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Educators Share How Tech Helps Them Teach Black History Month, Civil Rights

Educators Share How They Use Tech to Teach Black History Month, Civil Rights

Technology can be used in a myriad of ways in the classroom as a time saver or as an engagement tool. 

Three history teachers, Kerry Gallagher from Massachusetts, Ken Halla from Virginia, and Kevin Zahner from Texas share how they use tech in their history lessons in a blog post on SmartBlogs.com.

"In honor of Black History Month and Presidents' Day, we’ve asked three history teachers to share how they are using technology to engage students in history lessons," writer Melissa Greenwood wrote. "These teachers are contributors to the Smarter Schools Project, a site designed to highlight the exciting ways schools and families are using technology to support great teaching and learning."

Kerry Gallagher shares how she teaches Black History Month in the classroom using tech, and said that her tenth graders "are studying antebellum American history, the era of the slavery debate."

"First, my students researched Douglass’s biographical information specifically focused on his experience with slavery, opinion on abolition and actions related to the slavery debate," Gallagher shared in the article. "They shared information from websites like PBS.org and Biography.com to draft their custom biography. Of course, as part of this stage, they looked for portraits of Douglass so that they could get to know him even better. Next they read Douglass’s most famous speech 'The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro.' They dissected it, looking up unfamiliar words and phrases, identifying the thesis statement, putting parts of it into their own words to show understanding."

According to the post, Ken Halla said he uses multimedia "to engage in civil rights and liberties."

"In three of my four content preps, I have cut out all but occasional uses of our textbooks replacing them with a myriad of multimedia presentations. The sole exception is Advanced Placement U.S. Government. But last month I tossed caution aside, threw out the book for our Courts/Civil Liberties/Civil Rights unit and then waited anxiously for the test results which ended up being the best we have had in years. Here’s how I used technology to help my students learn:

Kevin Zahner shared that his eleventh graders "made an interactive map of 10 events from the Civil Rights Movement."

"We had just finished reconstruction, so it seemed fitting to continue tracing the issues to when society was ready for big change," he wrote according to the article. "When students write about historical events on Google My Maps, they can immediately become online contributors and makers of a resource with a worldwide audience."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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