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History Nerdfest 2016: Ten Tech Tools for Teaching Social Studies

I had the chance to drop in on a quick 30 minute Power session that focused on ten tech tools for teaching civics. Three minutes of overview for each tool and a bit of fast discussion on how it might be used.

A site that allows users to read current event articles at different Lexile levels/ They also have a new section that does the same thing for primary sources – perfect for modifying documents to make them more accessible.

Presenters shared a series of hashtags that social studies teacher can follow:

  • tlap
  • sstlap
  • sschat
  • whapchat
  • hsgovchat
  • pyschat
  • worldgeochat

I would also suggest using a curating tool such as HootSuite or TweetDeck to help sort and organize the information that will come pouring in while following this hashtags.

A free website builder that is incredibly user friendly with simple drag and drop features. Perfect for collaborative projects with students and mentors / experts outside of the school setting.

Today’s Meet
screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-23-16-amA easy to use backchannel tool that can be compared a bit to a closed Twitter feed. You don’t need an account to create a “room” that has its own unique URL. YOu decide how long the URL is active. Share the URL with kids and they can begin posting comments, questions, brainstorms, and answers to guiding questions. Simple to have classes from across school, city, country to collaborate on different topics

Get Teacher Tools here.

Library of Congress and DocsTeach
Both excellent tools for integrating primary sources and historical thinking into your instructional design. Search and browse by state standard for lesson plans.

A flashcard maker – useful for Heads Up type gaming, review, and other gamification of learning activities.

Kahoot and Quizizz
Both are engaging student response tools that help build and support foundational knowledge. Quizizz has the advantage of allowing game play outside of the classroom.

QR code generators
There are lots of QR code readers and generators. Use them for different types of scavenger hunts. One example that was shared had a superimposed map of the US on top of campus map. The teacher put QR codes at different places around the campus and used this to do a Lewis and Clark activity.

AR tools
Aurasmascreen-shot-2016-12-05-at-11-43-27-am and Daquri are just two of the many tools that teachers can use to create Augmented Reality and insert that goodness into the learning process.

A fun app called 1600 lets your kids scan a one dollar bill to get more info on the White House. one dollar bill has one

A fun way to have kids summarize and think creatively.

A couple of generators here and here. Google “meme generator” for tons more.

A tone of Civics based games and lots of lesson materials

Other suggestions:

A great resource for Bill of Rights, news, and media literacy lessons and collections.




2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Microsoft Classroom: (i.e. OneNote Class Notebook: I think should be on the list – especially in their work for students with disabilities:
    Google Classroom is good too, but is playing a bit of catch-up imo.

    December 6, 2016
    • glennw #


      Thanks for the additional goodies! All good shares. Guess I need to dig in and learn more about OneNote.


      December 6, 2016

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