For my 20% Project I plan to examine ideas and ways to incorporate technology into specifically a Social Studies classroom. There are plenty of options out there for incorporating technology into classrooms, but I will look at how to make it work effectively in a Social Studies setting given that is what I plan to teach. I believe that in order to effectively use technology in education it cannot stop when the bell rings at the end of class. For that reason I hope to find effective ways to incorporate technology effectively and appropriately within the classroom and outside of class once students leave.
While working on our Communication and Collaboration Tool Kit, I found that many of the things I was finding would work well in a Social Studies class. However, since that is an on going project for class I will largely leave those behind for now and start digging even deeper to see what I can find.
I started in the only reasonable way I know, with a Google search. I was always told to ‘keep it simple’ so I did just that. I typed “technology for social studies” in and let Google work its magic.
Here are the first four links Google provided and what I found from each:
1) Free Technology for Teachers: When I clicked on this site and saw that it was from 2010 I was a little concerned that the information it contained might be too dated to be helpful. Though some of the information is old news the page as a whole was very informative. Being compiled by a Social Studies teacher these 12 resources seem to be excellent for use in a Social Studies class. As always Google provides useful tools and using Google Earth, Maps, Books, and Scholar are good ideas. I won’t go into all of the resources, but there were useful links to help find documents, news, and games for students learning multiple Social Studies topics. Perhaps my favorite link though was the link the National Archives Daily Document. This seems like a very fun and fresh way to provide students with a large variety of material that is engaging and meaningful to what they are learning.
2) Integrating Technology in the Social Studies Class: This site is a source from Glencoe and McGraw-Hill. Even though this site wasn’t quite as helpful it provided great ideas for five different Social Studies lessons that incorporate technology. Each of the lessons was laid out with a method for completion and links to web resources to be used during the lesson. This is a link that I will hold on to because there are great lessons for US and World History classes on this site!
3) Technology Position Statement and Guidelines: This site is the for the National Council for the Social Studies. This was probably the least helpful site I found this week as the title says it is merely a position statement for this organization. However, the article was an interesting read. The point was clearly made that technology was becoming a major part of Social Studies Education and that as educators there is a responsibility to help teach students about and with such technology. The 5 points of rationale that are included in the article are very insightful and I feel that any teacher in the Social Studies field should read these and approach technology in the learning process with this mindset.
4) Teaching History with Technology: This site is HUGE and to be honest I am not sure why it wasn’t the top result on Google. This site is developed by “The Center for Teaching History with Technology” and to say it is a wealth of information would be an unfair understatement! The resources are great and numerous, there are lessons, activities, presentations, discussions, collaboration tools, assessments and rubrics and even tools for iPads and mobile devices. I wasn’t able to even scratch the surface of this site, but based on what I found I am more than certain that this site will be helpful as a Social Studies Educator and possibly even throughout the remainder of this class!