While generally, this can be a negative thing, use it to your advantage while teaching Black history to get a baseline of understanding from your students. As part of your Black history curriculum, provide an anonymous online survey that measures their understanding of basic concepts around identity, privilege, and oppression. In addition, ask them what THEY would like to learn about Black history. It could be a specific event they’ve heard about or diving deeper into a topic that has been covered in the past. Empower students to take control of their own cultural literacy education.