Okay. Saves the world may be a bit optimistic.
But Eagle Eye Citizen does give teachers a great tool for supporting critical thinking, civil discourse, and civic engagement. Yesterday, I posted part of an essay by Nancy Gibb. She spoke about how we can get caught up in the “bias against the positive” instead of finding ways to instead focus on the “expansive, embracing, oxygenated opportunity of optimism.” She urged us to show students what does work well, how democracy works well.
I liked it.
It was a great reminder about how important social studies teachers truly are. And so while Eagle Eye Citizen probably won’t save the world by itself, it certainly should be one of the tools in your toolbelt.
And what’s Eagle Eye Citizen? Read more
You’ll find all sorts of ideas, tools, and best practices in the social studies here at History Tech. So feel free to browse around, subscribe to the feed, or leave a comment. Read more
Most of you know that I’m a sucker for anything VR. I love Google Cardboard and Expeditions. The NYTVR app is an incredible tool for creating emotion and empathy with our kids. And who doesn’t enjoy Youtube channels like Virtually There?
So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that I also can’t get enough of the old timey stereographs and stereoscopes. You know . . . old school VR. Virtual reality before the Googles.
Before Cardboard, there were ViewMasters. And before ViewMasters, there were stereoviews and stereoscopes. The process was basically the same – two photographs of the same scene were taken from two slightly different perspectives and then mounted side by side on a card. The photos would appear three-dimensional when used with the stereoscope viewing device.
And the effect on people was the same then as it is today when your kids are using Google Street View to hike around the Pyramids.
In 1859, Oliver Wendell Holmes described the impact: Read more
A Christmas Story
The Old Man
Aaah! “Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!
Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey.
The Old Man
Huh? Oh, yeah.
Have a great break!
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!
Jill Weber gets it. She’s a middle school teacher honing her craft in Cheney, Kansas and she is rocking it.
Finding the balance between foundational content and process. Problems to solve. Evidence to analyze. No obvious answers. Academic discomfort. Groups to work in. Hands on. Physical movement. Obvious passion for the subject.
She’s one of those teachers that I would have wanted for my own kids to have when they were in middle school. And I’ve had the opportunity to work with her for almost six years.
She jumped in feet first to our second Teaching American History project back in 2010 and then transitioned into the ESSDACK social studies PLC. She was awarded the Kansas Council for the Social Studies 2016 secondary mini-grant and is the 2016 Gilder Lehrman Kansas History Teacher of the Year. And she shares a ton of her stuff on A View of the Web.
One of her recent posts caught my eye and asked if I could re-post it here. I love her idea of starting off the school year with a historical thinking bootcamp. She wants her middle schoolers to understand what they’re getting into and spends six days training her kids in the basics of thinking and reading like historians.
This is the sort of thing that I think all good social studies teachers are doing but I like that Jill has been very intentional about planning for this type of learning to happen. And while her focus is on middle school and Kansas / US history, this is stuff that all of us need to be doing.
So use what you can and adapt where needed but put these ideas into practice.
This is a long post, mostly Read more