Credit: GLEF

"Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions -- as accessible as all other classroom tools."
-- National Educational Technology Standards for Students, International Society for Technology in Education

Credit: GLEF

What does technology integration look like in the social studies or language arts curriculum? It looks like business as usual. Technology integration in the social studies or language arts curriculum supports students in their active pursuit of new knowledge. They can conduct online discussions with students in other cities, states, or countries. They dig deeper by e-mailing inquiries to experts, authors, historians, etc. They eagerly take virtual field trips and step inside immersive 360° scenes on the Internet. They gather images from rich collections such as the American Memory Project. Integrating technology supports brainstorming, organizing, and outlining with the use of such applications as Inspiration®, Kidspiration®, or the draw features of Microsoft Word® or AppleWorks®. To engage their creative energy, students can develop storyboards for the slideshows or videos using Kid Pix® or Kar2ouche®. When it is time for students to present their investigations and resulting projects, they assemble their writing, images, and even video using multimedia applications like Microsoft PowerPoint®, HyperStudio®, or eZedia®.

Credit: GLEF

The learning process is the first consideration and will drive the use of technology in the social studies and language arts curriculum. Technology resources provide students with tools -- computers, digital cameras, CD-ROMs, software applications, the Internet, etc. -- that help them find additional information that they will analyze, synthesize, and evaluate. These resources give students access to experts and resources outside of the classroom. The students then use the technology to share their new knowledge via the products they create. Their products can be word-processed stories or reports, newspapers, multimedia presentations, digital movies, video montages, posters, post cards, Web sites, etc.

The following articles show examples of technology integration in social studies and language arts. While you are reading the articles or watching the videos ask yourself the following questions:

  •  What is happening in the classroom?
  •  Is it the learning that is driving the use of technology?
  •  When is the technology used?
  •  How can you adapt a lesson or project you've just read about to use with your students?
  •  Is this a project you can do in collaboration with another teacher and/or another class?

Geo-Literacy: Forging New Ground
Teacher Eva La Mar's third graders explore the geography and geology of their community by becoming historians, writers, and videographers.

The Little School That Did
At ASCEND, a small school in Oakland, California, expeditionary learning helps students ask tough questions and form their own conclusions.

Eager to Learn
At Moanalua High School, students use multimedia tools to shoot, edit, and narrate works on topics such as child labor.

Exploring History, Understanding Ourselves
From Boston to Prague, students find that the past informs the present.

BroadBand, Big Screen! Enlivening English Language Learning in Southeast Los Angeles
To help his students broaden their English language skills, this fourth-grade teacher creates visual lessons using digital cameras and Internet search engines.

Rural Washington Students Connect With the World
Online projects engage young children in thoughtful exchanges worldwide.

Students Find Their Voices Through Multimedia
The San Fernando Education Technology Team helps Latino students deliver powerful messages through video and the Web.

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