While reading Torget & Nesbit’s introductory article on the History Engine, I got it, and things I’d read earlier began to connect. When I initially read about this type of inquiry and production in earlier assigned reading, maybe being just too busy, my mind had not really wrapped itself around the concept of how students would be able to access primary sources, explore them, creatively write their own interpretations, and then collaborate with an ever expanding group of “others,” just like real historians. Now Talley & Goldenberg’s earlier article “Fostering Historical Thinking with Digitized Primary Sources” appears more concrete and I find myself getting excited about introducing this concept to my own students. Torget & Nesbit leave me asking, “Okay, where’s a list of digitized collections, broad-based, e.g., the American Memory Collections, and more narrowly focused, e.g., Plantation Letters, that I can review? I need to do this because, dammit, my kids need to learn how to write!” (“Writing clarifies thought” Dr Crisp drilled into our pumpkin heads back during my first attempts at grad school many years ago) and this approach will work beautifully for them and for me. It sunk in for me in T & N’s article that students would be motivated to do such work because 1. it will be published (and they love their Facebook), and 2. my students who actually love history will love being able to “do” it, “pushing students into deep engagement with their primary and secondary sources,” rather than just having history poured down their throats. As for me, to challenge students in clarifying their thinking through writing and writing well – concisely, accurately, and creatively (their own work!) – that would really help to bring back the joy of teaching American history that I've lost with all this EOC/twelve goals crap and pressure. Also, what Benson et al had to say on their students finally getting the footnotes - that "attentive writers have thus become critical readers," I mean, is there much more we could ask than that this miracle happens in our classrooms? I can learn so much more about my students' grasp of content, goals, etc., and about them as individuals, from reading one page of their writing than from grading dozens of multiple choice this and that... and that is definitely worth exploring.