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  • keoug2 2:03 pm on 2015-12-11 Permalink  

    The information covered in this course is great, in the sense that it presents the history of America in an objective way by presenting the facts through an economic lens therefore clarifying some of the misconceptions about our history. I was stunned to learn about the indentured servitude that was present in British colonies and how that transpired into a wealth gap that we still see today. I was also fascinated to learn how both the world wars propelled the Unites States into a wealthy nation. We covered a lot of information and I especially liked how it was all fact based.

     
  • warnkev 8:31 pm on 2015-12-08 Permalink  

    Much of the layout and format of this course was experimental. What did you like about it, dislike about it, or what would you change?

    One of my favorite things about this course was (except for it being online, of course) was the two week deadline. It gave me time to plan for a bit. If it was on a weekly schedule, I’d feel constantly rushed. I liked “Jim’s Thoughts” better than the books. Lastly, I really enjoyed the term “paper” and how it gave us a ton of freedom on how we wanted to approach it. Reading other people’s papers (someting you don’t usually get to do) was really fun, good job everybody!

    ~Vincent

     
  • warnkev 8:13 pm on 2015-12-08 Permalink  

    What’s the most significant ideas, information, or skills that you feel you learned during this course?

    I feel that some of the most significant ideas & information that I learned in this class was just looking at our history in a new perspective. Most of the history classes and courses I’ve taken up ’till now have been focusing on dates, times, with an emphasis on the political spectrum. In most courses, the military, economy, and religion aspect have taken the backburner, to be mentioned a couple times, but to otherwise be forgotten. To have a class focused on one of these was refreshing. This made me relize that there is another side to each story. One thing that stuck out to me was how much of an effect the economy had, and still has on our nation. One such example is that the reason this country was “discovered”, colonized, and founded was for economic reasons. Columbus was sailing west to find new trade routes to India, Jamestown was founded to supply the English with gold, and one of the battle cries of the American Revolution was about taxes. .

     
  • pennelk2 11:11 am on 2015-12-04 Permalink  

    I enjoyed reading “The Big Roads” by Earl Swift and looked forward to sharing the wealth of both human characters and big Ideas offered by this complex and exhaustive examination of the development of the U.S Highway System. Insightful biography includes racing pioneers like Carl g. Fisher, who championed for good new roads for the detailed automobile boom that far exceeded anyone’s expectations at the turn of the previous century.
    Engineers like Thomas Harris MacDonald, the “Chief” and single greatest contributor to the highway effort, and Frank Turner- a progressive Texan that always let the facts guide the decision making process. Then, of course, there is Dwight Eisenhower who really is only the namesake of the highway system. I have lost any respect that I may have had for this President after learning how detached from reality he was based on the stories in this book. Powerful men like Al Gore Sr, who whittled and country danced his way through law school, and men like Joseph Wiles, from Rosemont Baltimore that helped their community find a common voice against a system of roads that was both unjust and unjustified.
    This book traces the highway system as we know it back to Indian trails and Iowa “Gumbo”– from Ike’s truck convoy from Washington D.C. that struggled to cross the Utah salt flats and reach the west coast to the first attempt at a national route which was known as the “Lincoln Highway”. How states all had different standards for their roads, and the relationship between the states and federal government had not been established as such today. Swift very confusingly asks the question that was at hand: “Would there be a system of national roads, or a national system of roads?”
    With all the best intentions, these men and women created a system of roads that is now inextricably linked to our nation’s defense and commerce but- the environmental and human consequences have been regrettable. I looked at google maps of “The Ditch” and “the Stub” of I-70 that was set to ruin Gwynn Falls park in Baltimore- and it clear that things were happening that did not really have the benefits intended. This reminds me how Lansing blacks used to get sold houses in the impending 496 corridor, the plans were on the public record- so the realtors hands were clean.
    Highways have fundamentally changed life in the U.S. in the last century, and comprise a government building expenditure grander than anything in history of the world- the power behind the push is exampled by the “Project Carryall” plan to use nuclear warheads to build roads in the west– narrowly averted by a nonproliferation treaty with the USSR.

    Swift brought me back to “South of the Border” on I-95 towards Myrtle Beach. I wondered about that place………
    Also, anybody who likes “Route 66” is positively required to read this book. See you where it ends on Santa Monica Pier!

     
  • tatef 11:46 pm on 2015-12-02 Permalink  

    I really liked the layout of the course overall. I appreciated having time to get through things and not having to skip sleep to get caught up just because I had a busy week.
    I don’t know if the commons is significantly better than a standard discussion board but it was a bit easier to navigate (not that the alternative is that hard but I am lazy). I think the hardest thing in an online class is how to get people to have a conversation with each other instead of with the prof. In person it’s easy, and sometimes too easy, to end up having a real discussion. When its required to respond to someone else its always trite or someone looking to pick a fight (I feel guilty admitting I include myself in this). Maybe require 2 posts and a response to a question you ask and let follow up conversations count towards the other two? Or perhaps participate a bit yourself? Im not trying to be rude, Im sure you have plenty to keep you busy as it is, but I think students are automatically looking to the teacher for what is expected. If you respond and ask a question it would give us more of a reason to be invested. It’s something that is hard to replicate in an online format; while quizzes indicate how many facts we know one of the best parts of a college class is getting feedback on how you are thinking about the facts. Giving points can only indicate it was good, good enough, or bad. Having responses might also cause students to space out their posts a bit so they don’t do what almost all of us did: put up three posts very close together because it encourages me to think of it as an assignment that just needs completing. Hopefully, most of these bad habits are just me but I suspect not. I don’t know if any of those are good ideas; all I know for sure is that if you can get actual discussions on a discussion board you win online teaching.
    Edit the heck out of Sage American (first choice), be more selective in the chapters(second choice), or do away with it altogether(last choice). Its got good information but sometimes you have to slog through redundant paragraphs and 5 different fonts to get it; and quite a bit will be repeated in the textbook, Jim’s thoughts or Weinberg.
    The final project is a definite keeper to me: I liked my book and while it took a little longer to make a webpage than it would have to write a paper (Im not a particularly creative person) it was something different. I wouldn’t want to read anyone’s formal paper (no offense), but I like the webpages Ive read so far.
    I hope that didn’t sound too negative: I’ve enjoyed the class, the vast majority of the readings (Ok, maybe enjoyed is a bit of a stretch but appreciated at least) and read more of the discussion board than I would have guessed. Thanks for a good semester.

     
  • tatef 11:06 pm on 2015-12-02 Permalink  

    Significant ideas: While our current economic climate is pretty messed up it beats almost any other time in US history. Infinitely more so for anyone who isn’t a white male. That’s not white guilt or me being an SJW, it’s just the very obvious truth. Even the vast majority of white males were screwed over for the majority of the countries history through economic circumstance (Various recessions, the Great Depression, drought etc…) and deliberate action by the wealthy. How would modern America react to companies using machine guns on striking employees? We’ve come far and obviously still have a longs way to go.
    Information: Primarily the entire Weinberg book. While I think he jumped to a lot of conclusions the information he presented was well researched, thought provoking and sometimes surprising. I’ve also enjoyed the various webpages, especially the videos. Hearing information helps things stick for me.
    Skills: By having two weeks between units I have refined my procrastination skills. Or utilized time management successfully, however you like to think of it. Making a webpage was interesting.

     
  • jim luke 8:16 pm on 2015-11-30 Permalink  

    Book reviews are now more easily viewed! Two routes: Roll your mouse over the “Book Review Projects 2015” in the menu bar. Sub-menu items will appear. Each is a book review. Option 2: click on the Book Review Projects 2015 item in the menu bar. Links will appear on the page that gets displayed.
    jim

     
  • warnkev 8:25 pm on 2015-11-29 Permalink  

    For viewing the book reviews…….Under EconProph, click on open Dashboard. Then on the left click on pages, all pages. Then up at the top click on “Published” Scroll over each title and a VIEW button will appear. Click on it and it will open up the published page.

     
  • keoug2 9:17 am on 2015-11-29 Permalink  

    How do you view the book reviews? When I click on the Book Review Projects 2015 link, all it says is “of course there isn’t anything here yet, the book reviews aren’t due until November.”

     
  • warnkev 1:50 pm on 2015-11-28 Permalink  

    Comments on “Exploration Through Capitalization: The Early Fur Trade”:

    This was super informative! I learned a lot about the beginnings of the fur trade, like the first trappers and traders were Pilgrims. Also, never really understood what wampum were… thanks for explaining that! I also didn’t know that George Washington set up trading stations.

     
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