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Critical thinking and DocsTeach

When DocsTeach came out last fall, I mentioned how cool it looked and how it could help teachers use primary sources in the classroom.

I really love the concept here. Use primary sources, integrate them into a tool that takes advantage of the latest technology and ask kids to think critically. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, here’s a quick review.

Create an free account and you’re in. Once you are logged in, you can:

  • Create “classrooms” for each of your actual classes
  • Find activities and primary documents from over 3000 already in the database
  • Save your activities and documents by “starring” your favorites
  • Add your newly discovered activities and documents to each of your digital classrooms
  • Create your own online activities that focus on a wide variety of historical thinking skills with the cool Activity Creator
  • Share the URL for each of your digital classrooms with actual students
  • Facilitate the cool Flash-driven teaching activities in your face-to-face class

Today, I’m spending time with forty middle school social studies teachers talking about pre-Civil War slavery and its impact on the coming conflict. We played a bit with DocsTeach to let the teachers see how they might use DocsTeach to engage kids with primary documents.

One of the cool things that has happened with DocsTeach since last fall is that more and more teachers are using the site to create their own activities and share them with others. So we started with a teacher-created activity on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. And then we moved to another that focuses on events leading up to the Civil War.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at and play with DocsTeach, you really need to head over there.

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