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Social Education April 2006


Editor's Notebook


Teaching with Documents

1906 Letter to the San Francisco Health Department

—Kristin Schmachtenberg
The 1906 earthquake that shattered San Franciscon exposed the city and nation's lack of disaster preparedness. The featured document highlights the dismal state of rations provided to those left homeless.

Connecting Technology with Social Studies    


Privileges, Privacy, and Protection of Youth Bloggers in the Social Studies Classroom

—Ilene R. Berson and Michael J. Berson
Properly managed blogs can serve as useful learning tools; however, teachers working with blogs in the classroom must provide guidelines for the safe and appropriate use of this medium.


Surfing the Net

Using Blogs in the Classroom: A new approach to Teaching Social Studies with the Internet—

C. Frederick Risinger
Blogs are growing rapidly and are having an impact on classroom teaching. These sites will help tachers understand their potential.



Teaching and Learning with Online Historical Maps

—Cheryl Mason Bolick
For those who know where to look, the internet is a treasure trove of historical maps that allow students not only to examine an event or place but to analyze the story behind the map’s creation.



Using GIS to Answer the 'Whys' of 'Where' in Social Studies

—Marsha Alibrandi and Herschel M. Sarnoff
Rather than simply reading passages from a text, students in one Los Angeles classroom used geographic information systems to study the resources available to the North and South in the Civil War.



Citizenship through Online Communication

—Linda Bennett and Julie Fessenden
Online activities, such as writing letters to political leaders or communicating with an expert on a community issue, offer students the opportunity to improve their writing skills while advancing civic engagement.



Primary Access: Creating Digital Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom

—Bill Ferster, Tom Hammond, and Glen Bull
Record numbers of teens are creating their own media online. Producing digital documentaries in the classrooom engages students by tapping into their internet interest while advancing their historical thinking skills.



Internet-based Economic Education: The Case of EconEdLink

—Phillip J. VanFossen and Lisa C. Herman-Ellison
Students tend to be more engaged while working on web-based lessons than worksheets or textbooks. Websites such as EconEdLink can help teachers advance economic education.



We Have to Pick Sides: Students Wrestle with Counter Claims on Websites

—Mark C. Baildon and James Damico
Faced with opposing arguments on a historical topic, many students simply choose a “side.” Here, the authors demonstrate how they guided a group of eighth grade students to evaluate competing online claims about the war between the United States and Mexico.



Tracking Current Events: Using the Internet to Explore Unfolding Stories

—Joseph O Brien, Aaron Grill, Stacia Schwarz, and Jennifer Schlicht
The fast-paced nature of the news world can make it difficult to understand the issues that underlie the headlines. The Tracker interent site enables students to learn about underlying issues as they follow and research current events.


Book Review

Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web—

Reviewed by David Hicks and John K. Lee