This paper presents web research strategies for teachers and students to use in building Dramatic Event, Historical Biography, and Influential Literature wiki pages for history/social studies learning. Dramatic Events refer to milestone or turning point moments in history. Historical Biographies and Influential Literature pages feature historically prominent people, both real and fictional. As teachers and students research these topics, they practice accessing and assessing online information while expanding web research and digital literacy skills. They discover how the interactive capacities of wiki technology present people, events and literature in multimodal ways that engage students in deepening history learning. The paper includes sample event, biography, and literature pages hyperlinked to Resources for History Teachers, an award-winning open educational content wiki maintained by the History Teacher Education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These model wiki pages incorporate primary and secondary materials, multimedia resources, and multicultural topics for teaching and learning. Students and teachers can use these model pages to construct their own wiki pages tailored to local and state history/social studies curriculum.
This essay is a response to both the “Guidelines for Using Technology to Prepare Social Studies Teachers” published in this journal by Hicks, Lee, Berson, Bolick, and Diem (2014) and the rejoinder by Crocco and Leo (2015). The author agrees with Crocco and Leo’s assessment that removing the principal regarding science, technology, and society is concerning, though for different reasons. The technology guidelines should include an examination of the nonneutrality of technology, including the psychological and social effects of technology, as part of this principle. This approach could foster more competent decisions regarding the implementation of digital tools in the social studies curriculum.
In Hicks, Lee, Berson, Bolick, and Diem (2014), the authors revisited and revised a series of principles focusing on the preparation of social studies teachers for using digital technologies in the classroom, originally presented in the inaugural issue of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (Mason et al., 2000). This commentary aims to extend dialog associated with the updated guidelines, through an enhanced discussion of each of the four revisioned principles within the context of time, technology, and teacher education. The authors’ efforts to more effectively guide the preparation of social studies educators in the utilization of technological applications in more useful, efficient, and appropriate ways is readily apparent and appreciated.