So. Much. Learning.
Getting the chance to be part of the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference can be both overwhelming and inspiring. There are so many people to meet, so many new ideas, so many new tools to explore.
I feel smarter just thinking about it.
Two of the things I noticed while I was immersed in the 2017 History Nerdfest? There is a common language and expectation around the idea of historical thinking – that using evidence and primary sources and sourcing and having kids solve problems is a good thing. Second? There is a commitment to using technology as one of the tools for helping kids make sense of the world around them.
It wasn’t always like that. NCSS and its members have come a long way in embracing the power of tech tools as part of social studies instruction and learning. That’s a good thing. A specific example that focuses on historical thinking and technology are the very cool things that the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program is doing with sims and gaming platforms.
One of the coolest? Read more
Yes. I know. The 2017 NCSS conference is over. We’ve had turkey and pumpkin pie since then.
But events on the last NCSS day started to run together and I got seriously sidetracked a couple of times chatting with people that I ran into. So today you get the official final History Nerdfest 2017 post. And thanks to National Geographic, one of my favorites.
You know I love maps, right? National Geographic is all about maps. So anything NatGeo does is automatically awesome.
And their new Geo-Inquiry Process is awesome. Geo-Inquries are designed to help students understand how the complex and dynamic human and natural systems interact in order to help them make smart decisions. Using both “a geographic perspective and the Geo-Inquiry Process students begin to connect complex components, see patterns, and make connections that change their communities.”
It’s a five step process:
The goal is to create students with an explorer mindset:
- attitudes of an explorer – curiosity, responsibility, and empowerment
- skills necessary for exploration – observation, communication, collaboration, and problem solving
- knowledge areas – Our Changing Planet, The Human Journey, Wildlife, and Wild Places
Think PBL with a geographic perspective and an emphasis on action. The idea aligns well with the NCSS Inquiry Arc and our state standards – focusing on process rather than just content. This seems like the perfect tool for Read more
This morning, I feel old.
As in, that old guy who gets up at 5:30 am, eats a hard boiled egg with black coffee, and wanders around the neighborhood mumbling something about early to bed, early to rise.
Saturday morning at #ncss17 is always a bit slow. And I probably actually am that old grumpy guy but this morning seems especially sparse. It’s ten minutes before the first session and there are four of us here. And no presenter. I need more coffee.
And of course, a couple of Newsela folks show up and it’s an awesome session. Cause . . . it’s maps and Newela.
I love Google My Maps and Newsela. Combining them together just makes sense.
JJ, the Newsela guy in charge this morning, kicked off our conversation by talking about what he called the “edtech ecosystem” that exists in our classrooms. I like that. There are healthy ecosystems and ones that aren’t as healthy. I love this idea.
So . . . Read more