It's a wicked problem. Social studies. It comprises where we come from, what we've done...and it (literally: social studies) involves a lot of research. How to make that fun?
Teach from the top of the revised Bloom's. CREATE.
My professor recently shared this site and it explains HOW.
There is this issue of standards...since social studies comprises so many different disciplines. I wonder about this myself. We talk about this in our literacy meetings. Are there power verbs that comprise the standards that we can use across the board in every class? (Look at Bloom's).
Love how it points out that on-line sources are often unsorted, uncatalogued, and poorly arranged. This makes finding legit info HARD. Looking up stuff ahead of time is key...don't send the kids on a wild goose chase. Narrow it down a bit and use the time well. Develop a context for the identification of resources is good advice.
I like the pedagogical actions that are explained, esp. extending and promoting active and authentic forms of human interaction in technology enabled social networks and expand social experiences using technology. If it is one thing I wish I could magically have in my classroom it is social interaction among diverse groups.
Non-linear learning is evident in TPACK social studies. The availability of information allows the user to pick and choose. In a sense, it allows the use to follow their own paths to understanding. Experts may disagree that this is a valid way of studying history but it is what is happening informally all the time. I want to learn about the history of Zambia, I tart with a search, I end up down the garden path an hour later, caught up in a minor story about a minor tribe...my sense of Zambia is expanded, and it may not be textbook but it is informed.
How can students develop critical media skills to find their way through the messiness of the internet? This is a great question! I wonder this myself, daily! I find that I have to read and qualify multiple drafts for students before I can accept their research as valid. Indeed, it is a sophisticated and systematic literary approach. It is slow and tedious to teach to freshmen but it makes the rest of their years with me much easier. I start really small...a paragraph, a quote, an image, a source. And these get re-drafted, sometimes 5 times! Knowledge creation by the student requires the assistance of the teacher to engage the student in critical analysis.
Publication and presentation are key when talking about tech integration. Beyond the transitions and fancy effects, what is the heart, the meat of the matter? What is the deep thinking, the deep analysis?
How can students interact with each other to construct knowledge? (Connectivism!)
I love the artifacts, and original docs, available on-line. Recently worked with a colleague in Santiago, DR--taught him what Wordles were, and encouraged him to put in Duarte's (the fater of liberty) letters into wordles to recognize big ideas. He was sooo delighted!
Google earth is a great resource for this chapter as well. Mapping, overlays, can show trends in population, economy, food, migration etc. Amazing.
Schools can reproduce some of the structures that exist in society without reproducing the inequities that are also present in society. I love wikis because each student has a live presence and a discussion board, a place to be, exist. Without over-emphasizing the social conditions of young people's lives, social studies educators can create meaningful experiences by utilizing the technological habits and experiences which frame their lives.