A lot of people do not know this but , besides my passion for Languages and Technology, I also have a growing fascination with History.
The following is a step-by-step History 2.0 plan for you to integrate technology and history in your lesson plans in a quick and easy way.
Idea and/or Step 1: Make your students “eyewitnesses to history”
Click the icon above or go to www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
Register yourself to enter a period in history. Discuss it with your students with the Smartboard or Infocus (asking them to underline or search for important terms).
http://www.digitalhistory.com is another great resource to find historical facts. This could serve as one of your “recommended readings” that can be listed as part of the unit’s plan.
http://www.historynow.org/12_2004/interactive.html History how is maintained by the Gilder Lehrman institute of American History and can also be used as a legit source for the “recommended readings” list.
Idea (and/or Step) 2: Create a second life avatar or have the students become the historical characters.
Click or go to www.secondlife.com. You can create an avatar (a world) where your students can go and experience the lesson in the 4th dimension, where they can become the characters themselves and complete goals and missions dictated by you. You must register (free) and become a “citizen” of second life prior to starting. This is an OPTIONAL activity. I have seen this activity created to teach the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and the House of Usher was the “center stage” of the mission.
The Scholastic website offers another great opportunity for students to publish their work, and follow rubrics to write biographies correctly. I happen to be an avid Scholastic user and be sure to explore their free resources to create student-made websites and a myriad of other projects.
This is the same process of creating a Mii on Nintendo Wii, only you create the character online. You could ask the students to create an approximate cartoon (or Mii) of a historical character, or do the basic doll that they can print and accesorize on the same paper.
Idea/Step 3: Use Perseus and Wikipedia to search for facts and to contrast the information that each of these two sources offer.
Perseus and Wikipedia are digital resources. Perseus, powered by Tufts university proves to be a great and legit source. Wikipedia is ran by volunteers and is also the no. 1 choice for reference among young learners. Advice your students to seek information on BOTH engines. They should learn to give validity to reference sources and the best way to do this is by asking them to compare the information offered in these two sources.
Idea/Step 4: Create a History tag cloud
These two amazing tools (click on the icons to take you there) are as simple as entering ONE word, name, or fact such as “Declaration of Independence”, and see how the key words that are related to the entered word begin to appear in a dynamic and almost surreal way in front of the students. This helps maintain attention and focus and, at the same time, teaches them to integrate technology to their everyday lives.
Idea/Step 4: Search images related to the historical event and create a photosharing album online
The sustained effort of searching for pictures (most of which they can get out of the TAG CLOUDS), allows the sustained affective stimulus to enable learning through making connections and scaffolding on prior knowledge. It is a colorful way to visually organize important persons, places and things related to the historical event. Click on the icon, or the address, to see Wikipedia’s review and comparison of the most popular photo sharing sites.
Idea/Step 5: Quiz them online with QUIZLET, or have them be the Teachers and invite them to create tools for learning using SenTeacher, Vocabulary.Co, Classtools, or SenTeacher among other available resources.
Quizlet allows you to create tests and quizes for vocabulary online. Forget making copies, or grading papers. Just go around the classroom and observe how the students answer the questions. That could also give you insight on their test-taking skills. Remember, it is not about testing and flunking students: 21st century education is about teaching them how to adapt to new changes, to do problem solving, and to excel at infering in circumstances where they cannot understand facts or words.
Rubrics and grading scores for these projects should be skill-based. Even if the curriculum of your school or district require you to satisfy a required list, you can still break the list into skills that the students out to demonstrate. Once you realize which skills go by chapter (one chapter at the time, not all at once or else you’ll burn), then list them all and create a rubric for grading. You can get fun rubric samples to “keep you motivated” at:
I also invite you to visit the website where I discuss my teaching technique of LingTECHguistics*, and where you can get resources and ideas for bilingual students and to integrate languages to computer applications. Now you are all set! If you try any of these ideas, please feel free to leave a comment or more ideas to include in HerAppleness.Com!