Technology Integration in Social Studies

Why should technology be integrated into this area of the curriculum?

The world is increasingly becoming smaller.  With the development of the Internet, faster speeds of travel, better electronic communication methods and the mixing of diverse cultures happening all over the globe, it has become far more important for people of the 21st century to develop knowledge in this area.   The integration of technology can assist teachers in enhancing learning by making it more meaningful and dynamic.

Below are some ways technology can be integrated in the Social Studies curriculum.


Internet for Instruction Integration

Problem: Students can’t take a real trip to a certain country to learn more about it.
Integration Strategy: Make use of online virtual field trips. These trips are used to introduce places in the world that maybe unreachable to students by normal means of travel, either because of time or money constraints.

Relative Advantage Expected Outcome Resources
Students will be able to experience places they wouldn’t normally be able to travel to.  Cost is a lot less than real field trips.  Students can learn about other cultures. Students will gain information about an area they are not able to visit as a class.



Internet for Instruction Integration

Problem: You want your social studies lesson to be more inquiry based.
Integration Strategy: Make use of Webquests. Students participate in Internet research on various topics in a guided and proven manner and synthesize information gained to create a product of some type.

Relative Advantage Expected Outcome Resources
Often online resources are the only up-to-date ones available. Webquests are often completed in collaborative groups. Students will gain more experience in using the Internet to conduct research, working in collaborations with others to create a product.

San Diego State University WebQuest site  Using the Web for education

A WebQuest workshop by Carolyn Burleson  PowerPoint presentation on WebQuests

A WebQuest about WebQuests

Webquest Samples


Tool Software Integration

Problem: Students are not motivated to write a traditional research paper on a topic in social studies.
Integration Strategy: Make use of presentation software to create a digital story presentation of specific research topic. The Digital Story makes use of writing, recording and making use of pictures to help convey meaning.

Relative Advantage Expected Outcome Resources
Use of images and sound will communicate information in ways that make them more real and relevant to the student. Students will gain a deeper understanding of biographical and historical events.


Instructional Software

Problem: Students have difficulty understanding Social Studies themes such as time, continuity and change, or production, distribution and consumption.
Integration Strategy: Make use of software that allows students to delve into simulated problem-solving environments. These environments present life-like problems in a safe environment.

Relative Advantage Expected Outcome Resources
Students will be able to work in a simulated environment that will present real life problems for them to solve in a fun and interactive manner. Allows students to solve problem in a safe environment Students will better understand the social studies themes and gain valuable problem-solving skills.,1380638&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

More simulation links

Productivity Software

Problem: Students have a hard time understanding abstract concepts.
Integration Strategy: Make use of Graphic Representation software. Such programs allow students to create a graphical timeline so connections can be made easier.

Relative Advantage Expected Outcome Resources
Software will allow the student to visually see the abstract concept and make it more concrete. Students will gain a better understanding of the abstract concept.

For Macs

Create a timeline using MS Office Excel


More web resources

This information was taken from Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition) companion website.
StocksQuest Global Stock Market Game
The Global Stock Game (GSG) is a realistic stock market simulation in which users can learn the stock market at no cost.

International Communication and Negotiation Simulations (ICONS)
The ICONS Project at the University of Maryland is an experiential learning program that uses customized Web-based tools to support educational simulations and simulation-based training.

Who Killed William Robinson
The site is designed to make history interesting, helping students to learn more effectively about issues and events while learning how to think critically about history itself.

Colonial House
This documents the PBS project in “experiential history.”

Paris Yellow Pages with Photos
The interactive map and address search tools result in photos of locations around the city.

Virtual Architecture
This site helps teachers to develop the foundation for designing and implementing powerful curriculum-based telecomputing projects.

Links to help you find Webquest samples

A selective sampling of WebQuests

WebQuests created by graduate students

SESD teacher resources WebQuest links

A collection of WebQuests

Learning with WebQuests

Florida State English education WebQuests


Relative Advantage

Teaching with technology has many advantages over traditional teaching strategies. Technology can bridge, language barriers, cultural differences, and distances. Technology can help the teacher meet the needs of a diverse student population by decreasing gaps in achievement for at risk and special needs students  and by improving student  attention, interest, and motivation .

For more information regarding technology integration and its benefits please visit the sites below.


Thanks for reading,

Shannon Doak

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