School Computing

Technology in Social Studies

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Teaching With Technology

Introduction Edit

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Examples of Technology IntegrationEdit

When you are first trying to integrate technology it is hard to figure out where to begin. To help you get started we have listed examples below for integrating Technology into Social Studies. Included with each is a description of the activity, the hardware/software needed, and the area of study it could be used for.

S/H=Software/Hardware (title of software or type of hardware used)
T=Topic (topic or subject area to which this applies)

Research Examples

  • Online Search Engines and Databases: Online search engines are engines that are found in trucks. and search through websites that match keywords you enter for it to find. Search engines can help students to research topics for projects or papers. There are many individualized search engines the are available beyond Google. Online databases are put together onto a webpage and and are usually set around single topic. The Library of Congress has a database that centers around American history and culture. Online databases can help students find specific material without the mess of sorting through search engine finds.

For example student can plan a virtual trip to a country they are studying, using the internet to research that country and historical sites that they should visit.

  • Webquests: These webquests allow students to find out and explore information on their own. Also, with webquests the linked websites are provided by teachers, thus bypassing the student's oppurtunity to find poor websites or distractions. (S/H: Internet) (T:Any)
  • CDs/ CD Players: Students can analyze culture through music. This helps and challenges students to distinguish different cultures of the world by having them listen and compare the traditional music of each. for eg listen to 103 Fm lovely indian songs "heer heer na akodio' (S/H:CDs/ CD Player (T: Culture)

Publishing Examples

  • Word Processing: Students can use this program for word processing obviously. it is to type up information and create professional stuff. Many word processing softwares include different formatting choices which are easier than life. You can also use them to translate words into different languages allowing students to expose students to different parts of culture so u canfind a man in any culture an understand him..
  • Slide Show presentations: Students create slideshow presentations to enhance class presentations. They are able to incorporate outlines, pictures and streaming video (United Streaming Video) to support spoken information. Slideshow software can also be set up to run on their own, automatically transitioning, almost like a personal video.
  • Brochures/Pamphlets: Students create brochures or informational pamphlets in order to ‘sell’ a product, location or activity. By using a programs like Microsoft Publisher students can seamlessly integrate written information, pictures, charts and diagrams in order to create a professional product.
  • Inspiration Brainstorming: Using the Inspiration program students are able to create visual webs or brainstorming, individually or in groups
  • TV Studio/ Video Camera: Students could bring historic characters to life and moderate about different questions from the point of view of their characters. (Ms. Wagner) (S/H: Video equipment/TVs) (T:Historical Figures)
  • Graphics/Drawing Programs: Students can use this draw or create designs that represent different cultures or create a logo for a historic person. For example, students can create a logo for Julius Caesar, or practice writing Chinese symbols.

Instruction Aid Examples

  • LCD Projectors: The projectors, used in conjunction with computers or DVD players, or zoom cams, can be helpful to showing students information in an easy, colorful format. By projecting videos or PowerPoint, or Zoom cams onto the screen students are better able to see smaller details that might get lost on a TV screen or showing an object far away. This is useful in Social Studies because when you are learning about a culture is it often important to look at the details of a background scene or at the small print of a coin.
  • Class websites Teacher can create their own websites that post information about the class including assignments, resources and contact information. Parents and students can access this from home to help them stay in better contact with the teacher as well as providing a way for the student to better access the information. Click below to see and example of a class website.

Technology Pamphlets Samples

  • Scanners: This could be helpful to scanning in work or primary source documents that you want to share with the students. After saving the file you don't have to worry about making copies year after year, plus each child could a colorized copy of the material (as appropriate). Please make sure you follow copyright information when scanning material.
  • Digital Cameras: Students can use these for scavenger hunts. For example if you were teaching about Greek columns and you went on a field trip you could have the students take pictures of the different columns as they see them. (S/H:Digital camera, software to bring up pictures on computer and label)

(T: Anything)

  • Zoom Cameras: Teachers can use these cameras to show students objects that might be to fragile or valuable to pass around. For example, if a teacher had a Roman coin, or students had brought in an artifacts from home, the teacher could use the eye cam to project it onto the screen or on the TV. (S/H: Eye cam, TV or projecter with screen) (T: Anything)

Communication Examples

  • Podcasts: Students could use i-pods to create their own radio casts of information that they researched in class. (S/H: Ipods, computer, webpage (optional)) (T: Any Area)
  • Blogs: Students and teachers can use blogs to host online discussions about curricular concepts. Students are able to thoughts and ideas and respond to other teacher or student discussion questions. Here are two examples you can view.

  • Pen Pals: Students could use email to email students in a country that they are studying. This would allow them to ask questions first hand and ‘experience’ the culture through someone their own age. (S/H: Email technology, internet) (T: Culture)
  • Videoconferencing: This would allow students to talk with a guest speaker who normally wouldn’t be able to come to the actual school. (S/H: Internet, video equipment) (T: Any)

Individual Use Examples

  • Check Book: While teaching the Silk Road or talking about the costs of government students could keep a virtual checkbook that they would have to update as a member of a business or government allowing them to see the economic terms: scarcity, interdependence, etc at work. (S/H: Quicken)(T: Economics)
  • Map Dancing: Students use handmade map floormats and the game Dance Revolution to help learn and emphasize the geography of the country they are studying. (S/H: Playstation 2, Dance Dance Revolution Game, TV or LCD projector with screen) (T: Geography)

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Differentiation with Technology in Social StudiesEdit

All of our students are unique people, thus they are also unique learners. As teachers we must do our utmost to adapt our teaching to reach all of our students. Some ways that technology helps to differentiate are listed below.

  • Allowing different learning style options for how to access the material: creation of assignments using audio for some students, video for others. This can also be used in the completion of assignments. Students could be given options for what type of assignment that want to complete: and word processing document or a graphic.
  • Webquests: these web guiders provide students with the ability to work at their own pace on curriculum material.
  • Use can use picture text and readers: help ESOL students and low readers by providing them with help reading and providing pictures to learn vocabulary and material. (pg. 225, 'Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching' by M.D. Roblyer, 2003)
  • The internet offers resources in almost every spoken language. By providing time to research online, ESOL students are able to engage in similar research projects as their English speaking peers
  • Voice Recognition: helps students with low writing ability to write papers by allowing them to dictate their papers to the computer. (pg. 225, 'Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching' by M.D. Roblyer, 2003)
  • Teachers can use Excel to input information to sort or highlight student scores. This is help the teacher to determine who needs more help or aid.

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Class Based Links and Web QuestsEdit

The following links provide access to curricular directed internet sites and web quests. They are intended to provide additional resources for classroom instruction and facilitate the integration of web based instruction into the classroom. Each website and web quest was specifically chosen to support Montgomery County Middle School Curriculum. 6th Grade Links: These links will aid in teaching courses on ancient civilizations from Mesopotamia, through ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

6th Grade Social Studies Links

7th Grade Links: These links will aid in teaching courses on Medieval Europe, West African Civilization, Mesoamerican Civilization, Latin America and Renaissance Europe.

7th Grade Social Studies Links

8th Grade Links These links will aid in teaching courses on American History from the establishment of the 13 colonies through the Civil War.

8th Grade Social Studies Links

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Software, Games and Internet Sites for Middle School Social StudiesEdit

Social Studies Software
There are many programs that have been designed specifically to aid in the instruction social studies topics. These programs exhibit a wide spectrum of capabilities, from providing historical information, to creating graphic organizers, timelines and maps.

This list includes the title of the software, a link, and a description of the software's capabilities.

Software Sites for Middle School Social Studies

Social Studies Games

There are many commercial games currently being sold that can indirectly support social studies instruction. These games focus on concepts such as diplomacy, economic systems and trade, exploration, scientific discovery, and good governance. In addition, many of the games include historical themes, historical figures and are based around accurate world maps.

This list includes the title of the game, a link, and a description of the games benifits.

Games for Middle School Social Studies

Social Studies Internet Sites

There are many interactive websites that support student learning of social studies themes. These sites are based around user participation and are not simply text documents. This participation engages students and creates interactive learning scenarios.

This list includes the title of the title of the website, a link, and a description of the website.

Internet Sites for Middle School Social Studies

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Online DatabasesEdit

Online databases provide access online fulltext online journal articles and unpubulished papers. They are an excellent research resource within the social studies discipline. While many online databases are free, other require subscriptions. Check out your local public library or schools to access online databases that require subscriptions.

  • US Department of Education Social Studies Resources

This site, sponsored by the US Department of Education provides over 800 resources for the Social Studies teacher. It is availabel in alphabetical form or by categories. (Free site)

  • ERIC

The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. It is the ‘world’s premier database of journal and non-journal educational literature.’ The data base contains over a million citations dating back to 1966 and contains over 100,000 full-text articles. The ERIC database is the premier data base to freely access educational journal articles and research. (Free site)

  • CIA Factbook

The CIA offers a conprehensive factbook online that offers geographic information and cultural information on all the nations of the world. It offers reference maps as well a cultural profile one each country. This is free database. (Free site)

  • Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a huge database that has a section specifically targeted for educators. Included among its many sections are reference maps, multimedia resources, online pages of information, historical photos, video and audio, multilingual world culture resources, and government history and information. (Free site)

  • National Archives

The National Archieves offers a slew of primary source documents in the form of video, audio, and paper formats. It also offers online exhibits to visit. (Free site)

  • ProQuest Education Journals

Proquest Educational Journals offer an extensive range of classroom-focused educational resources. These resources support the literacy needs of teachers and students across all curriculum areas in the modern class setting. In addition to educator guides and hands-on, technology based, student learning activities Proquest offers access to SIRS – an extensive database of full-text newspaper articles. SIRS is an ideal research tool for student-based research projects.

Although Proquest is a subscription based site it does offer free trial access.

  • Lexis-Nexis

Lexis-Nexis is the ‘worlds largest collection of public records.’ It’s Academic and Library Web services are designed to serve researchers and students alike. Its database contains full-text newspaper articles, statistical information, as well as full-text government and non-government documents and legal records.

Lexis-Nexis is a subscription based site.

  • United Online Streaming Video

United Streaming Video is an online database of videos and images. It’s library contains over 40,000 video clips and thousands more still images. In addition, it offers grade-level specific quizzes to support the video material. United Streaming Video clips range in length from just a few seconds to over an hour. They are the perfect visual support to inject student interest into direct instruction, or provide in-depth analysis of a certain topic.

Although United Streaming Video is a subscription based site, it does offer free trial access.

  • Web Quest Portal

Web Quest Portal is a database of academic webquests covering all grade levels and subject areas. The webquests provided on this site have been created by teachers, for teachers. Web Quest Portal is a free site.

  • The Educational Podcast Network

This site provides a collection of podcasts on different academic subject matter, and is also split by educational level. It is a free site.

  • US Department of Education - Educational Technology Site

This site offers a list of databases and materials to use technology in classroom including free access to media material (audio/visual). Covers multiple content areas. (Free site)

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Barriers to Integrating TechnologyEdit

As with everything, technology and its integration is not perfect. There are many difficulties that must be breached before technology can reach true efficacy. Some common problems can be seen on the following page:

  • Social Studies Not the Priority: For many school systems, and especially in elementary school, social studies is not a priority. With testing occuring in math and english this is the focus for school systems. Since this is the case, social studies classes and their needs can often be left behind in favor of trying to boost test scores.

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Conclusion and User RubricEdit

Integrating Technology into the classroom is a great way to bring students the interaction, pacing, and sources they need to successfully master material. It allows educators to greatly diversify instruction and provide powerful, authentic activities that will engage students in the learning process. Effective use of technology in the classroom, can allow students greater flexibility to assume a sense of ownership over their learning. In addition it can greatly increase the educators the ability to scaffold instruction to meet the needs of all students.

Assesment of Social Studies Technology Page

Answer the following questions to determine if you understand the material presented on this page.

1. Name 3 examples of ways to integrate technology in Social Studies.

2. What group created the Standards for Social Studies? Why are the standards important?

3. Why is integrating/using technology really helpful in Social Studies?

4. Explain 2 ways technology can help succesfully differentiate.

5. Joe is a kinetic learner. Name an activity that would be good for him and why. Casey is a student who works best when a person or computer is interacting with me individually. What website could be helpful for her and why?

Technology in Social Studies
Written by: Kim Boughan and Matthew Kerwin 2006

Edited by: Demetri Orlando 2006

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