Content Tech: 8th Grade Social Studies

In what I plan to be a new regular feature, Content Tech, we’ll look at examples in various content areas of what students are to know, and how tech may (or may not) help. For the first stop in this endeavor, we take a look at Social Studies.

Here is a set of questions from the 2006 8th grade Social Studies exam (click the image to enlarge):

Clearly, sorting, organizing and some level of independent thinking is required to correctly answer these questions. During the course of the year, what tools would help students think in these ways?

No Tech

  • Students have cutouts of colonies, supplies, climate, crops, politics, religion, etc., and regularly use maps to organize them

Some Tech

  • Using Interactive Whiteboard, students do the same as above

Total Tech

  • Using graphic organizing software, students continually manipulate and organize geographic information about colonies as they learn about it.

Would the use of technology drastically improve the ability of students to do well in this example?