Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Student Episodes: History and Indiana Jones

In world history class, the students watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and then chose a historical topic found in the movie. They then researched the topic to produce a special episode of Vox Historia.

These new episodes are part of a limited series called "History and Indiana Jones." Listen as the students discuss Indiana Jones and the research they did behind the history. New episodes will appear below as they come in.

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6th Period 7th Period

Friday, September 27, 2019

History and Indiana Jones

We begin the new season of Vox Historia: The Voice of History by examining the history found in Indian Jones.  In class, the students recently watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. As part of this project, students picked an historical aspect of the movie. They then researched the topics and will present discussions about their findings on new episodes of Vox Historia.

Not wanting to take from the students, instructors Bruce Janu and Jim Pfeiffer sit down in this episode to discuss the history found in a later movie of the series, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In this discussion, they touch upon the Knights Templar and zeppelins. This episode was produced as a model for the students as their produce their own podcasts.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Jewish Resistance During World War II

When you talk about Ww2 you always hear about Jews dying before but never about their resistance against the Nazis. Jewish resistance in Auschwitz helped give hope to many Jews in a time when there was none. In this podcast Anne and Jakub talk about their experience during the resistance, in a fiction story about their lives. This episode was written and produced by Jayden Marquis and Emanuel Gonzalez.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

World Wars I and II: A Skit Saga

World Wars I and II were some of the most influential wars to our lives today. Not only did they open our eyes to many new ideas, they have taught us lessons that should never be repeated. On this episode of Vox Historia, join Abby Maciaszek and Katie Vassiliou as they host a show filled with skits to teach us about these two World Wars.

Technology: A journey through the shrinking of the world

The world today revolves around technology, and thanks to innovations in technology, the world has become a “smaller” place. From the invention of duct tape to the Nintendo switch, our world has been changing and shrinking from day one. On this episode of Vox Historia, Tara Baiti and Simone Sierra take you on a journey to see how the world has changed through technology.

Effects Of Decolonization through the Rwandan Genocide

The wave of the decolonization of European powers that came after World War 2 left a lasting impact on the African countries, leaving the native countries with the imposed boundaries made by the colonists. The imposed structures left by the European settlers created many conflicts with these young African nations. In this podcast, Mariano Alanis and Shyam Patel examine one of those reactions to the conflicts of systems that were caused by decolonization. The reaction being the horrible event that was the Rwandan Genocide.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Effect of the colonization of Australia

In 1778, Captain James Cook, in search of a new colony discovered what is now modern day Queensland, Australia and claimed it for king and country. Initiating Britain to settle a far outpost for the empire and a dumping ground for prisoners after losing to the newly formed United States. The settling of Australia and the reasons that pertained to it reflect the imperialist attitudes of Britain wanting to expand to add land and power. The colonization changed a nomadic place to what is now Australia. In this podcast, we analyze the effects at a migrational, environmental and demographic aspect. This episode was written and produced by Mariano Alanis, Natasha Sevilla and Shyam Patel.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Causes and Effects of the French Revolution

The French Revolution was a huge turning point in French society. Citizens of the third estate were tired of being mistreated and ignored and finally stood up for themselves and what they believed in, in order to get justice. On this episode of Vox Historia, Tara Baiti, Xiomara Myles, and Nikol Kroumova discuss the causes and effects of the revolution through the various points of view of people from this period.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Opium Wars

The opium wars highlights Britain and the rest of Europe’s imperialistic ideologies that underwent in the mid 19th century. These events ultimately dismantled China and their ways of life as nearly 10 million people became addicted to opium products. In this episode of Vox Historia, Dean Fries, Jack Anderzak and Adam Malmstrom provide actions and reactions on how imperialism changed the world forever.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Abolishment of Slavery in Africa and The Americas

In this episode Braden and Jillian take you back on a time travel adventure to the time of slavery. In this episode of Vox Historia you will learn about Slavery in North/South America and Africa, laws and bills that were passed in order to abolish slavery, abolitionist movements that led to Emancipation, the treatment of slavery and tasks slaves were forced to follow, and how legislative Rulers affected slavery in both good and bad ways.

Imperialism in the Berlin Conference

Throughout the 19th century, European powers rushed to conquer land in Africa. The Berlin Conference from 1884-1885 gathered representatives from across Europe to discuss this colonialism in Africa and create borders for their new territories. Sandra, a reporter for Time Travel News, journeys back to the beginning of this conference to interview the Europeans and figure out why Africa is causing such a stir. This episode was written and produced by Ryan Allegretti, Sandra Garcia and Claudia Rejowski.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Toussaint’s College of Revolutionary Knowledge

As you sit back and listen, you hear three revolutionary leaders come together and talk about the effects of enlightenment, which led to their revolts. On this episode of Vox Historia, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Maximilien Robespierre, and Simon Bolivar will take us back to that time and explain different ways they were influenced by the Enlightenment, and how they used those great ideas for the greater good of their people. This episode was written and produced by Kristina Chirbas, Lexie Mahoney, and Varsha George.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Industrial Revolution and How It Spread Across the World

The industrial revolution changed the entire world for the better. In the late 1700’s, Britain started making new inventions like the steam engine which led to machine powered factories. New modes of transportation helped to spread the industrial revolution and its benefits on the quality of life across the world. On this episode of Vox Historia, Brett Ulreich, Katie Vassiliou, and Marc Imperial bring us to the future to discuss what the industrial revolution is and how it spread.

Listen below or in your favorite podcast app.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Women's Rights: From the Enlightenment to Now

Who runs the world? Girls! Women are undeniably some of the strongest people in history, from the dawn of time to the present day women have fought for the rights they deserve inspiring generations of women to do the same. Beginning from the enlightenment and ending in modern times, Simone Sierra, Glaiza Tabornal, and Abby Maciaszek show us the history of women’s rights and how far we’ve come.

Let us know what you think!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Was Germany Treated Fairly in the Versailles Peace Treaty?

In this first student episode of Vox Historia, sophomores Emmanuel Gonzalez and Jayden Marquis discuss the Versailles Peace Treaty that ended the First World War and whether or not Germany was treated fairly in the details.

Listen below or in your favorite podcast app.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Battalion of Death

Maria Bochkareva was a soldier, fighting for Russia during the First World War. This episode was written and produced by Elk Grove High School World History teacher, Bruce Janu.  This episode is designed to demonstrate how a podcast can be used to tell history---by telling the story of the Battalion of Death.

Future episodes of Vox Historia will be researched, written and produced by students in World History class.


"Women’s Battalion of Death: First World War All-Female Forces From Russia" by Holly Godbey from War History Online.

Yashka: My Life as Peasant, Exile and Soldier by Maria Bochkareva, published in 1919 accessed via Google Books.

"Overlooked No More: Maria Bochkareva, Who Led Women Into Battle in WWI" by Elisabeth Goodridge, New York Times April 25, 2018.

"Maria Bochkareva" Spartacus Educational.

Maria Bochkareva

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Introducing Vox Historia

What is Vox Historia? Listen as Bruce Janu explains the root of the project and how students in his World History class will be writing and producing upcoming episodes.

This week, an episode produced by Bruce Janu will drop. Then, Jayden and Emmanuel will post their episode about the Versailles Peace Treaty.

In the coming weeks, other students will be given the opportunity to produce episodes as well.

Vox Historia is hosted on Anchor.fm. It will be available soon on other platforms as well. Check back for more information.

World History students Emmanuel and Jayden try out the podcasting equipment as they get ready to produce their first episode of Vox Historia.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Welcome to Vox Historia: The Voices of History

My name is Bruce Janu. I have been teaching history for 27 years. I am basically a traditional teacher: I like to lecture and tell the stories of history. Human beings have been telling stories long before they started to write them down. And I love it when I can hook a student through the power of storytelling. I have found that students are most attentive when history is presented as a story. Consequently, my classroom has been very "teacher-centered." Not that this is bad thing. I love telling stories. I love getting students interested in history.

However, students become complacent. They want to be given the information that they can then simply regurgitate on tests. And then it is forgotten. They become too comfortable in this sedentary, passive environment.

This year, a bunch of us at Elk Grove High School watched the documentary Most Likely to Succeed. That film highlighted a non-traditional school outside of San Diego called High Tech High School. This school is student-centered and focuses on project-based, interdisciplinary learning. While watching the film, I was reminded of the times in my career when I felt that I was truly getting the kids engaged in learning. My best teaching moments have always been in an interdisciplinary environment, whether it was with another teacher or working on problem-based activities that spanned multiple disciplines.

And that got me thinking: What if I could create, in a traditional classroom, opportunities for students to not only choose what they wanted to learn, but demonstrate what they have learned through storytelling?

And so Vox Historia: The Voices of History was born.

On this podcast, students choose to complete an alternative assignment. In lieu of a test or other traditional classwork, students pick a topic, research that topic and then write and produce a podcast about that topic. In other words, they become the storyteller--the "Vox Historia."

This project is still in its infancy.

Currently, I have a couple of students who have made the decision to forgo the traditional--and comfortable--classroom work to engage themselves in a conversation directly with history. They completed some background research on the unit. They then picked a topic from the unit.

In the next week or so, they will present their topic in podcast form.

This is not the easy way out. By choosing to do a podcast, these kids are putting their product out into the world.  I am not the only one who will be judging their podcast. Anyone with an internet connection will be able to listen to these students. This realization that their work will be beyond the walls of our comfortable classroom for all to see, adds a seriousness to project and is the best motivator for truly getting things right.

I am not sure how this is going to turn out. I am hopeful. I am optimistic.

In the end, the product will speak for itself. And, succeed or fail, these students will have done more self-directed work, learned more about a unit of history, than they would have sitting in my classroom quietly taking notes and memorizing facts that will appear on a test.

Stay tuned for some exciting content. I will be presenting an example of Vox Historia soon. Then, you will hear from the students.