Hello Professor and Class,
How can technology resources be used to encourage collaboration and increase students’ critical thinking skills in social studies instruction is by helping students think with anticipation and be able to share ideas and opinions with their peers. Some technology resources can be primary resources (museum websites) that help students explore and relate to the topic. This causes engagement, collaboration, and critical thinking. When students stumble on a question or are more curious about something they read they can dig deeper using technology (google/ google images). This helps students work together as a team.
Teachers can use technology to their advantages such as creating reflection activities, peer review activities with their peers, discussion forums (communicate with peers), small group activities, and digital storytelling activities. “Critical thinking is an invaluable skill that students need to be successful in their professional and personal lives.” (Mansbach, 2020, pg. 1).
I understand that sitting in front of a laptop and using it can cause isolation because it has many sites that you can use to play, search, create, etc. but it is a great tool for today’s education, wouldn’t you agree?
Mansbach Jessica (2020, September 23). Using technology to develop students’ critical thinking skills – sps: Distance learning. SPS. https://dl.sps.northwestern.edu/blog/2015/09/using-technology-to-develop-students-critical-thinking-skills/.
Technology resources can promote collaboration among students by incorporating teamwork projects. Assigning projects like team writing pieces, group hands on projects, or even collaborative classroom debates with the use of technology sources can only increase student engagement for participation with students working together with one common goal. Technology resources provide students with an abundant amount of information right at their fingertips and a variety of ways to demonstrate their gained knowledge. Technology also provides teachers advantages inside the social studies classroom. As a teacher I would be able to pair the lesson literature being taught to multi-media content. This will help my teaching instruction to foster student collaboration and critical thinking skills. Technology will help me to personalize my instructional approach to meet students needs, increase student engagement, provide targeted instruction, and supply flexible teaching content. Some technology resources that would be beneficial tools in the social studies classroom are:
Teaching videos (YouTube, Google Arts and Culture)
Technology can help with assessment data as well to help guide teachers on what topics they should focus on or what students may need additional review in.
As seen with last week’s Discussion Question, primary resources on the internet for history lessons can help students connect the learning material to a more hands-on experience that makes the information feel more real. This can be used for independent learning but can increase social and problem-solving skills for collaborative work where students can take virtual field trips, learn about a specific time period reading actual speeches, seeing landscape of that time, and looking at real government documents.
Students can also use technology for a history lesson in learning about other countries and their cultures by using Google Earth as an interactive platform. This helps students think critically about how their life might differ from what they are learning rather than the students just memorizing facts. This type of learning can also make each student’s learning more personalized by allowing them to have a choice in the culture they chose. And can also promote collaborative learning by having students work together to learn about a culture they do not have any background knowledge of.
Teachers should not assume that an activity is appropriate just because it asks for students to use a computer or other technology, the technology-based lesson plan or activity should match learning goals (Brophy, J, Alleman, J, & Halvorsen, A, 2018). There are many technology resources that can be used to encourage critical thinking and collaboration in Social Studies instruction. Some technology resources that I would use are Canva and Google Doc. Canva is great for discussion forums. Students can post their stance on a topic in the discussion forum. I would encourage students to post primary sources and references as they take their stance on a topic. Google Doc allows students to get more creative, as they can create a story or a presentation that aligns with Social Studies standards.
Brophy, J., Alleman, J., & Halvorsen, A. (2018). Powerful social studies for elementary students | Fourth edition. Grand Canyon University. https://viewer.gcu.edu/SignIn/WP7Ejy
Students are able to express themselves through Art whether it’s a painting, music, computer graphics, drawings, or even dramatic plays. Technology based learning with art included can only increase a student’s creativity, idea sharing, and overall interaction in the classroom. Using Art technology can help increase student motivation and engage students throughout the learning process. It can also help students build a personal connection to the world around them as well as help them express their thoughts/feelings on the lesson content. Students could incorporate art into their social studies lessons by creating a visually appealing PowerPoint presentation. They could create a historical events timeline with images to help enhance the learning experience. Art technology is a way to build student confidence in the classroom, let students make learning their own, and engage them to think outside the box when demonstrating what they have learned. It provides a learning experience for the student that is a true reflection of who they are and how interested they are in what they are learning.
Remember this counts toward participation if you want to respond. What was the most important thing you learned during this week from the material?
Technology has grown in so many ways in the last decade that are ideal for student use in the classroom. Technology can bring the arts to life provide graphics that may not be available in any other physical way. For example, I am not even a decent drawer and would have trouble trying to express myself through imagery. However, using technology tools would help a student like me by giving them graphics and more movement from technology programs that they wouldn’t have without the technology. Technology can also help students incorporate music into a project that helps express a specific mood. Not only do these types of features bring arts to life, they keep students engaged and motivated in their learning and personal goals.
Google Arts & Culture Expedition: Students can role play lives of different cultures or different time frames such as the 1800’s. https://artsandculture.google.com/story/QgUxjvlk7ChgnQ
Nearpod: This resource helps teachers with lesson plan creating. Students can take classroom votes about a topic that affects their lives and compare that to real-world voting for government positions and draw pictures
Google Slides: This offers students a way to express themselves artistically through the creation of a presentation where they can have full control of the creation process. Students can create a slide where they use their work and online resources to present to the rest of the class information about a specific president.
I think the arts are literally just a click away, you have museums that have digital walkthroughs like the National Museum of Natural History https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour . Youtube can lend students another perspective of a specified museum exhibit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNXh6yIH1Io . Or just a video about a specific subject such as a piece of pottery or a documentary on a photographer https://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/art-and-social-studies/ .
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