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December 3, 2012
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Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life

  Teaching & Learning 
  • Schools take high-tech approach to field trips
    Field trips to museums, historic sites and other traditional landmarks are occurring virtually these days, as schools rely more on online broadcasts and interactive programs because of budgets cuts and tight testing schedules. While in-person trips would be ideal, Nina Corley, a high-school history teacher in Galveston, Texas, says the electronic versions are great opportunities for students to interact with experts on location in such places as Colonial Williamsburg, Va. "They [students] are able to watch what's going on, ask follow-up questions and play games all in one sitting. It really gets them involved," Corley said. USA Today (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What can writing letters to the president teach students?
    Having students write letters to President Barack Obama, expressing their hopes and concerns ahead of his second inauguration on Jan. 21, makes them part of a longstanding U.S. tradition, educator Suzie Boss writes in this blog post. Letters to the Next President, co-sponsored by the National Writing Project and Google, offers a starting point for a presidential-themed writing project, Boss writes. She also suggests students share their letters on a classroom blog or submit them to a local newspaper. Boss's blog (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • "7 Habits" help guide education in Utah district
    Twenty-one schools in the Jordan, Utah, district have adopted a program based on author Stephen Covey's, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," in which they learn skills in leadership, conflict resolution and more. The Leader In Me Program is intended to help transform the school culture for the better by helping students learn about accountability, communication and teamwork, while also instilling in them the importance of working toward their goals. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Standards & Assessments 
  • Study: States spend about $1.7B annually on testing
    States spend about $1.7 billion each year on standardized testing -- or an average of $65 per student -- according to a recent report that analyzes data from 44 states and the District of Columbia. That amounts to about a quarter of 1% of total spending on K-12 education, according to the Washington-based Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. Data also show the District of Columbia spends the most on standardized testing per student, at $114, while New York spends the least, at $7 per student. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • What is the correct way to use classroom technology?
    When it comes to using technology in the classroom, there is a right way and a wrong way, writes high-school English teacher Nicholas Provenzano. In this blog post, he writes that the wrong way is to consider how to build a lesson around technology. Instead, he writes, educators should build their lesson plans and then consider how technology could be added to help reach learning goals. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle-school students call on mobile phones to do homework
    A recent survey of middle-school students finds that many are using technology, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, to do their homework. Data show that Hispanic students more likely were than white and black students to use the devices. Usage of all three devices was greater at home than in school, where some officials continue to restrict the use of students' devices during school hours. Yahoo/Reuters (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Social Studies & Civic Life 
  • Archaeologists discover the past of new state park in Minn.
    There are plans to create campgrounds amid the trees and waterways at Lake Vermilion State Park, Minnesota's newest state park, but first archaeologists are discovering more about how the land was used in the past by Native Americans, and later by prospectors who excavated hundreds of spots searching for iron ore. "We're not going to be able to save every one -- and I'm not sure we need to, but we need to be able to tell a detailed, interpretive story of what they were used for and who dug them and when and why," state archaeologist Dave Radford said. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (12/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Geographer sees benefits to lake-effect snow in N.Y.
    The lake-effect snow that covers central New York state every winter may be viewed as a nuisance by residents and motorists, but Syracuse University geographer Mark Monmonier explains that the snowfall has a positive side. The snow is an asset to the region and creates unique opportunities for recreation and tourism, he writes. "Lake snow is a boon to our region. It enhances the change of seasons, and thanks to snowmobiles and ski touring, it generates jobs and tax revenue for rural communities on Tug Hill," he writes in this blog post. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCSS Updates 
  • NCSS Gold and Silver Star Social Studies Councils
    Each year, NCSS awards its affiliates with Gold and Silver Star awards for their service in strengthening social studies education. Congratulations to the gold and silver star councils for their great work during the last year! We'd especially like to congratulate and apologize to the Oregon Council for the Social Studies which was inadvertently left off of a previously published list. Read the full list of Gold and Silver Star Councils for 2012. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The Rho Kappa spirit
    In the November/December 2012 issue of Social Education, a Florida high school shares its experiences with Rho Kappa, the National Social Studies Honor Society. Read the article. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
--Gladys Bronwyn Stern,
British writer

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