Sunday, April 1, 2012


As a future educator in the modern age of technology, it is crucial to be able to maintain up-to-date knowledge on new technologies. Regarding Social Studies Education, teaching is no longer constrained to using textbooks, primary sources, and maps, but now we must incorporate technology as well. I investigated a media website that allows adolescents to not only use computers in the classroom, but learn historical figures and events as well.
As I searched the internet, I came across an interactive site, called that will allow each of my students to create movies about history. For example, this allows students to build characters, write historical scripts, and make connections between historical figures. I thought that this site would be useful because it allows students who may be visual learners to create historical figures and scenarios using an online movie-making tool. To make sure this site would suit a 7th grade social studies classroom, I made my own characters and scripts to practice.  I created a short movie of Theodore Roosevelt talking to Woodrow Wilson about their political views which I believe would be an excellent way for students to connect these Progressive presidents’ polices and platforms because they are able to see it firsthand.
            The website is set up for students to make videos, where they choose which historical figure on the site they would like to use. After they pick the historical character, they write a script that pertains to their character. The cartoon figures on the website then speak the script that was created by the students. In a way, this could be used as a jigsaw method of teaching, where each group presents their own characters to the class, which allows many historical characters to be covered in the class. Another positive aspect of the site is that after they complete the video, the students can share their work with their peers using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Adolescents today respond well to interacting with media in the classroom. Video-making websites are accessible and liked by today’s generation of students, because they are proficient in using these kinds of mediums. Since they use these technologies in their everyday life, a website like is a tool for teachers to embrace their student's
 natural abilities with computers. The visual nature of websites and technology today are ingrained in students daily life and we as teachers must adapt to the on going changes with in technology in order for our students to be successful.
Many teachers may be wary about using a site such as due to the fact that students may not take it seriously. However, I believe if monitored correctly the website can be very effective. Not only is this useful for social studies literary strategies, but it
can be interdisciplinary as well. The students are forced to use their knowledge of history and then utilize that information into writing a script. Writing the script allows students to improve their writing andliteracy skills as well as improve their knowledge of history, revealing the interdisciplinary value of using technology in the classroom. For teachers, it is important to view the website and create practice videos before assigning this kind of project to their students. Lessons should not rely solely on this site, but be incorporated as an assessment or project-based assignment. Since adolescents today are more engaged with multi-media components, allows for both excitement and learning in the classroom.

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