Written by Scott Peterman, BSD Education.
Continuing with our series of Reasons for Bringing Technology Learning into Subject Areas, today we look at how the right infusion of technology can transform student learning in any History class.
When students study history the typical end product is too often something static such as a diorama or poster. Despite schools recent embrace of technology, this too often ends up as internet research, video watching in history class.
However, the right infusion of technology can transform the existing curriculum of any history class into an active learning experience that exposes students to the real-world application of technology in different contexts and scenarios. When properly incorporated into history class, technology can empower learners to understand concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequences, similarity, difference and significance. These critical thinking skills can then be applied to frame historically valid questions and create structured accounts including written narrative
Here are 3 examples of how technology can enhance history class:
Curiosity – Active Artifacts
With BSD’s TechConnected curriculum, students can forgo writing yet another research report and instead create their own interactive, virtual museum! Students can select and research an artifact then, use the design thinking process to draw connections to the people who used them. Students can then visualize the relationships and dependencies between their artifact and the time period, linking online content and resources. The project will culminate with students showcasing their Artifact research through a real web page they will individually build from scratch using HTML and CSS.
- Adapted from Haverford Ancient Egypt Project
Creativity – Interactive Timelines
Historical events rarely unfold in linear progressions. Big or small, the overwhelming majority of milestones throughout history are caused by a combination of direct and indirect actions taken by a slew of actors. Yet, more often than not history is taught in the classroom as one event after the next. One solution is too use technology to better understand the complexity of historical events with an interactive timeline where students can visualize the interconnections within the time period. Approaching history as a vibrant web of actors and actions can help students make connections, draw contrast and analyze trends that have directly influenced the world we live in today.
- Adapted from Book of BSD – Timeline Builder (History) Project
Critical Thinking – Separating Fact from Fiction
Understanding the difference between objective (cited) and subjective (uncited) research has always been a core piece of history class. While Student’s today have instant access to unlimited research and resource at their fingertips, it has also brought about an influx of bad information. At it’s best, this material can be viewed as subjective opinions but more and more we see the dissemination of misinformation for malicious intentions. One strategy we’ve found effective for reinforcing research best practices is to have students create their own digital scavenger hunt games. This fun approach empowers students to compare and contrast information, ask perspective questions, weigh evidence, develop insight into the complexity of different factors and better Understand the wider world.
- Adapted from Book of BSD – Fact or Opinion Scavenger Hunt Project