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Posts from the ‘21st century skills’ Category

Top Ten Posts of 2016 #4: Blackout Poetry

I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much, and enjoying the occasional nap.

But if you need a break from all of the holiday cheer, we’ve got you covered. Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read the top ten History Tech posts of 2016. Enjoy the reruns. See you in a couple of weeks!


Okay. I know that movies about teachers rarely tell the whole story. You know the ones I’m talking about – movies like:

black-out-poetry logo

  • Stand and Deliver
  • Freedom Writers
  • Dangerous Minds
  • Mr. Holland’s Opus
  • Lean On Me

They rarely show the hours of grading, the phone calls from parents, IEP meetings, kids throwing up on your shoes, music program practice, endless committees, extra duties, coaching – though there does always seem to be some sort of happy ending.

But ya know . . . I still enjoy ’em. My favorite? Read more

Top Ten Posts of 2016 #5: Using evidence and primary analysis worksheets

I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much, and enjoying the occasional nap.

But if you need a break from all of the holiday cheer, we’ve got you covered. Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read the top ten History Tech posts of 2016. Enjoy the reruns. See you in a couple of weeks!


There’s a cool buzz running through the history education world.

teaching history poster

Primary sources. Documents. Using evidence. Solving problems. Historical thinking. And that’s a good thing. But I know that it can be difficult sometimes trying to figure out how to use primary sources.

First piece of advice?

Don’t worry so much about primary vs. secondary sources. Start thinking about evidence, about data, instead of focusing just on one sort of document over another. Because if we’re asking great questions, kids will be using all sorts of documents and sources to solve the problem.

I’ve always tried to preach the idea of Read more

Fake news is why you exist. And 12 tools that can help

Okay. Basic question.

“If I asked you to describe what you do every day as a social studies teacher, what would I hear?”

Let me rephrase that a bit.

“If I asked you to describe what you should be doing every day as a social studies teacher, what would I hear?”

Here’s my point. I think that we can get so caught up in the everyday that we sometimes forget why we exist. Grading papers. Taking roll. Going to meetings. Calling parents. Trying to keep middle school kids from setting things on fire. That’s a typical day in your life. I get that.

But I’m going to suggest today that we need to keep our eyes on the prize.

What’s the prize? Why do we exist?

The National Council for the Social Studies College, Career, and Civic Life Standards does a pretty good job of summing it up: Read more

History Nerdfest 2016 Day Three: Using Virtual Reality to Build Content & Empathy

Okay. Some serious History nerd overload going on. It’s Saturday afternoon and I need the Diet Pepsi to kick in. But some amazingly awesome stuff today – started with the #sschat Unconference and some of my favorite Twitter folks, and then three sessions on gaming, using primary sources, and integrating tech into social studies.

Plus I got to meet Stephanie Greenhut, the creative genius behind the powerful DocsTeach site. How cool is that?

There may be just enough caffeine left for this session before heading off the Smithsonian African American Museum later this evening. Paul Howard and Neil Soloman from the local DC schools are sharing how they use virtual reality tools as a way to build both content knowledge and create empathy in their students.

They started with a story of having kids use a VR viewer such as a Google Cardboard to look at a simple 360 Photosphere of the Taj Mahal. The kids went nuts. Read more

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.

NewsELA
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.

Twitter
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. Read more

History Nerdfest 2016 Day Two: VBQs – Using Google Forms and multimedia to create engaging problem solving

And now it begins.

This morning is the the first day of the full on #ncss16 conference. Five sessions to attend today ending with a 5:00 presentation with @MsKoriGreen that will focus on using VR and Google Cardboard. Diet Pepsi, almond croissant, and fully charged devices.

First session?

Video Based Questions. Using Google Forms to create a more interactive version of a DBQ. I’ve been using something that I called a MDQ for a while that sounds very similar. My Media-Based Question also uses video, audio, and photos to engage kids in some sort of a writing prompt.

Kelly Grotrian from East Brunswick, NJ has also been using the idea of mashing up Google Forms with Document-Based Questions. She’s done Read more