Tech In Pedagogy

Tech Resources For Your Teaching

Technology in the Social Studies Classroom

Becoming a teacher can be a daunting task. A new teacher has to take in a lot of information ,which can be overwhelming. There are many different things to remember including the different sets of standards teachers needs to consider when creating lessons. A normal lesson plan in a methods course can possibly include content standards, curriculum standards, Common Core State Standards, and standards related to 21st Century Learning. Fortunately, these different sets of standards do not need to lead the teacher all over the place to be attainable. There are several points of overlap. The goal of this chapter is to create a framework for prospective social studies teachers that makes the relationship between the standards, the technology, and their teaching more approachable.

Standards guide teaching. They provide structure and ensure that everyone is on the same page. There is not one set of standards that covers everything though. Curriculum standards provide a framework for what needs to be taught. The relevant standards in social studies are the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) standards. They have applications in any social studies course. Not every theme appears in every course though. They are organized thematically:

  1. Culture
  2. Time, Continuity, and Change
  3. People, Places, and Environments
  4. Individual Development and Identity
  5. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
  6. Power, Authority, and Governance
  7. Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  8. Science, Technology, and Society
  9. Global Connections
  10. Civic Ideals and Practices

Content standards guide WHAT should be taught. Content standards can look very different depending on the course. The standards used in a US History class are totally different from the American Psychological Association(APA) standards used in an Introduction to Psychology or AP Psychology class. However, various NCSS standards themes could have relevance in one course or the other (or both).

Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards address skills. The skills include reading, writing, speaking & listening, language, and mathematics. Reading is broken down further into the skill categories of Literature, Informational Text, and Foundational Texts. Common Core also includes a strand for History/Social Studies:

  • Reading History
  • Writing History & Science

This chapter focuses on reading history, writing history & science, speaking and listening, and language in relation to the social studies classroom.

ISTE Standards

The ISTE standards reflect what students should know and be able to do in the digital age. ISTE, or the International Society for Technology in Education, updated the student standards in 2016. The last revision was in 2007. The 2016 draft identifies the following skills as essential for our students to master:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and Collaboration
  3. Research and Information Fluency
  4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Technology Operations and Concepts


Whereas standards guide teaching, technology is a tool to use in our teaching. They can be used to communicate, for research, or for assessment. (make connection between standards and edtech). The table below organizes the information by Standard-Skill-Category-Tool. For example, Speaking & Listening is an anchor standard category set in the Common Core State Standards. Evaluation is a skill identified within the Speaking & Listening anchor standard. Survey tools can be used for evaluation. Google forms can be used for evaluation. Students or teachers can create survey tools to be used to evaluate different items ranging from primary source documents to the credibility of websites for research.

Standard Skill Category Tool
National Council of Social Studies
NCSS Standards Research & Exploration Content CNN

Google Scholar




NYTimes VR

Common Core State Standards
Speaking & Listening Collaboration   Google Apps


Google Keep


  Evaluation (Information & Points of view) Survey tools Google Forms
  Communication Presentation tools Prezi



  Adapt speech/language to context    
Argue Argument/Persuasion Polling Tools PollEverywhere
Publish work with Publish

Evaluate technology



Presentation tools

Infographic Tools




Adobe Spark

Teacher Skill Assess Assessment tools Kahoot



Choosing Technology Tools

It is more effective to discuss technology tools by category when having conversations about classes as opposed to immediate and specific lessons. There are several reasons for this. Tools change. Let’s look at the skill of communication in the form of a class presentation as an example3. PowerPoint was the major player for a very long time for class presentations. I still see them done very often. I still remember when Prezi came out. Many people got excited about this alternative. There is also Google Slides which has visual similarities to PowerPoint but with more collaborative qualities. After a while, Prezi started to fade, but now we can add Adobe Spark, Haiku Deck, etc. Having students explore presentation tools is also a great learning opportunity for both teachers and students. Students can strengthen their ability to evaluate and critique available tools. Plus, teachers may learn about tools that they were previously unaware of.


Effective use of technology can open endless possibilities for learning. The following guidelines can help facilitate proper implementation technology in teaching:

  • Use technology to improve student learning, not just to use it. Refer to the SAMR model as a guideline for educational technology implementation.
  • Research or test different tools in a category before committing to one.
  • Then find what works for you. Too much technology in the classroom can create clutter.
  • Be willing to make mistakes.
  • Create a true learning environment. Be willing to learn about different technologies from your students and they will be more open to learning from you.

Teacher Resources & Tools

Who to Follow on Twitter:

@JoshuaElliott3– Learner, educator, passionate about edtech, Assistant Professor and Director of Educational Technology and Secondary Education at Fairfield University

@Catlin_Tucker-Google Certified Innovator, International Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Blended Learning Expert & Bestselling Author

@GCourosThe best educators change the trajectories of those they serve. Through learning, teaching, writing, & speaking, I continue to aspire to this.

@ClassTechTips-Dr. Monica Burns, #EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, Author of #FormativeTech + #ScannableTech, Speaker + PD facilitator, Adjunct, ADE

Website Resources:


TechInPedagogy DIIGO

Teach Like Pirate

Catlin Tucker


Useful Tutorials

The following tutorials were created by Fairfield University Educational Technology students to provide user-friendly tutorials. They can be used a resource for finding strategies and ideas for the classroom.

EDPuzzle: Make Any Video Your Lesson: Dana Stradinger

Assessing Student Growth with Google Forms: Scott Dempsey

ICivics: A Useful Technology Resource for the Social Studies Classroom: Becca Corso

Educational Technology: Tools, Tutorials, and Trials: Hiliary Basset

How To Make an E-book Using Google Slides: Jennifer Brown

Google Docs: Kayla Stevens

Google Classroom: Lauren Korres

Infographics in the Classroom: Elizabeth Bouvier

Slack: Clint Boulton

Prezi for Education: Kate Delli Carpini

Go Class: What is it? Why is it useful?: Greg Foschi

Actively Learn:Getting Students Excited About Reading Critically & Collaboratively: Katie Henderson

Bookopolis: Lineth Angel

Using Windows MovieMaker in the Classroom: Sr. Lauren Zak

Desmos Graphic Calculator Tutorial: Amy Christofer

Answer Garden: Lauren Urrico

Moby Max: Melvin Campbell

Stick Pick: Replace your coffee can and popsicle sticks with this formative assessment app: Fernanda Oliveira

Google Forms Assessment: Valeria Leardini

Providing Parental Feedback Using Class Dojo by Joshua Giannone

Remind 101 Infographic by Caitlin Diver

Brain Breaks in the Elementary Classroom by Chelsea Vrabel

Socrative: Assessing Student Learning through Mobile Technology by Gregory Lico

Schoolology: Connecting People, Content, and Systems to Fuel Education by Victoria Lowrie

Building Creativity in the Classroom using The Arts and Technology by Jennifer Geaney

TodaysMeet: An Effective Technology to Enhance Student Learning by Molly Zarookian

Class Dojo video tutorial by Stephanie Geehan

How to: Wiggio by Megan Conners

No Red Ink tutorial by Angela Sammarone

Collaboration, Communication, and Information Literacy by Tricia Goulet

Technology for Teachers: Communicating with Parents by Allyson McGrath

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ccssCommon Coreeducational technologyinstructional technologyISTENCSSsocial studies • September 12, 2017

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