We all love geography, right? Maps. Human interactions with place. Movement. Impact on historical events and current affairs. More maps. Digital maps. Land forms. Microclimates. Changes over time.
What’s not to love? It’s just too cool.
So okay. Maybe you don’t love geography as much as I do. I suppose that’s possible. But . . . whether you love it a ton or just put up with it, I don’t think that we spend enough time helping kids see the connections between geography and the other social studies disciplines. And that’s a problem.
But I’ve got a solution. Read more
Here in the great state of Kansas, we’re busy working to develop and implement a standards-based assessment tool that needs to measure a ton of things. Historical thinking. Reading. Writing. Problem solving. Connecting past with contemporary issues.
Oh . . . and civic engagement.
And not just the book learnin’ civic engagement as in . . . there are three branches of government and you need to vote and people can demonstrate and there is a Bill of Rights and it’s a good idea to help others.
Our Kansans Can state board vision requires civic engagement that involves students actually doing something. Getting out of the classroom. Increasing voter registration. Raising awareness and funds for malaria mosquito nets. Organizing a Breast Cancer 5K run. Creating and staffing an after-school club for latch key kids. Buddy programs that connect new students with current students.
So how do you measure that? What can that look like K-12? Yeah . . . well. We’re not completely sure yet. But lots of people are working on it – including official KSDE civic engagement guy and social studies guru Don Gifford. Don recently communicated some of his personal professional learning with Kansas educators and I want to share what he’s starting to figure out. Because it seems like the sort of stuff that can help not just Kansas teachers but Read more
I’ve been head over heels for virtual and augmented reality for the last year or so.
There just seems like there is so many different ways to use VR to connect students with content. There are emotional connections, the ability to build empathy, a chance to immerse kids into specific places, to connect past and present, to link geography with events.
This ability to build connections make the use of virtual reality tools such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear a no-brainer for social studies teachers. I posted a ton of VR and AR resources a few months ago that highlights some basic steps, resources, and tools that you can use to get started.
But one of the things several of us have been hashing around is that much of the VR and AR tools are consume only. The end user of most tools simply looks at or experiences something. The app does all the work.
A perfect example is the very cool Google Expeditions app. I love the tool and its ability to take your kids to lots of places. But it is very teacher driven and the content is pushed out to and consumed by the students.
The good news is that more tools are being developed that allow students to not just consume VR content but to create it as well. The Google StreetView mobile app has always had the capacity to capture 360 degree images but few educators knew about the feature and fewer took advantage of that option. And the Google Cardboard Camera app is designed to easily create 360 photospheres.
But one of my new favorite tools that encourage kids to create rather than just consume is a website called Read more
I’ve always enjoyed Jonathan Wylie’s stuff. He’s got fingers in lots of pies spending time at the Grant Woods AEA Digital Learning Team, on Twitter, and his own incredibly useful site. He always has great ideas, I especially like his How To posts.
Late last year, he developed something new called EdTech Gear Guides. We’re all looking for the best ways to integrate technology into our instructional designs. And there’s always a ton of great ideas out there but it can be difficult getting all of the details and gadgets and tools and gear to actually pull off that great idea.
That’s where EdTech Gear Guides can help. The guides are: Read more
It’s day one of #maceks17 and it’s already awesome. Meeting old friends and making new ones. I get the chance to do a couple of things today – help man the ESSDACK booth and do an afternoon session. Excited about both. Hanging out at the table gives me the chance to meet lots of different teachers and hear all sorts of stories about what is working in classrooms.
And spending time with social studies teachers talking about technology? That’s the sweet spot.
But if you’re reading this, chances are you missed MACE and the afternoon session. I get that. Not everybody gets the chance to hangout with the #maceks17 folks. So if you’re curious about the 21st Century Social Studies: Tip, Tools, & Tricks preso, here’s quick summary of what we talked about: Read more
Yesterday, I felt smart. I had just finished a full day with some of the best social studies teachers around. We had talked about hyperdocs, completed a BreakoutEdu, identified photos as either real or fake, learned about a variety of graphic organizers, and participated in an awesome video conference focused on the Smithsonian Learning Lab with Darren Milligan and Kate Harris.
I felt smart. I had learned some stuff. I had taught some stuff. My brain was feeling good.
I should have stopped while I was ahead. Read more