Thursday, January 30, 2014

10+ Ways to Participate in Digital Learning Day on February 5, 2014!

By Nina Kendall

Digital Learning Day will soon be upon us. This event is a chance for us to renew our commitment to educating children in a technology rich environment. You can share your plans and show your commitment by taking the Digital Learning Day pledge. If you are still looking for a few options for your social studies classroom, check out our suggestions.

Freedom Summer: National Youth Summit

Join the conversation at the National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer at 12 pm EST on 2/5/2014.  This is a unique opportunity to use technology to discuss Freedom Summer and the meaning of citizenship with participants in the Civil Rights Movement, other students, and modern activists. Students can submit questions for the summit and hear the responses from those involved. They can gain a sense of common national concerns and the continuing importance of an active citizenry.


Tweet a question about George Washington to the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon using the hashtag above and they will respond.

Take a Virtual Field Trip

Take a Virtual Tour of the White House or another landmark or museum. Visit our pinterest board for more options.

Created Equal

Learn more about the struggle for equality with Created Equal, a National Film Project Created by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Here you can stream an original film and get suggestions about how to incorporate this resource into class.

Go On Mission US

Play a game to explore events of the past. Go to Mission US and then you choose  a mission. You can fight in the Revolutionary War, travel toward freedom, or struggle with the coming railroad.  These free interactive games can be played online or on an ipad or android tablet.  Students can learn and have fun.

ReadWriteThink Printing Press

Use the ReadWriteThink Printing Press to have students create posters or  brochures that show what they have learned and can share with you electronically.

Explore Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads

Use the flash-based exhibit at the National Constitution Center to explore the political decisions of Abraham Lincoln. Compare your decisions with this talking Lincoln and deeply examine his struggles.

A More Perfect Union

Learn about Japanese Internment and the struggle for Civil Rights at the Smithsonian’s A More Perfect Union Web exhibit. Here you can explore the crisis surrounding the constitutional conflict and citizens of Japanese descent with primary sources, text, and film.


            Use wordle to help students analyze a historic document for major themes and terms. Students simply cut and paste the text into the generator and generate a shape. The word size represents the frequency it is used. This can be the beginning of a conversation about issues of a period or lead to the development of found poetry.


            Use iCivics to engage student conversations about citizenship and government. Teachers can use their digital resources to teach a lesson or have students play an interactive game. In Do I have a Right?, students demonstrate their knowledge of the rights of citizens. In Supreme Decision, students explore how the Supreme Court works. In Branches of Power, students show what they understand about the government.

            Romare Bearden's Black Odyssey
            Visit this site to learn more about the life and works of Romare Bearden. There are audio tour apps of this traveling exhibit available on both iOS and android. There is also a collage creation app available for free on ipads that feature Bearden's backgrounds. Challenge your students to embrace Bearden's remix perspective to make art and craft new stories.

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