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Multi-cultural 11th Grade U.S. History: Technology Integration

This paper was originally prepared for the East Palo Alto High School Curriculum Development by our librarian, Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum.

The links on this paper pointed to an earlier version of this web site and have been replicated as best we can.

American Studies: History and Humanities
Special Topics: Integration of Web Technology Into American Studies

Faculty Professional Development Objective

1. Peruse links between technology integration and school reform.

Student Objectives

1. Acquire general Web research skills and resources and apply knowledge to one particular topic.

2. Visit Web site resources which supplement or expand subject matter content, especially primary sources and digital media only available on-line.

3. Explore 3 Web sites which illustrate political and cultural empowerment.

Professional Development Objective

1. Peruse links between technology integration and school reform.

Regardless of your technology experience, a refresher and update on trends and tips for your class will help fill in a backdrop for the student learning activities.

Search: Top Ten Tips for School Reform
All resources at this link are worth a look.

Search: School Administration
(check out the Portical and NCREL web links)
Whether a teacher or media specialist, involving administrators will go a long way towards effectiveness.

Search: Catalog of School Reform Models
Since the work connecting technology and school reform is just beginning, this select catalog supplies trends to keep on your front burner for the future.

Search: EdTech Leaders Online
Looking for a good chat...

Search: Group Collaboration in Assessment
This classic paper reviews tips for assessing small group project collaboration, typical of classes in which the ratio of computer to students could be 1 to 4.

Search: School-Home Partnering
Keep families in the loop of these new activities.

Search: Research Resources for Teachers and Librarians
Refine your own on-line research skills before turning students loose on the Web.

Search: Teacher as Researcher
Imagine your role as teacher/researcher. It helps in the job of analyzing your instruction.

Search: Tales from the Electronic Frontier
You are not alone...

Search: Affinity Groups
Some of these networks are broader than others but a quick look would tell if they would work for you.

Search: Mentor Networks
The more sophisticated mentors are in the arena of math and science just because technology is embedded in these fields. Our philosophy is that everyone needs a mentor.

Search: Special Student Programs
Ensure that all your students can access this technology.

Search: Telecollaboration
Find a partner class across the Web - around the U.S. or world.

Student Objectives

1. Acquire general Web research skills and resources and apply knowledge to one particular topic.

A. General research skills

Search: Actual search services, such as Google.com, directly accessible via a Web browser, have become a mainstay for student projects.
Google works by bringing up a response which combines the most frequently requested sites and most recent date. The more specific the words in the search field the better the results. Those search engines which claim to answer a question don't work too well. Tell your students to expect some advertising.

Search: Reference Desk
Many school libraries today have reduced the amount of such reference support resources; these sources can be accessed anywhere. Tell your students that the same copyright rules apply in the real and virtual world.

Search: Scavenger Hunt  or  Webquest
(then click on the "Webquest at EdWeb" link, "Examples", and "Social Studies 9-12")
A Webquest, as a teaching method, is designed to introduce students not only to online research projects but also role-playing, problem-solving and analyses/evaluation.

While the WebQuest EdWeb projects are very popular, some are overly complicated or, at the other end of the spectrum, too babyish for 11th graders. Adaptations will help.

A quest can interweave humanities and history. The EdWeb literature quests do not seem as well-developed as the historical events, however. History could be the core of a quest and humanities, such as an artist or author's biography and works, would add dramatic context.

All selections were chosen to introduce research skills at the beginning of American studies. Each quest, though, sets the scene differently.

History

Glass Slippers Just Won't Do -- complex roles of women over time, women authors could easily be integrated.

Immigration Today and Intolerance & Fear - important multi-cultural themes.

Political Activism and Rock the Vote - Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, respectively, for empowerment.

The Decision To Drop the Bomb - arguably the most significant event in the 20th century; how did the U.S. reach that milestone?

Literature

The Salem Witchcraft Trials: Rewrite History
The Crucible: Timeless Persecutions
To Kill A Mockingbird: Extra!
Farewell to Manzanar (Japanese Internment Camps)

All can be linked to the history quests.

Search: National Endowment for Humanities  or  Theater and Music
for other cultural links.

Search: Primary Source Document Collections  and  Primary Sources
Often, a textbook will only include one paragraph from those documents which marked a major change in U.S. history; here is an opportunity to read the Emancipation Proclamation or the Chinese Exclusion Act in full. Innovistas is relevant for Central and South America.

These documents represent "official" milestones. Help your students locate expansive interpretations or evolution towards empowering outcomes so the document is placed in a rich context.

B. Apply research knowledge to one particular topic These suggestions are powerful threads which spread across many generations in American studies. Student groups might select one topic and modify an online report as the course progresses chronologically, for instance, or the research project could be a cumulative report to summarize the flow of events.

Search: The Library of Congress
(look for The African American Experience link)
This exhibit is comprehensive (divided into 9 periods of history) with photos and artifacts only available in digital form. Take a few moments to peruse other collections in the American Memory collection for resources to supplement other units. Look for resources, such as music, which are only accessible in digital form.

Search: Historical Quests
(then select the "Humanities Interactive" link)
The Borderlands exhibit displays the evolution and changing geography of the two cultures, U.S. and Mexican/Spanish, in Southern Texas. This exceptional site offers both factual and human interest information and art and literature.

Search: Eyewitness Accounts
(then select the "Navajo Nation" link)
The focus of this site is the governance and cultural infrastructure of this nation within nation. While much historical information is not present, students will marvel at the complex society and government within the Navajo nation.

Search: ~Treks and Primary Sources  and  Exhibits as Primary Sources
(check out the many links) The beauty of pre-Columbian pottery is displayed at the Peabody. Jefferson Village shows Northern and Southern views of the Civil War.

At home in the Heartland is revealing to students who cluster in the urban areas of the East and West coasts.

Sometimes, museums, like the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles, will offer downloads and printouts of posters for classroom display.

Search: Special Geographic Environments and Databases
Relevant links for U.S. geography will enliven regional studies.

2. Explore 3 Web sites, illustrating cultural and political empowerment. Note: The following sources can be found on the K12IRC Web site; many inspiring and authentic sources to learn empowerment can be found in books and media, museums and just next door.

Search: Las Mujeres
brings alive the cultural accomplishments of leading Latina women in the North, Central and South Americas. Diego Rivera's works illustrate the powerful impact of mural painting.

Search: Inside the Harlem Renaissance
expresses the transition from rural to urban musical environments. Moonlit Road is a collection of tales and ghost stories from the southern U.S.

Search: Oyez
contains the original voices of lawyers' presenting to the U.S. Supreme Court to change the face of our legal and judicial system forever. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum shows the cramped slums in which successive waves of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (German, Irish, Russian Jews, Italians, and Puerto Ricans) to the U.S. lived in New York City. It becomes pretty clear why the residents worked as hard as they did to escape and never looked back.

In contrast, Community Development, probably more appropriate for staff than students, just offers a glimpse of the many community initiatives to strengthen local towns.

A local community project would be a good culminating activity to transition between history and government and surface the issues of local v. federal groups. The Center for Educational Telecommunications includes a variety of media types about the history and political struggles of Asian-Americans, especially in California. The photos are wonderful.

Search: Photography
(and look for the links to Gordon Parks and Dorothea Lange)
We are deluged by so much visual artifacts that we seem to ignore our own environment. Photography is another media by which your students can leave an imprint in their communities.

Like a real Resource Center, this K-12 Instructional Media Center has been designed for browsing.

Try out some of the search terms. You may find some gems just for your class.

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