"As instructional designers, teachers are bridge builders, striving to bridge the gap between students and content. Emergent technology provides educators with a perfect tool to construct projects and lessons that appeal to students and reach their needs."
7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Liverpool Middle School
Liverpool Central School District
Congratulations to our November 2015 Featured Teacher Micah Shippee. Micah is 16 year veteran teacher in the Liverpool Central School District.
What are some of the innovative ways that Micah integrates technology into his curriculum?
In Micah's social studies classes, students leverage technology in many ways. Sometimes they will simply use digital maps on an iPad rather than a paperbacked atlas to achieve the same class objectives. Micah has seen increased student engagement based on the use of the iPad. Additionally, his students use popular video games to simulate historical events. Micah has found that Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization (video game) does an excellent job of lending itself to high level, experienced-based discussions on mercantilism in the Age of Colonization. This school year, Micah decided to transform his annual class cemetery walk by having the students collaboratively research, photograph, and digitally label gravestones in the Liverpool Cemetery. Guided by the work of former, Liverpool CSD Social Studies teacher, Clarie Deloria's "Liverpool Cemetery: A Walking Tour" book, students visited the cemetery, and photographed and transcribed their assigned gravestone. Afterwards, students completed a custom Google Map complete with historical profiles for over 30 gravesites. The student product can be found here. Seeking to take the cemetery mapping project a step farther, Micah investigated the use of augmented reality (AR) programs with Google Map content. AR is the integration of digital information with the live video or the user’s environment in real time. He exported the students' custom Google Map as a .KML file and uploaded them into Wikitude for use as an AR application (see video). The Wikitude App (free app) allows visitors to the cemetery to see where gravesites are located, how far they have to walk to see them, and the historical profiles for each site. In the future he hopes to incorporate this AR step into his students' workflow as well as to explore interdisciplinary connections.
How have students benefited from Micah's technology integration initiatives?
Oftentimes, students use mobile devices and tablets for gaming, contributing to social media, and consuming video content on YouTube. Students in Micah's class, however, are leveraging iPads and Chromebooks to create and share their own content. This school year, 109 students collaborated on the Liverpool Cemetery Google Map project. These students worked individually, collaboratively, and with a social studies teacher and ELA teacher. They used iPads to photograph gravestones, uploaded the photos to Google Drive, and attached the images to custom placemarkers in Google Maps. A shared Good Doc was then used to collaborate on the historic profile. Throught this carefully planned project, students were able to create a finished product that contributes to the study of local history for an authentic audience.
Is This You?
Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun? Know someone who fits the profile? Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!