Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tip of the Week: How to Find & Use Trade Books to Change the World (and some lists to get you started)

If you aren’t a member, it’s time. Seriously.

If you’re teaching social studies K-12 and not a member of the National Council for the Social Studies, it’s time. Professional organizations in general are a good thing – they support the discipline, provide resources, offer avenues for advocacy, and promote high level conversations between members.

And because the NCSS focuses specifically on social studies, it’s perfect for folks like you and me. There are multiple memberships options available including a digital version. One of the biggest things I get out of my membership are the NCSS journals that arrive in my inbox and mailbox throughout the year. Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner provide a wealth of ready to use resources and teaching strategies.

I’m always finding great ideas to use and share and one of my favorites just showed up. The May / June issue includes their Notable Trade Books pullout and it’s always chock full of hundreds of the latest fiction and non-fiction books perfect for K-8 classrooms. (If you’re High School and are ready to check out seeing that K-8 tag, hang on. Feel free to scroll to the bottom for lists you can use.) Read more

Eagle Eye Citizen saves the world

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

I’m glad you’re here!

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

Old school virtual reality. What could your students do with this?

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

Twitter chats are your best friend. So why are you ignoring them?

“Twitter chats are your best friend.”

If you already know this and the two of you already hang out together, feel free to go find something else to do. You’re good. ( You might enjoy Smithsonian’s O Say Can You See blog or maybe head over to National Geographic slightly quirky but always fun All Over the Map site.)

But if you haven’t noticed the many Twitter chats taking place all around you, stay put cause you need to hear it again:

“Twitter chats are your best friend.”

I get it. For many of us, social media of any kind can be just one more thing that adds to the load. We may not understand how best to use it as an educational tool. Maybe we’re not convinced that it actually has a place in education. We haven’t seen a real use for it.

Or maybe we just aren’t sure how to go about it.

And so, at best, we ignore it. At worst, we rail against it.

For the record, I believe that social media and especially Twitter can have a positive impact on student learning. And I’m okay if you disagree about using Twitter in the classroom.

But . . . even if you choose to not use Twitter as a teaching tool, sit back and Read more

Happy Holidays!

A Christmas Story
1983

The Old Man
Aaah! “Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!
Mrs. Parker
Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey.
The Old Man
Huh? Oh, yeah.

must-be-italian

Have a great break!