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. 

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