Monday, April 12, 2010

North Carolina History ... a digital version

Having lived in NC most of my life and having taught 4th grade Social Studies for 7 years, anything related to NC History captures my attention. I have found many excellent resources on LearnNC previously, so when I saw something on Twitter about LearnNC and a digital textbook, I was intrigued. The North Carolina History Digital Textbook provides "primary sources, multimedia, readings, and lesson plans to tell the many stories of North Carolina's past." Part of the subtitle says, "Replace your textbook — or enhance your teaching with selections." That part about replacing a textbook made me think of my first year teaching 4th grade Social Studies. We were talking about the lighthouses on the Outer Banks of NC. There was one paragraph that talked about how the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse needed to be moved so it would not erode away. Well, the lighthouse was moved a few years before I taught that lesson. With a digital textbook, that information could have been easily updated and even linked to the movie or animation showing the moving process. Think of all the ways that one story (moment in history) could be enriched (and students engaged) using multimedia.
Even though I am not currently in a classroom, I have so many ideas about the ways I could use this North Carolina History Digital Textbook to teach various Social Studies and Reading Skills. Even though this book is designed for 8th grade, think about the skills related to timelines, historical images, landforms, history, nonfiction text, as well as maps and diagrams that could be based on this type of textbook even for younger students.

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