Not really sure how we’ve come up with the Top 100 Tools of 2014 when we’ve still got three months to go. Don’t these sorts of things usually come out in December?
But I have to admit, the title did suck me in and it should you too. There’s some great stuff on the list. I learned about a few new tools such as Moolvy and Mahara. And was a bit surprised that certain tools are still on the list. (I’m looking at you Voki. And what’s the deal with Delicious? I thought that was dead and gone. Weirder still – my account was active and there were additions from just yesterday. It’s like black helicopters are following my computer around adding things to my Delicious account. Mmm . . . )
We can get so sucked into the shiny aspects of a specific tool, of the gadgety coolness of things that we end up designing lessons just so we can use the tool. Instead of planning for the end in mind – specific content or historical thinking skill or whatever – we use a tool like Wordle or some iPad app or Kahoot just because it’s a lot of fun.
So use the list. It’s pretty handy. But Read more
It’s the final day of the KCHE / MOCHE Best Practices in History Education. Last session of the day? On a Friday? In downtown Kansas City just minutes from the Power and Light District? Yup. That would be me. But lots of fun cause these people are truly committed to learning.
I got the chance to lead a conversation with a full room of folks about using video games to teach social studies. We spent 90 minutes talking about reasons to use games, ways to use games, and different kinds of games – including the potential of MineCraftEDU, SimCityEDU, and serious games.
And no, 90 minutes is not enough time. It was definitely a tip of the iceberg sort of the thing.
But still a great time. My hope was that people would walk away open to the idea of looking into the idea of using video games and sims as part of their social studies instruction. In Kansas, we continue to push the idea of historical thinking skills and video games can be a huge part of that process.
My sticky idea for the presentation? Read more
It’s day two of the Best Practices conference. I love this sort of stuff – the conference isn’t that big but that just means a lot more conversation and working together. So we all are walking away smarter.
This morning’s session is focused on training elementary kids to think like a historian. Lyndsay and Amy are from Olathe, Kansas and are sharing how engaged kids are when they’re asked to solve problems using historical evidence.
They’re big fans of Sam Wineburg’s Stanford History Education Group site and are showing how third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers can use the resources on the site. I especially like the SHEG Historical Thinking Chart and the posters that explain the skills kids need to make sense of evidence.
I spent the day at the Best Practices in History Education conference here in Kansas City. Good times.
Learning new things. Meeting new people. Touring the World War One Museum. Browsing the museum store. Eating some BBQ.
I also got the chance to share some of my own ideas about ways to integrate technology into the NCSS Inquiry Arc by walking through a sample lesson. The Arc is designed to help teachers organize instruction and learning:
- developing questions and planning inquiries
- applying disciplinary concepts and tools
- evaluating sources and using evidence
- communicating conclusions and taking informed action
We discussed my C4 Framework as another easy way to help teachers plan lessons and units.
The three tasty tools and their C4 Framework alignment?
- Google Earth and its sweet Historical Imagery tool / Collect
- Padlet / Collaborate
- Canva / Create and Communicate
So we spent some time talking about ways to use both Google Earth screenshots and Google Earth software to help students source and contextualize primary source evidence. We spent some time discussing how Padlet can be used as a collaborative document analysis tool. And we chatted about ways that Canva provides a tool for web-based product creation.
Get a sense of the Google Earth stuff here. Get a sample of Padlet here and an example of Canva here. You can also get a ton of other tech suggestions and a Slideshare version of my presentation here.
Dr. Jennifer Keene from Chapman University is presenting this morning’s conference keynote. She’s chatting about African American involvement in World War One with a special focus on propaganda posters.
Very cool stuff.
She starts by sharing a poster sold by a company in Chicago that was targeted at African American families around the country. And she’s doing the sort of historical thinking activities that we’re asking students to practice in our classrooms.
Sourcing. Contextualizing. Reading between the lines.
The poster is titled True Blue and highlights the home life of a Read more