Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Couple of Sweet Tools I Came Across

Education Universe-

If you teach social studies, and you are uneasy about the changes the Common Core is bringing, you're not alone.  Here's a few more things that might help.  I know I am a bit worried about how our subject will fare in this latest push to infuse every moment of school with literacy.  As a teacher and historian, I know reading is so very important.  But I want to do things with the reading.  Finally I have found some things that can do just that.

The Library of Congress has created a phenomenal primary source analysis tool.  It is easy to use, and walks students through the process of inquiry into a multitude of different types of sources.  It is a great digital organizer for students to enter information and then print it out when finished.  Better yet, for those of us who prefer crisp electronic copies to crinkled up middle school paper assignments, a .pdf version of the document can be generated when finished.  Handy guides for each type of primary source are also available.

You can find this resource on the Library of Congress's website.

Combine this with the National Archive's DocsTeach website, and you really have something cool.  DocsTeach can allow you to create several different graphic organizers and activities to use to analyze sources.  There is a sharing of ideas on the website, and teachers can either share or create content.  Additionally, classes can be set up so that students are able to be tracked and assigned specific tasks through the site.

You can begin your work with DocsTeach by going to their website.  I'm extremely interested in what this can do.

I plan to combine these two tools along with an interface like Edmodo and Classbadges to continue to create a unique blended learning environment.  Someone should probably tell my students they're in for a culture shock.  On second thought, why spoil the surprise.

Yay federal government.  Good job on this one.

-Mr. J.