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Posts from the ‘digital literacy’ Category

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

Missing your Zaption? Try EdPuzzle

You may have already made the switch. If you have, quietly move along. You’re probably happy with EdPuzzle and there’s nothing to see here.

That leaves two kinds of people. Those of you still be looking for that perfect Zaption replacement. And those of you who never went down the Zaption road at all and have no idea what we’re talking about.

Quick recap:

At its most basic level, Zaption was a way for you to take a video clip from a variety of sources including YouTube, Vimeo clip, Khan Academy, and other educational video outlets and add interactive elements such as multiple choice questions, open response boxes, text, images, and drawings. Students responded to the elements you embedded. You tracked their responses using Zaption’s analytics feature. Everybody was happy.

You should have noticed the past verb tense going on. Zaption was a great tool for annotating videos and embedding formative / summative assessments tools into video clips. It was a great example of a push / pull edtech tool – giving teachers a way to push content and assessment out to students and a way for teachers to pull in work back from students.

But Zaption no longer exists, having sold out to something called Workday. No idea what Workday does but what it means for Zaption users is that a very cool tool won’t be available after September 30.

So.

If you’re a Zaption user who hasn’t found a Zaption replacement, I got you covered. And if you never used Zaption but the idea of integrating a very cool push / pull video annotation tool sounds like something you want to take out for a test drive, I’ve got you covered too. Read more

Tip of the Week: 5 things every social studies teacher needs to know about Twitter

I joined Twitter about nine years ago in late 2007. As a social studies guy trying to learn more about how tech could be used in instruction and learning tool, I was a bit underwhelmed during my first few months with the tool.

Most posts fit the stereotypical – I learned a lot about what people did the night before, what they ate the night before, and how disappointed they were about the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But it got better. And I am becoming more and more convinced that Twitter is now one of the those non-negotiable things that we all should have in our tool belts.

It’s not the silver bullet that will solve all of your problems (And I will admit it may create some.) But it does do some pretty handy things – we can connect with experts, connect our students with experts, connect with each other, find and share content, ask questions, help others, and apparently save the world at the international, national, state, and local levels.

So today five things I think all of us need to know about Twitter. (New to Twitter? Get set up here. And remember that you can have multiple Twitter accounts – so think about creating both personal and professional versions.) Read more

Flipboard and Pocket: Cool content management & collaboration

Who doesn’t love #METC16? Two thousand tech savvy educators all in the same place in beautiful downtown St Charles, Missouri.

(Full disclosure. Haven’t left the conference center / hotel. Am assuming St. Charles is beautiful. I do know that St. Charles was the jumping off point for Lewis, Clark, and the rest of the Corps of Discovery. So . . . it’s awesome from the get-go.)

I’m here in beautiful downtown St. Charles to lead a conversation about using the very cool Flipboard app as a teaching and learning tool. It’s a hands-on session so it’s gonna be a good time of discussion, examples, and working together as we all get smarter.

Still new to the Flipboard universe?

The idea is simple. Much like Pinterest, Flipboard helps you find, organize, and share a wide variety of websites and articles. But unlike Pinterest, it does a much better job of displaying all of the goodies you find. You literally flip pages in your different magazines and boards to read all of your saved content. Originally designed as an iPad app and later an app for Android, Flipboard recently added a web version.

So you can access Flipboard in a variety of places, with or without an account. You can set up boards to automatically add new content or create your own magazines that require that you add your own content. You can use Flipboard for your own learning, share individual bits of content, or share entire magazines with others. You can invite one, or two, or many others to help you add content to those magazines. Other users can ask you to contribute to their magazines.

An example of a couple of boards that automatically update? The Huffington Post and the awesome Mental Floss board.  A few examples of personal magazines are my Historical Thinking magazine and Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s Technology for Teaching and Learning.  You might like Best Education Magazines or Best Flipboard Topics for Teachers.

It’s not as hard as it might sound but just in case you get a little stuck, I’ve posted some tutorials and helpful tools below to help you get started using the tool. But start thinking first of what Flipboard can do before you worry too much about which buttons to push. And then head over and check out my Using Flipboard in Education magazine for even more goodies.

flip in ed mag

Here are a few ideas that we played with today: Read more

Integrating technology. Yes. It’s different than simply using technology

I’m spending part of  today getting ready for my METC presentation next week.

(The not so subtle self-promotion? My session on using Flipboard and Pocket as content management tools is next Wednesday at 9:45 in Junior Ballroom A, Lower Level. I’m sure once it’s finished, the presentation is gonna be great. Fingers crossed.)

And as part of my presentation prep, I’m exploring what it really means to integrate technology. I started with the idea that just because teachers or their students use technology as part of teaching and learning, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are actually integrating technology into what they’re doing.

That idea morphed into the next: Read more

Tip of the Week: 25 moments that changed history

I ran across an article on my Flipboard from Time the other day. Titled “25 Moments that Changed America,” the article highlights “instances big and small that cleared the way for something greater to come after. Many of those moments are easy to name: the assassinations, the invasions, the elections. Many are more subtle, their impact visible only in hindsight.”

You see lists like this every once in a while. With some sites, it seems as if that’s all you see. But I click on them anyway. I think we all do. I’m pretty sure there’s some part of the brain that is attracted to lists. So don’t judge my title.

As history folks, we’re especially drawn to that sort of list because, well . . . we’re nerds. We like history trivia. We like learning. We like connecting pieces of the past to the present. So of course we read the list. You’re probably over there right now.

But I also hope that you’re drawn to the list because you know that it might be the foundation for a great lesson or activity.  Read more