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No Citizen Left Behind: Social Studies in the 21st Century

It’s Day One of the 2012 KCSS/KCHE social studies conference and my task is to try and keep up.

The good news / bad news? Day One is the only day of the conference. That’s good because I might be able to keep up with all the live blogging stuff. Bad because, well . . . it would be nice to learn more stuff.

The conference is titled No Citizen Left Behind: Social Studies in the 21st Century and is being hosted by the Kansas Historical Society. (Mary Madden and her staff at the KSHS are phenomenal. Thanks Mary!) And we’re working together to try and figure  out what Social Studies looks like in the 21st century. This includes integrating the Common Core, aligning to the revised state standards, and embedding best practices.

So some cool stuff today.

I’m sitting in Kendall’s iBooks Author presentation. Kendall is the social studies guru from Derby, Kansas school district and the president of the Kansas Council for History Education. Derby has something like 3000 iPads in their district and is working to find ways to create their own content.

ePubs and digital books will change how we do school and we need to be finding ways to integrate these sorts of resources into our instruction and learning. Kendall highlighted some of the ways that digital resources can change teaching and then walked us through the  basic process of creating an iBook using the iBooks Author software.

You can print iBooks from Author but why? The point is that the book is interactive with tons of multi-media. We discussed how to distribute the finished iBook – “private” publishing onto your desktop and then share the file via Dropbox, email, link on website, etc. You can also publish in the iBooks Store App. Once

How long does something like this take to create?

It took me longer to gather the materials than it did to create the book. It depends on where the text comes from. Obviously if you’ve already written the text, it won’t take very long.

Kendall had a multi-page book with hyperlinks, video, interactive photo galleries, quizzes, chapters, etc in about three hours. He also likes the way that the book, once installed on a student’s iBooks app, doesn’t need internet access.


Okay. I didn’t keep up. Lots of stuff going on over here. So . . . I’ve pasted in a preso that I did that focused on Social Studies in the 21st century and the kids of tools we should be using to help kids thrive in the world we live in.

You can also download a PDF of some of the sites we talked about in the short amount of time we had and go here to get a more complete list.

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