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Getting "Techy" With It

A 6th grader presents her project on the class Smart Board

Gone are the days when you have to have paper and pencil to do all of your assignments and projects in class! The sixth grade social studies classes are proof of that! From projects done on digital poster board to sharing things with the teacher on Google Drive, they have approached the world of technology and have taken it by storm.

Ancient World History is captivating on its own, but when a student can take what they know and turn it into an interesting presentation to share with the class, the limits of enthusiasm for learning the content are endless. Students in one class took all of the information they had learned about Ancient Greece and created digital posters as a culminating project. Through Discovery Education’s Board Builder, the students chose their layout, font, colors, backgrounds, etc. that they wanted on their “Board”. They were required to include information from the five themes of social studies (geography, history, culture, government, and economics), cite their resources, insert at least one picture, and at least one video on their Board. Using their Discovery Education student log in, a plethora of information and videos were at their disposal. The students were very eager to compile the information, and though they were all working on the same topic of Ancient Greece, each Board was really unique and some even taught more details than what was covered in class.

The Boards were the first step in the realm of technology where the kids controlled what was presented and how it was presented. Next came the introduction of sharing documents and folders through Google Drive. All warm ups, some notes, and some discussions are shared with the teacher. This allows the teacher to provide immediate feedback when grading, documents can be edited or commented on to enhance student understanding , and it makes doing the work more engaging for the students. Using Google Classroom as well as making animated videos to present what is learned will be the next steps in incorporating technology into the social studies classroom.

The Internet provides a wealth of resources that are being used in the Social Studies classroom. Students enjoy the utilization of lessons incorporating music and songs from Flocabulary, YouTube, Brain Pop, and Discovery Education. Such enrichment has benefited student learning in the units for Prehistory and the classical civilizations such as Greece and Rome. We are now studying the Middle Ages and we will be studying civilizations in China, Africa, and the Americas.

Written by: Michelle Johnson & Kevin Newman, 6th grade teachers
Posted: Oct 23, 2014 by Susie Jones

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