As a secondary social studies teacher pushing my students towards higher order thinking and inquiry, I often find myself letting my students go off on an research. Technology allows my students instant access to millions of resources, but while information is readily available, it is not always reliable. An obstacle for teachers and students is that information retrieval is both safe and leads to accurate information. Information overload sounds like a silly obstacle, one that many years ago teachers would have envied. But the challenge is making sure students can decipher the information to find validity and credibility. How can teachers do this? Well it is important as the teacher to teach into skills such as fact checking and corroboration. To be 21st century consumer of information, social studies students must practice by comparing and contrasting sources, checking relevant citations and looking into peer reviewed articles. Our book suggests that using misleading sites as demonstration tools for teaching students can be an important part of digital literacy (Roblyer, 339).
Another challenge faced in the social studies content is information sharing done by students. An important part of the social studies classroom is creating and sharing information that helps teach or present a topic. With the advent of technology students can now share their information digitally. There information can be far reaching and have a large audience. The challenge is ensuring the safety of students when sharing their presentations and information, as well as, easing the nerves of parents who may not want their students work published. To help solve this problem, districts should create plans for teachers and parents to understand how students are being kept safe on the internet. In addition, students should be taught internet safety, such as not sharing full names and location, as well as, not responding to inappropriate comments or personal questions.
Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, 7th Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780133955439/