There a million ways to integrate technology into the classroom.  There is an endless amount of tools for all content areas and topics.  But the key to utilizing these technologies is to use them to enhance the learning environment.  They are not simple replacements of past tools, but enhancements allowing students to reach further outside the classroom walls and engage them in the content at hand.  As a social studies teacher global outreach, collaboration and accessing resources  are an important part of shaping good citizens.

Encouraging Collaboration

Having the use of Google Docs and other collaboration tools increases students ability to work with others.  This is an important life skills that students should attain.  In social studies, using collaborative tools encourages students to work with people of different cultures, backgrounds, learning abilities, and socio-economic status.  This is essential in creating 21st century citizens and workers who can collaborate and create with others (Cox, 2015).

Assessing and Evaluating Resources

Part of being a global citizen in the 21st century is being able to find your way through a sea of resources and information.  An important skill I must teach my 8th graders is how to evaluate their sources, view bias, and corroborate information to gain knowledge and form opinions.  Technology allows students to have immediate access to these resources.  It also allows them to fact check and corroborate almost instantly.  Additionally, students can collect and annotate their resources using online tools.  Sites like Diigo, Scoop.it, and others allow for collections of resources that students can then use to write, create, analyze, investigate and more.  

Other advantages of technology include the ability to find resources for students of all learning levels.  Digital articles can be shared in multiple reading levels, along with using pictures and summaries to help students comprehend the articles (Roblyer, 2016).  

The technology I use in my classroom will have huge benefits on my students.  It will not only help them learn the social studies content, but also will prepare them for their futures.  Utilizing technology will also “  [set students] up for this increasing digital economy (Cox, 2015).”  To find these advantages it is important to remember, technology is not just simply a replacement, it is an enhancement and an increased opportunity for learning.

Cox, Janelle. “Benefits of Technology in the Classroom.” TeachHUB. N.p., 2015. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

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