Social Studies and Technology: Get a Little Geeky With State History and Use Five Quick Tools to Extend Learning in the Four Core Areas

What happens when you brainstorm with teachers on HOW to use a tool with Social Studies? You gain a list of useful ideas from the basics of Blooms right up the latter to higher level thinking. Take a look at what Colorado teachers accessed during a recent workshop at History Colorado, our state history museum. (E: Economics, C: Civics, G: Geography, H: History )

Tool 1: Check out a simple newspaper template for online content creation.

E: Create a business or money section of the newspaper to encourage students to look beyond the front page and learn about the economics of their state.

C: How about creating an editorial page to debate a question and publish opinions and polls?

G: Think about a small town newspaper and have students research the different types of newspapers in our 
      communities in the state, and then create several types based on region and place.

H: Dig into the Colorado Online Historic Newspaper Collections and have students create their own based on an event in Colorado history.

Tool 2: Collect and annotate resources from the web and share the collection as an inquiry starting point for students.

E: Pull articles and links from key areas in the world that illuminate a shared economic challenge and annotate them online.

C: Collect resources and annotate with essential questions to start the inquiry process.

G: Annotate maps from global sources online so students can evaluate point of view and perspective.

H: Collect primary sources on a topic and have students annotate them with questions as the beginning of a lesson.

Tool 3: Have students create a visual collection of resources for each other to support their inquiry activities.

E: Give students a collection of resources and have them sort, review, and connect them to each other and a topic of study.

C: Have students use this visual tool to track the process of a bill becoming a law connecting resources from the web to the visual resource.

G: Have students create a visual map with this tool to understand human interaction with a region.

H: Have students use this tool as a base for collecting research and connecting thematic ideas to a larger thesis.

Tool 4: Have students create an image that talks to give a twist to a presentation.
Links: Chatterbox Kids:  http://tinyurl.com/p772xet  Blabberize:http://blabberize.com/

E: Have students create a speech about the state of the economy and their solutions to the challenges we face as a citizenry.

C: Have students create position statements for a debate on a key topic and record their statement for review/use in the classroom.

G: Have a country “talk” about its view for the future of the environmental challenges it faces.

H: Have students bring a textual primary source alive through an audio narrative.

Tool 5: Have students create a timeline of activities/primary sources for research and presentations.
Links:  Timetoast: www.timetoast.com

E: Students can use Timetoast to trace a stock/company activity.

C: Students can use this tool to share the history of a bill or law.

G: Using Timetoast students can show the changes in a regional landscape/cultural landscape.

H: Using this tool,  students can collect and annotate primary sources to support a research paper or thesis. 


iOS and Android Versions for some of our Favorite Resources! Common Sense Media!

Filed by Amy Wilson in Digital LiteracyDigital Citizenship 01/15/2014

Today, Common Sense Media is proud to announce the release of Digital Passport™ on both iOS and Android platforms, making the award-winning web-based game more accessible than ever for students in grades 3-5 who must learn critical skills around being safe, smart and responsible online.
Just like the popular web version, the Digital Passport app features mini-games paired with videos that take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Students learn and advance through topic areas collecting badges at their own pace to ultimately earn their Digital Passport. Collaborative classroom activities reinforce online lessons as students' progress is tracked and measured so that teachers can effectively evaluate their students' readiness to be online and use mobile devices. Reports are easily exported from the platform, enabling schools to create a record of student learning that helps satisfy E-rate and CIPA educational requirements.
"As districts nationwide integrate tablets, computers and web-based resources into their classrooms, it's so important that students learn from the outset how to use these powerful learning tools wisely," says Mike Lorion, General Manager of Education at Common Sense Media. "The mobile versions of Digital Passport give teachers the flexibility to engage their students in these important lessons wherever they are using their technology - at home and at school."
Based on lessons from Common Sense Media's K-12 digital literacy and citizenship curriculum taught in more than 67,000 schools nationwide, Digital Passport addresses safety and security, cyberbullying, responsible cell pone use, safe search and respecting creative work.
Digital Passport is currently played by more than 300,00 students in grades 3-5 nationwide and nearly 80,000 digital passports have been issued.
What do I need to know about the mobile version?
There are two versions of the mobile app: a classroom edition and a version intended for parents to share with their kids at home. The difference between the two versions is that for the classroom edition, teachers can access the teacher dashboard that tracks student progress, and in fact, are required to do so since students can only access the games inside with logins created and provided by their teachers. Since the games are intended for kids under the age of 13, email accounts are not part of the student login process. Rather, teachers create usernames and passwords and provide them directly to their students. That login information enables students to access their progress in the games from any device, be it the web version or on any iPad or Tablet that has the game installed.
The classroom edition of Digital Passport qualifies for Apple's Volume Purchase Program. You can receive a 50% discount for app purchases of quantity 20 or more. To get started, you'll need to complete an online enrollment process and create a VPP account with Apple. Any K-12 institution is eligible to participate. Find out more about Apple's Volume Purchase Program for Education here.
Here is a brief video tutorial explaining how to get started with the mobile version:
Is Digital Passport available on any other platforms?
Digital Passport is also available on the Edmodo app store. If you are an Edmodo user, you can assign Digital Passport to your existing class groups and they will earn Edmodo badges as they move through the games. The Edmodo version is not compatible with mobile devices though, so if you plan to have students play on iPads or tablets, you will need to install the mobile versions we’re announcing today.
Where can I get more information about choosing the right platform and getting my classes set up?
DigitalPassort.org provides a wealth of resources for teachers just getting started with Digital Passport, no matter what version you’re using.
1. You can find a full-complement of professional development videos explaining why and how to integrate Digital Passport into your curriculum at: http://digitalpassport.org/educator/get-trained.
2. Each of the game modules and related lesson plans are presented here:http://digitalpassport.org/educator/materials
3. Additional information about how to get started with the mobile version is found here:http://digitalpassport.org/mobile
4. Still looking for answers? Visit our FAQ or submit a help request here:http://digitalpassport.org/contact