Thank you to EVERYONE who came to hear me mutter incessantly about how technology can help us in Social Studies. I believe in it so much, I took a Master’s degree in it. Not for the faint of heart, let me tell you…

So here’s my recap of today’s presentation.

How to use Mobile Learning in your classroom starting Monday…

  1. Set up some kind of QR activity. Keep in mind that NOT all students have smartphones, so it’s best to have them work in small groups. If you’re teaching grade 10, why not have them do an activity where they take pictures of various logos and brands through the school? Start by putting a QR code in your classroom, then maybe have a few more near vending machines, etc..
  2. Play with Animoto. Another free app. Get students to show their understanding of liberalism (or even illiberalism, which would be trickier) by shooting photographs around the school and turning them into a short video.
  3. One I did not mention was Remind101. It’s a way to send text messages to your students (“you need your textbook today” or “I hope you are studying”). It does not require your personal telephone number to work.
  4. Polleverywhere.com Relatively simple to set up, it would be great in a class where you are reviewing material or even starting new material, and students have questions but are too embarassed to ask. This is an anonymous way to do it!
  5. (sorry, a lot of these relate to WWI. I can’t help it…it’s my favourite war) Use GPS to map out how close and far the trenches were from each other. Also works best in the rain or snow

How to use Augmented Reality in your classroom on Monday:

  1. If you want to show how cool you are, try String. Also a free app. You have to do a bit of legwork by first printing out the pictures, but after that it’s easy. Not all students will be able to download it, so I often just hand out my phone so that the can see it on mine. Haven’t lost it yet!
  2. Aurasma. The app is called “Aurasma Lite”, but I have yet to see “Aurasma Heavy”. Again it’s free. What I have done with this one is got students to created a WWI trench in Google Sketchup. This required some research on their part. No one died as a result. Then the students could head outside or even stay inside, and tag a location. When other people with Aurasma on their smartphone looked at that location, they saw the trench. Best used in inclement weather to simulate trench life. Trench Foot optional…
  3. Another way to use Aurasma is to compare then and now. There are some great digital archives at the Glenbow Museum, and my grade nine class selected some historic photos of Stephen Avenue, which we could overlay on the actual street as it stands now. I liked it for historical thinking skills…

Random Things:

  1. Popplet.com – fantastic mind map generator. Students can even work together on one; Popplet will keep track of who is making what changes and additions
  2. A great resource for historical thinking:

    Seixas, P. (2006). Teacher notes : benchmarks of historical thinking : a framework for assessment in Canada. Reading, 1–9.

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