This guide offers fun, practical resources and strategies to help teachers use edtech to enrich history and civics curricula, and build community inside and outside the classroom.
History and social studies educators are uniquely positioned to empower, inspire and motivate students to become engaged citizens who contribute to their communities. When students see themselves in history, they can recognize their importance in the world today. In this guide, two award-winning teachers show how to use edtech to help students engage more fully with history, then apply their learning in ways that promote civics and citizenship on a local, national and global level.
The guide features:
- Four easy tips for getting started with edtech.
- A short list of widely used edtech apps and tools that are easy to learn and implement.
- An introduction to historical empathy, and edtech tools that can help cultivate it in students.
- Resources and techniques for building civic awareness in students.
- Activities to build community in and out of classrooms.
- #TryOneNewThingChallenge ideas that can easily be implemented for lasting impact on classrooms.
Edtech can offer an amazing range of possibilities – such as immersive experiences, interactive online activities and virtual field trips – and this guide explains how well-chosen edtech can expand lessons in a meaningful way so that they come alive for students.
(ISTE Jump Start Guide, 8.5" x 11", three laminated panels, six pages)
About the Authors
Karalee Wong Nakatsuka (@HistoryFrog), M.A. E.D., is a veteran middle school U.S. history teacher. Also a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher, she was recognized in 2019 as the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year for California and was a top 10 finalist for the national award. She serves on the American250 History Education Advisory Council, the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Advisory Council and the Monticello Teacher Advisory Group. She’s a member of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the iCivics Education Network and the National Council for History Education (NCHE). Nakatsuka appeared in the New York Times multimedia story “What’s Actually Being Taught in History Class?” and was featured in an article in Time Magazine’s September 2021 issue titled “From Teachers to Custodians, Meet the Educators Who Saved a Pandemic School Year.” She’s passionate about using technology to engage and excite students; sharing the stories and the places where history took place; building community in her classroom; and preparing students to develop as empathetic, informed, engaged and active critical thinkers and citizens who care and make a difference in the world.
Laurel Aguilar-Kirchhoff (@LucyKirchh), M.S.Ed., is a former history and science educator who now serves as a professional development coordinator and digital learning specialist. Aguilar-Kirchhoff works with educators, administrators and students to successfully integrate educational technology into curriculum for lasting student learning outcomes. Her areas of expertise include digital citizenship, media literacy, blended learning, curriculum instruction and design, and edtech and innovation. She was recognized as the 2018 National History Day California Teacher of the Year, was a top six finalist for the National History Day Teacher of the Year, and was the Inland Area CUE (IACUE) Administrator of the Year in 2022. She’s a Google Certified Trainer, Leading Edge Certified Online Blended Teacher and a member of the iCivics Education Network. Aguilar-Kirchhoff served on the ISTE Digital Citizenship PLN Leadership team and is currently an ISTE Community Leader.