20% Project Reflection

I really enjoyed looking into the different ways history programs in K12 schools could use technology in the classroom because at first, I felt that this area of education was limited. In my blog, I tried to highlight certain ways that this could be done and felt I was successful at skimming the top of the vast resources history departments could use. From Twitter to tours, I think I found more information than I was anticipating and wish I could delve further into the reasons that schools have not incorporated as much of this technology.

In searching for different tools that teachers could use, I found there to be a lot of the same resources, like Twitter and Facebook activities, that were repeated. One of the main lessons I learned is that social studies teachers are going to need to be creative in the technology tools that they want to use for their lessons. I wish I had found more interactive sites and apps that could help students learn about history since it is already such a reading intensive subject. Though creating Twitter accounts or Facebook pages is fun, students must still delve into lots of information in order to find out the facts they need for their projects. I am not trying to imply that I believe large readings should be ignored because I do feel that this are an integral part of any history classroom. However, sometimes tools should be more interactive with the student so they can learn visually.

If I were to continue this question of the use of technology in the history classroom, I would want to look into funding for online primary source databases, such as Galileo and Discovery Education Network. In my college career, I have learned how important these tools are for research and writing. I attempted to look into this funding; however, I realized I was not going to find the information I was looking for by merely searching on the internet. I would want to look further into legislation and the schools covered for these online programs. Why are certain schools covered for Galileo and others not? Is the funding staying the same? These types of questions interest me and would greatly expand my project.

This type of project was a really great way for me to not only look into resources for K12 students, but also help me in finding new places to conduct research for my own studies. My question really made me think about my own experience in the history classroom and how I would have loved to have more incorporation of technology in classrooms because I find that in order to really want to learn history, you must look beyond textbooks. For many students, I think it will take the use of media like photographs, artifacts, or documentaries to excite students and make them want to discover more about a certain topic.

In general, for the 20% project, I believe it is important to choose a question or topic that interests you and that you yourself would like to learn more about. If I already knew all the answers to incorporating history in the classroom, I would not have had the fun I did trying to research new ways to do this. It also serves as a great starting point to further your interest and knowledge about something, such as my desire to learn more about school funding. I really enjoyed the time I spent on my 20% project and think this is a great tool for any age.

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