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Posts tagged ‘technology integration’

Oh so sweet iPad app – The New Immigrants NYC 1880-1924

With over 1,500,000 apps available in the iTunes App Store and more being added every day, it’s not easy keeping up with the latest iOS tools for social studies. But I’m still a bit surprised that it took a year for me to run across The New Immigrants NYC 1880-1924. When a great app comes out, there’s usually at least a little bit of a buzz. A blog post somewhere. A mention at a conference. A cutting edge teacher tweeting out a lesson plan idea.

But The New Immigrants was released way back in December 2014, a lifetime in the app world, and I just this week ran across it. I know that some of you have probably already been using it but for those of you who haven’t? You need to jump on this because the app is oh so sweet.

Sweet for several reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that immigration and refugees and “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” and the principles on which this country was founded are part of the current conversation. One of the most difficult things you are expected to do is to connect past and present – to find ways to help kids see how what happened 120 years ago still has relevance. And having intelligent conversations about how America reacted to immigrants and refugees in her past can lead to intelligent conversations about how she should respond to current immigration and refugee issues.

(The key phrase here being intelligent conversations – a skill that I think could use some improvement considering what we’ve been hearing lately.)

So . . . sweet because it’s relevant.

And doubly sweet because the app uses hundreds of primary sources, great guiding questions, and a focus on using evidence to solve problems to support high-quality historical thinking. Did I mention that the apps is free?

It’s a win / win / win.

Created by the New York City Department of Education, The New Immigrants iOS app includes Read more

Nerdfest 2015 Day Two: Teaching above the line – using technology

It’s Day Two of my Social Studies Nerdfest 2015. And I’m sitting in with Kori Green, Brian Bechard, Kim Gilman, Ed Finney, and Nick Lawrence. We started with a quick discussion of the SAMR model of technology integration.

If you’re not familiar with SAMR, the basic premise is that you begin using tech tools in a very intentional way so that your instruction focuses on the end result rather than just using some sort of “cool” tech tool. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

For example, I can use Google Docs to post a online handout or worksheet rather than using a paper and pencil version. It’s simply a substitution of a paper handout for a virtual one. Same result. Same info. Same basic workflow. The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning folks have a nice overview of the conceptRead more

Social Studies Nerdfest 2015 Day One: Literacy, Technology, & the Inquiry Arc

In my world, there is the winter holiday season. The first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament. Whenever my kids come home to visit. College football bowl season. The Fourth of July. Opening night of any James Bond movie.

You know. Those special times of the year when the day just isn’t long enough to fit in all the fun.

The cool thing? Today starts another of those annual periods that fit the category of best times of the year. Today is Day One of Social Studies Nerdfest 2015. Yup. Today starts four days of geeking out with thousands of other social studies people at the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference. This year, we’re hanging out downtown New Orleans.

Seriously. How cool is that? It really needs to be an official national holiday.

The actual NCSS conference kicks off tomorrow. Today I get Read more

Google Cardboard, VR, and the future of social studies

I got my first Google Cardboard just a few weeks ago. And if you got your Cardboard this spring or summer and have already been using it, seriously. No heads up on how cool this is? Cause it really is a lot of fun to play with.

Google Cardboard was released last year but iOS / iPhone apps for it have been slow in coming. So . . . being an Apple guy, I hadn’t jumped onboard yet. But I am full on Cardboard mancrushing right now. I’m sharing some Cardboard ideas at the Kansas state social studies conference in Topeka today and I figured I should share some of those resources with you.

Not exactly sure what Google Cardboard is? Read more

A student’s view of technology: “A cat is not a dog.”

Audrey Mullen is a sophomore at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. She started Kite Reviews, an all-student consulting service that provides user reviews of your edtech products. She’s worked with Brainpop, All Can Code, and Readorium.

And she recently posted an article at EdSurge, sharing her thoughts on the use of technology in the high school classroom and the teachers that use it. For those of us on the far side of being a sophomore in high school and who advocate for the effective use of technology as part of instruction, Audrey’s viewpoint should be a vital part of that conversation.

Her article is also a good reminder of how we need to be much more aware of how our decisions impact the actual people who make up our very large customer base. Read the entire article over at EdSurge but here’s a brief teaser of some of her topics: Read more

Tip of the Week: Google Keep comes to iOS

I know that many of you already ask students to organize evidence and information for a variety of reasons – lecture capture, short-term and long-term research, group work, basic data collection, primary / secondary source analysis. We want kids to analyze evidence, validate resources, search effectively, and appropriately cite their data. And for, well . . . forever,  paper and pencil was basically the only option for this sort of thing.

Nothing terribly wrong with paper and pencil but that medium is tough to edit, update, and share. So a lot of us and our students are taking our stuff to a variety of online tools. In the last year or so, a new option has become available. Read more


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