I’ll be honest. I heard from a teacher in Medicine Lodge a few weeks ago about a tool called Zaption, promised myself that I’d check it out later, and then completely forgot all about. Then this morning, I get a promo email from the company detailing the tool’s “high-quality, ready-made content, intuitive interface, and rich analytics” and urging me to go to their site to learn more.
Am feeling a bit unsettled. I get a lot of emails and offers of free stuff from people who are pushing their products and web sites. And I usually blow them off. Unless, of course, the price is right. I had planned to share Zaption with you anyway but doing it on the same day that I get the official sales pitch seems a bit like a sellout to the Man.
But I do really like the tool and believe there’s some nice potential for social studies teachers, especially those who are already flipping or are thinking about flipping their classrooms. I’m gonna let you decide for yourself if and when you might use Zaption. If you have an opinion one way or the other, let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear what others think of the tool.
At its most basic level, Zaption is Read more
I’m a huge believer in the power of visuals to encourage critical thinking and to support long-term retention. As social studies teachers we need to do a better job of finding ways to integrate visuals such as art and propaganda posters into our instructor.
Stuck for ideas and resources?
Try the Smithsonian.
I’ve always been an Apple guy. Way back in the early 80s, I got started on an Apple IIe and nine-pin matrix printer before spending a few years in the wilderness with a clunky HP laptop. I’ve been part of the MacBook world ever since.
And while I don’t see myself moving from my MacBook / iPad / iPhone trifecta, some recent experiences with an Acer Chromebook might open up a bit of space somewhere in the margins for a JV player. I started playing around with my Chromebook this summer and have had the chance to work with some teachers over the last few weeks. Ease of use, Google Classroom, GAFE, handy Google Store apps all make the Chromebook a nice option for both individual and instructional use.
If you and others in your district are playing with the idea of using Chromebooks or are already in the pool, here are a few goodies that might help you along: Read more
The current buzz in the state of Kansas is the upcoming state level social studies assessment. It’s scheduled for full release during the 2015-2016 school year with a pilot release next spring.
It’ll be interesting.
Because we’re trying to do something that we haven’t done before. Measure historical thinking skills, not the ability to memorize foundational knowledge. We can’t just use simple multiple choice.
Obviously, part of the process is to encourage the teaching of these sorts of skills at the classroom level and to develop different types of assessment strategies that teachers can use.
Four online tools that you can use to measure the historical thinking skills of your kids: Read more
In the brave, new world of social media, mashups, and instant information, it becomes very easy to intentionally or unintentionally use the intellectual property of others inappropriately.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of flow chart, an infographic perhaps, to decide how and when to use images that you might find online?
Thanks to The Visual Communication Guy, there is such a thing. The Guy created a very handy guide that will walk you and your students through the process of deciding whether you should or shouldn’t use a specific image.
Get the full version here.
Curse you Google.
I have consistently pledged my allegiance. Starting with Search, jumping into Google Earth, then Drive, and continuing through Google Plus and Hangouts, I’ve been a fan. Even when you discontinued Notebook, Wave, and Reader, I stuck around. (Okay. I’m actually fine with your Wave decision. That was not the best use of your 20% creative time.)
So I’m was a bit dismayed that I hadn’t yet received my invite to Google Classroom. Seriously? Where’s the love?
Of all of the present and past Google Tools, Classroom seems like one that could be incredibly useful for teachers. And I’ve been waiting all summer for my beta invite. But all is forgiven. Starting this week, Google Classroom is open to all users of Google Apps for Education. Read more