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Integrating IT Into Each Subject Area

IT-Using Social Science Educators

IT is contributing to considerable changes in societies throughout the world. (For example, think about how the cell phone and the Internet.)

There are many different disciplines included under the general title of Social Studies. Over the past century, there has been a fair amount of contraversy as to what aspects of the social sciences should be included in the core curriculum required of all students, and what aspects should be made available in elective courses.

Some of this contraversy can be seen in the article:

Austin,April (October 21, 2003). Historic battles. The Christian Science Monitor. Accessed 10/21/03: http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1021/p13s02-legn.html?learningNav. Quoting from this article:

"History teaches dates and facts. Social studies offers context and perspective. Why are the two disciplines so fiercely at odds?"

"At the core lie two distinct views of education. History advocates insist on a return to traditional instruction, while opponents assert that students need context. What the argument hides is a basic agreement that schools need to do a better job of teaching history. But neither side seems prepared to listen to the other."

While the article raises valid points, it also reflects a shallow understanding of what the discipline of history is about. A student's increasing knowledge and understanding of history is reflected in being able to understand the types of problems that historians address and the methodologies that they use. A study of history involves the generation and testing of hypotheses, and a study causality. These are higher-order cognitive activities. Memorization of dates, names, and places is only a modest part of moving up the expertise scale in one's knowledge and understanding of history.

ICT (especially the Web) gives students access to multiple sources of information--and increasingly, assess to primary sources. This provides students with the resources to explore multiple perspectives and to seek out and interpret evidence used in testing hypotheses and in exploring causality.

Resources & References

Digital History (n.d.). Using new technologies to enhance teaching and research. Accessed 4/15/06: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/. Quoting from the Website:

This Web site was designed and developed to support the teaching of American History in K-12 schools and colleges and is supported by the Department of History and the College of Education at the University of Houston.

The materials on this Web site include a U.S. history textbook; over 400 annotated documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection on deposit at the Pierpont Morgan Library, supplemented by primary sources on slavery, Mexican American, Asian American, and Native American history, and U.S. political, social, and legal history; succinct essays on the history of film, ethnicity, private life, and technology; multimedia exhibitions; and reference resources that include a database of annotated links, classroom handouts, chronologies, glossaries, an audio archive including speeches and book talks by historians, and a visual archive with hundreds of historical maps and images. The site's Ask the HyperHistorian feature allows users to pose questions to professional historians.

Our website offers a variety of ways for students and teachers to actually do history. We have created 72 inquiry-based interactive modules that we call eXplorations. These modules provide extensive primary sources on such topics as Mexican, Tejano, and Texian perspectives on the battle of the Alamo; Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to relocate Japanese Americans during World War II and the Lyndon B. Johnson's decision to escalate American involvement in the Vietnam War in 1964 and 1965; and children's perspectives on slavery, westward migration, and World War II.

Library of Congress (n.d.). Free online resources for teachers from the Library of Congress. Retrieved 6/14/06: http://www.loc.gov/teachers. Quoting from Teachers@westat.com:

More than 10 million digitized historical artifacts are available on the Library of Congress' web site (http://www.loc.gov) ranging from ancient manuscripts to Civil War maps, from classic blues recordings to Coca-Cola commercials, from Dust Bowl photographs to Thomas Edison's first films. These unique primary sources are the raw materials of history, and bring students into close personal contact with the people, places, and events of our nation's past. K-12 classroom teachers are provided with tools to bring these collections to life on the Library's Teachers page at: http://www.loc.gov/teachers.

Over 70 original lesson plans, all created and field-tested by master teachers, provide easy ways to integrate primary sources into the curriculum. Interactive activities, historical and cultural timelines, and online feature presentations bring the expertise of the Library's curatorial experts to bear on key historical issues, and provide accessible introductions to major periods in our nation's growth. Meanwhile, the Library offers in-person workshops, videoconferencing, and other professional development opportunities to help teachers build their skills and discover new ways to bring the power of primary sources to their students.

All the materials on the Library of Congress' Teachers page are free to all, with no subscription or login required, and new materials are added on a regular basis.

The History Place. Accessed 10/18/03: http://www.historyplace.com/. Quoting from the Website:

The History Place is a private, independent, Internet-only publication based in the Boston area that is not affiliated with any political group or organization. The Web site presents a fact-based, common sense approach in the presentation of the history of humanity, with great care given to accuracy.

The site was founded and is owned and published by Philip Gavin who has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern University and a Master of Science degree from Boston University. Except where noted, the articles and text appearing throughout The History Place Web site were written by Mr. Gavin.

The History Place (where noted) also includes materials from other writers. Some, such as those listed in Points of View, have PhDs in their fields of study, and in a few cases, are well known celebrities. Other writers, such as Michael Tougias, may not necessarily have an advanced degree, but have proven knowledge resulting from extensive research on a particular historical topic.


The University of Texas has digitized its entire two-volume Gutenberg Bible and posted portions of it on its library Web site: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/gutenberg/. While other copies of the famed Bible have also gone digital, officials at the university's Harry Ransom Center say their copy is the best of the lot, because it was in use in monasteries in Southern Germany as late as the 1760s, and was heavily annotated by monks who scratched out some passages and corrected others. Other sections were highlighted for reading aloud or for use during Mass. "Our copy is the most interesting in the world," says head librarian Richard Oram, and Paul Needham, of Princeton University's Scheide Library, agrees: "This is probably the most extensively annotated and corrected copy surviving. This is a very great treasure." The digitization project began in June 2002 and the finished product gives Web viewers 7,000 images of the unique manuscript. (AP 23 Jul 2003) http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030723/D7SF4NEG0.html (NewsScan Daily, 23 Jul 2003 ("Above The Fold")

IT, Airport Security, and Privacy (10/24/01)

Some material quoted from Grant Conways' Dissertatoin Proposal 7/30/03. This captures an essential aspect of history education.

First, authentic performance in history requires higher order thinking about essential historical questions. Newmann’s model of higher order thinking argues that students need to focus on interpretation, analysis and evaluation rather than acquisition of information (Newmann, 1990a). Newmann’s contrast between higher and lower order cognition supplies an introductory conception for this study:

“Lower order thinking demands only routine, mechanistic application of previously acquired knowledge; for example, repetitive exercises such as listing information previously memorized, inserting numbers into previously learned formulae, or applying the rules for footnote format in a research paper. In contrast, higher order thinking challenges the student to interpret, analyse, or manipulate information, because a question to be answered or a problem to be solved cannot be resolved through the routine application of previously learned knowledge.” (p. 44)

The content of this page are designed to encourage and support two distinct but related things:

  1. The appropriate integration of IT into the everyday fabric of Social Studies curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
  2. The development of a community of IT in Social Studies educators who are mutually supportive. This community will include preservice, inservice, and retired educators, and other volunteers.

IT, Airport Security, and Privacy

As an aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorists attacks in New York and Washington DC, security at airports is being tightened. The following two brief news items discuss potential roles of IT in this endeavor. They can be used to facilitate (heated) discussion in social studies classes.


Face-Recognition System Recommended For Airport Security

A government committee appointed to review airport security procedures will recommend to Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta the employment of face-recognition systems that create a digital map of a person's face and translate it into mathematical formulas claimed to be as uniquely distinguishing as a fingerprint. Privacy advocates like David Sobel regard this as a "potentially invasive technology" whose use will eventually expand to other purposes and endanger the civil liberties of ordinary people. The president of FaceIt Systems, one of the best-known manufacturers of face-recognition systems, says he shares privacy concerns and asserts that the answer is to have rules governing whose photos can be included in a database of suspects or criminals for comparison with mere passers-by. (Washington Post 24 Sep 2001) (NewsScan Daily, 24 September 2001)


Ellison Proposes National Identification System

Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison says that America needs to create a national identification card system, and is offering to donate Oracle's database software to make such a system possible: "We need a national ID card with our photograph and thumbprint digitized and embedded in the ID card. We need a database behind that, so when you're walking into an airport and you say that you are Larry Ellison, you take that card and put it in a reader and you put your thumb down and that system confirms that this is Larry Ellison." Asked about privacy concerns, he responded: "Well, this privacy you're concerned about is largely an illusion. All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy. Right now, you can go onto the Internet and get a credit report about your neighbor and find out where your neighbor works, how much they earn and if they had a late mortgage payment and tons of other information.'' Ellison argues that shoppers now have to disclose more information to make a purchase at a shopping mail than they do to get on an airplane, and poses the following question: "Let me ask you. There are two different airlines. Airline A says before you board that airplane you prove you are who you say you are. Airline B, no problem. Anyone who wants the price of a ticket, they can go on that airline. Which airplane do you get on?" (San Jose Mercury News 23 Sep 2001) (NewsScan Daily, 24 September 2001)


Boston's Logan Airport To Use Face-Recognition System

Boston's Logan Airport, where the September 11th terrorists boarded planes they hijacked for their attacks on New York and Washington, has decided to install face-recognition technology to scan the faces of travelers and compare them against a computerized database of suspected terrorists. The American Civil Liberties Union has opposed the technology, calling it intrusive and ineffective. (AP/USA Today 26 Oct 2001) (NewsScan Daily, 26 October 2001)

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Resources and References


Alexandria Digital Library Project [Online]. Accessed 111/16/00: http://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/.

Welcome to the Alexandria Digital Library. The name Alexandria comes from the library of Alexandria, Egypt, which was considered the center of all knowledge/learning. No one place now can claim that distinction -- but all data sources together (libraries, academic institutions, private companies, government agencies, etc.) are Alexandria. The project began in 1995 with the development of the Alexandria Digital Library, a working digital library with collections of geographically referenced materials and services for accessing those collections. The Alexandria Digital Library Project is headquartered on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Allen, Rick (August 5, 2002). : Entering History Through Your Family's Past [Online]. Accessed 9/9/02: http://www.ascd.org/readingroom/bulletin/080502eb.html. Quoting from the Website:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2001), the so-called Nation's Report Card, recently reported poor marks in history for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders in the United States. Such lackluster performances in history may not change overnight, but teachers looking for a way to increase students' interest in the past might want to hook them with genealogy. Students will be joining the throngs of amateur family historians who already make use of the World Wide Web to examine archives, articles, and photos of bygone eras. And surfing for the ancestral Web sites just may make students more intrigued by history as they discover how their own family members played a role making it, whether large or small.

Check out the following Web sites to plan or jumpstart a lesson on family history that can be woven into social studies, language arts, or technology classes.

BBC. Genes. Accessed 5/12/03: http://www.bbc.co.uk/genes/.

This is an excellent Website and resource for students and teachers. It is usful both in social studies and in science.

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids [Online]. Accessed 10/30/01: http://bensguide.gpo.gov/. Quoting from the Website:

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids is brought to the World Wide Web as a service of the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Ben's Guide serves as the educational component of GPO Access, GPO's service to provide the official online version of legislative and regulatory information.

This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. These resources will teach how our government works, the use of the primary source materials of GPO Access, and how one can use GPO Access to carry out their civic responsibilities. And, just as GPO Access provides locator services to U.S. Government sites, Ben's Guide provides a similar service to U.S. Government Web sites developed for kids.

Born in Slavery [Online]. Accessed 5/28/01: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html.

This is one of the websites that are part of FREE http://www.ed.gov/free/, a huge and growing Website of materials being provided by a large number of different US Federal Government agencies. Quoting from the Website:
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs Divisions of the Library of Congress and includes more than 200 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division that are now made available to the public for the first time.

Center for Civic Education [Online]. Accessed 11/5/01: http://www.civiced.org/. Quoting from the Website:

The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy.

The Center specializes in civic/citizenship education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs focus on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; American political traditions and institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; constitutionalism; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Today, the Center administers a wide range of critically acclaimed curricular, teacher-training, and community-based programs. The principal goals of the Center's programs are to help students develop (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as effective and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.

College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) [Online]. Accessed 11/18/00: http://alliance.utsa.edu/cufa/index.htm.

CUFA consists of higher education faculty members, graduate students, and others interested in working with social educators such as social scientists, historians,and philosophers. As well as being an advocacy organization for social studies education, CUFA members provide a forum communication among professional educators, and examine social studies from a theoretical research perspective. CUFA conducts its own program and business meeting during the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference.

Conway, Grant. Professional Website [Online]. Accessed 8/15/01: http://www.4j.lane.edu/~conway/index.html.

Grant Conway teaches a variety of social studies courses at Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon. In addition, he teaches a social studies methods course for preservice teachers at the University of Oregon. In addition to all of this, he is a doctoral student at the UO, with a specific interest in improving social studies instruction through appropriate use of IT and other approaches. His Website gets a lot of hits, especially in the areas of AP History, and Music in Social Studies education.

Electronic Text Center [Online]. Accessed 11/16/00: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/. Quoting from the Website:

The Etext Center was founded on a commonsense vision that combines emerging network and digitizing technologies with our subject expertise and library skills. Our twin mission is as follows:
  • to create an on-line archive of standards-based texts and images in the humanities
  • to build and support a user community adept at the creation and use of online resources.

History/Social Studies for K-12 Teachers [Online]. Accessed 4/24/01: http://www.execpc.com/~dboals/boals.html. Quoting from the Website:

The major purpose of this home page is to encourage the use of the World Wide Web as a tool for learning and teaching and to provide some help for K-12 classroom teachers in locating and using the resources of the Internet in the classroom.

HyperHistory [Online]. Accessed 12/18/00: http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html.Quoting from the Website:

HyperHistory presents 3,000 years of world history with a combination of colorful graphics, lifelines, timelines, and maps.

Over 2,000 files are interconnected throughout the site. In addition to that HyperHistory provides several hundred links to the world wide web. The site itself contains over 12 MB of images and text files, but individual gif files are kept small enough to allow for a quick display.

Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (IATH) [Online]Accessed 11/16/00: http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/home.html. Quoting from the Website:

IATH's goal is to explore and expand the potential of information technology as a tool for humanities research. To that end, we provide our Fellows with consulting, technical support, applications programming, and networked publishing facilities. We also cultivate partnerships and participate in humanities computing initiatives with libraries, publishers, information technology companies, scholarly organizations, and others interested in the intersection of computers and cultural heritage.

Monheimer, Paul (2001).


Don't know if you need more help on the IT in Social Studies section, but if you do, give me a call. It isn't state of the art, but the site I built for my students can be viewed at Accessed 6/15/01: http://ruth.catlin.edu/Projects/7/cultures/index.htm.


Paul Monheimer
World Cultures Teacher
The Catlin Gabel School
8824 SW Barnes Road
Portland, OR 97225

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) [Online]. Accessed 10/25/01: http://www.socialstudies.org/.Quoting from the Website:

Social studies educators teach students the content knowledge, intellectual skills, and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy. The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

Founded in 1921, National Council for the Social Studies has grown to be the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS engages and supports educators in strengthening and advocating social studies. With members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign countries, NCSS serves as an umbrella organization for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education. Organized into a network of more than 110 affiliated state, local, and regional councils and associated groups, the NCSS membership represents K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists, social studies supervisors, and leaders in the various disciplines that constitute the social studies.

Newsreels On Line. Accessed 1/17/03: http://www.britishpathe.com/index.cfm.

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 09:50:53 -0800

From: Marty Karlin <marty_karlin@soesd.k12.or.us>


Subject: newsreel archive

NEWSREELS ONLINE If you're looking for a quick clip to illustrate a history lesson, the archives of British Pathe may be just the ticket. British Pathe has put more than 3,500 hours of its old newsreels online, dating from 1896 through 1970. Source: Wired News http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,56667,00.html

Newsreel archive http://www.britishpathe.com/index.cfm I asked about free use in the US and received this reply:

Strictly speaking our "Free Preview" files are only available for educational use in the United Kingdom, but we would be delighted if their potential for learning could be extended outside these shores!

Peter Fydler Commercial Director

Oregon Trail Project [Online]. Accessed 4/26/01: http://cnug.clackesd.k12.or.us/oretrail/ot.html.

Theban Mapping Project (n.d.). Accessed 4/18/06: http://thebanmappingproject.com/. Quoting from the Website:

Valley of the Kings

Discover each tomb in the Valley in this interactive Atlas. Investigate a database of information about each tomb, view a compilation of more than 2000 images, interact with models of each tomb, and measure, pan, and zoom over 250 detailed maps, elevations, and sections. Experience sixty-five narrated tours by Dr. Weeks and explore a 3D recreation of tomb KV 14.

Theban Necropolis

Explore the entire archaeological zone through this giant aerial photograph. Zoom in to see individual architectural details of temples and palaces as well as the topography of the area. Mouse over sites to get additional information about them.

US History Advanced Placement [Online]. Accessed 1/31/01: http://www.perno.com/apush/.

This site was recommended by a teacher in Eugene, Oregon. The site was developed by a teacher in Florida.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed 4/8/03. http://www.archives.gov/ . Quoting from the Website:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent federal agency that preserves our nation's history and defines us as a people by overseeing the management of all federal records.

Online access to a selection of nearly 50 million historic electronic records created by more than 20 federal agencies on a wide range of topics; the ability to search for records with the specific information that you seek; important contextual information to help you understand the records better, including code lists, explanatory notes from NARA archivists, and for some series or files in AAD, related documents. This section of NARA can be accessed at http://www.archives.gov/aad/index.html.

Virginia Center for Digital History [Online]. Accessed 11/16/00: http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/. Quoting from the Website.

The Virginia Center for Digital History promotes the study of American history and culture, and the teaching of both subjects in schools. VCDH seeks to transform how American history is taught, learned, understood, and accessed. VCDH uses the new medium of the World Wide Web to serve schools, teachers, scholars, and an international general public.

VCDH projects include the award-winning Valley of the Shadow Project as well as new online digital history initiatives--including, Virtual Jamestown, Race and Place: An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South, The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Virginia's History Since the Civil War, the Correspondence of Dolley Madison, and the History of the University of Virginia.

VCDH pioneers the use of new technologies to advance the discipline of history. We are developing XML/XSL document delivery and search technologies, as well as using relational databases and geographic information systems. The goal of our research in this area is to enable students and educators to learn history more effectively as well as scholars and historians to reach larger audiences and produce better documentaries and narratives.

VCDH's mission is to develop high-quality, well-researched, and reliable history resources for the World Wide Web and deliver them to schools, colleges, libraries, historical societies, and the general public. We are dedicated to open source and free access to our materials. Our goal is to make history in a digital format, make it accessible, appealing, and useful. To do this we have established partnerships with the Center for Teacher and Technology Education, the Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies, and the Center for Liberal Arts at UVA. We have also established partnerships with Virginia Tech, Norfolk State University, University of Virginia at Wise, the Library of Virginia, and Central Virginia Educational Television Corporation in Richmond.

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