B3 – How were the two online research experiences different? Which type of research (pre or post visits) was more motivating for you?
When I looked at at the websites before I went, I did not have anything to hook information to. It was interesting and it helped to have a picture in my mind when I actually went to the places and it was kind of nice to get a little background information. It certainly helped me know what to look for. And helped me formulate some questions.
It was way more fun to go off on my own … I Google-Earthed and Google-Mapped the places where I was going so that I could see where they were and how to get there. It drew my interest to see where they sit in CA – especially in relation to other things I know (like home and the ocean).
Regarding the research: I am a computer teacher. I am also the webmaster for our school. And a genealogist with about a billion hours of research experience. Reading the website was kind of painful – most of these websites are out of date in their style, though the information is fine. Here is an example: On the cuca. K12 website, see those boxes? Those are tables with cellpadding and cellspacing set to about 5 with the borders showing. Nobody does that anymore. (http://www.cuca.k12.ca.us/lessons/missions/Cruz/SantaCruz.html). It’s unsophisticated.
However, I enjoyed taking the little quiz on that site (they call it Graphic Tour) – the visit made me want to learn more! I got an A on the test (I cheated, looking everything up again as I went along). It’s so hard anymore to memorize things when we know that if we need it, the information is available with a click on a phone.
When I got home, I was much more interested in some of the details – I found this sentence the Wikipedia site to be rather shocking: “As with the other California missions, Mission Santa Cruz served as a site for ecclesiastical conversion of natives”. We don’t think of it that way – the pretty little missions that the 5th graders built …. are they taught that it was good to convert someone else? I wonder how teachers handle that now – it seems so wrong to me (I’m a liberal)!
Truth is, there aren’t really any modern websites about this topic. I did a bunch of research and found very little … I linked a couple of sites to the blog.
In my after-visit research, I enjoyed this interesting fact about Santa Cruz: “Historic Garden was begun over the old Mission burial grounds in tribute to our Native American brothers and sisters.” (http://www.holycrosssantacruz.com/about_us.html). “