How to Integrate Technology Into the Social Studies Curriculum
- 1). Create an Internet scavenger hunt. It may be impractical for you to send your students on an expedition across the globe, but you can still give them the opportunity to hunt for historical artifacts. Create a list of historical terms or questions. Provide it to students and ask them to search the Internet for information regarding the topics or answers to the questions you posed. Set them loose. Reward them for their efforts and praise their strengths as Internet scavenger hunters.
You can modify this activity by providing each student with their own, individual topics. After students have researched their topics, have them present their findings to the class, as explorers would announce their discoveries.
- 2). You can also use technology to aid students in note-taking. Students are commonly required to take notes in social studies classes, but some struggle to develop strong note-taking skills. Help students by creating a simple PowerPoint presentation which corresponds with your lectures.
Project your PowerPoint slides using an LCD projector, moving through the notes you've written as you progress through the topic. Students will be able to quickly see which key terms are important, as well as the spellings of complex names or places.
Print out copies of your presentation and provide them to students so that students can follow along and take notes as you move through the material.
- 3). Make history movies, using technology that allows students to easily work as filmmakers from the comfort of their classroom.
Divide students into groups and allow them to work with their peers to create their own original films. Ask them to select a historical event and create a movie that illustrates that event. Encourage each group to write scripts and create costumes. Once groups have completed their planning, provide them with a digital camera and allow them to record their films. If you have a limited quantity of digital cameras, create staggered filming schedules, allowing some students to record while other groups refine their acting.
Help students edit their films using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. If the computers at your school do not already have a movie-editing program installed, see about installing one. Windows Movie Maker is available as a free download.
Students will enjoy using these programs to edit their pieces and insert professional-looking features, like opening credits and special effects.
Finally, throw a screening party. Provide popcorn and refreshments and let the students kick back and relax while their peers' films take them on a tour of history.