Since the 1990’s, computer technologies and the emergence of the Internet have accelerated. Just 30 years ago, the Internet, cell phones, DVD’s, and computers didn’t exist. Social studies focuses on the interconnections of people and earth, social studies education has been affected by the impact of technology more than any other content area.
Theme 1: Culture- The study of culture prepares students to answer lots of questions. Theme 2: Time, continuity, and change- Humans seek to understand their historical roots and to locate themselves in time. Theme 3: Peoples, places, and environments- The study of people, places, and human environment interactions assisting students as they create their spatial views and geographic perspectives.
Theme 4: Individual development and identity- Personal identity is shaped by culture, groups, and institutional influences. Theme 5: Individuals, groups, and institutions- Institutions such as schools, houses of worship, families, government agencies, and the courts play an important role on our lives. Theme 6: Power, authority, and governance- Understanding the historical development of power, authority, and governance is essential for developing civic competence.
Theme 7: Production, distribution, and consumption- People often have wants that exceed available recourses, and a variety of ways have evolved to answer the question. Theme 8: Science, technology, and society- Modern life would be impossible without technology, and the science that supports it. Theme 9: Global connections- The realities of global interdependence require an understanding of the increasingly important and diverse global connections. Theme 10: Civic ideals and practices- An understanding of civic ideals and practices of citizenship is critical to full participation in society and is a central purpose of social studies.
Many states limit there graduation tests to reading, writing, and math. The amount of material that has to be covered in social studies. The challenge of technology itself. Costs for high quality recourses.
The appropriate role of history in the curriculum. “Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act” is a bill to improve and expand geographic literacy.
Technology tools make it possible to enhance learning by using a variety of strategies. The following integration strategies suggest activities to address the 10 themes in the NCSS.
Many social studies topics present issues, concepts, or procedures that are complex and confusing to students. Updated versions of some of the early simulations are still being used.
Students often have trouble visualizing abstract concepts and data. Information visualization- Commonly referred to as information design, and “uses pictures, symbols, colors, and words to communicate ideas, illustrate information, or express relationships visually”.
Field trips have been used as a context for teaching and learning in social studies ever since the Internet entered the k-12 classroom. Virtual Field Trips- “Visits” students make to websites to see places they could not easily go to in real life or that can help them get more out of the trips they are able to take.
Field trips have to have a connection to the curriculum and should be timed to line up logically with curriculum. Teachers need to work with field trip site personnel to enhance student learning. Teachers need to prepare students in class before the trip, especially through the use of materials from the field trip site, such as relevant primary documents or artifacts.
Adventure learning- A hybrid distance education approach that provides students with opportunities to explore real world issues through authentic learning experiences within collaborative learning environments. Adventure learning is much different than a virtual field trip.
Digital storytelling- The process of using images and audio to tell the stories of lives, events, or eras. Web 2.0 allows us to use and create digital stories.
Area’s such as politics, economics, and current events are likely to change quickly and frequently. Internet sources give teachers and students up-to-date information they could not obtain easily from other sources.
Geospatial technologies- The use of technology for visualization, analysis, and measurement of features and phenomena. This kind of technology is becoming popular to the general public. Global Positioning System (GPS)- Provides users with their location and time anywhere on earth and is commonplace in automobiles and on smart phones. Geocaching- When one individual hides a cache for others to find.
www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/integrating _tech_ss.phtml - Subject-specific resources that shows how to integrate technology into the social studies classroom. www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/integrating _tech_ss.phtml www.freetechforteachers.com/2013/01/13 - Thirteen good resources for social studies teachers including two interactive journeys through important eras in U.S. History. www.freetechforteachers.com/2013/01/13 www.classroom-aid.com.educational-resource – Free resources for teaching and learning social studies including free and open access through the Internet, maps, and interactive learning activities that promote historical thinking skills in the 21 st century classroom. www.classroom-aid.com.educational-resource