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March 8, 2013
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Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life

  Teaching & Learning 
  • Iditarod offers lessons in geography, other subjects
    Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cargill, who spoke at the 2013 Iditarod Winter Conference for Educators in Alaska, recently learned firsthand about dog-sled racing and the potential it holds for teaching students about subjects from science to geography. The Iditarod website offers free lessons for various subjects. "Each sled has a GPS device and students can log in and pull up Iditarod Race information on a master computer where they can follow their favorite musher or favorite sled dog," Cargill said. Houston Community Newspapers (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Other News
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Schools' technology investments go beyond computers, keyboards
    While schools nationwide are spending billions of dollars on education technology, there is little research to support whether such investments are paying off. At issue is that standardized testing does little to measure student engagement, which is a primary result of using technology in the classroom, experts say. Still, educators are touting the benefits of education technology, such as the use of Skype to connect students with experts worldwide. National Public Radio (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Is technology forcing out traditional teaching methods?
    The use of technology in the classroom may be having some unintended consequences for students and teachers, suggests Matthew Lynch, chairman of the department of elementary and special education and an associate professor of education at Langston University, in Langston, Okla. In this commentary, he writes that with students accustomed the instant gratification provided by technology, teachers "must find ways to keep students interested, but not completely abandon tried-and-true methodology." However, he writes, it remains unclear which traditional teaching methods should remain. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Social Studies & Civic Life 
  • Climate change could produce new shipping routes across Arctic
    Laurence C. Smith, a geographer at the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduate student Scott Stephenson have studied routes through the Arctic Ocean that will become accessible as climate change continues. As conditions change, light icebreaking vessels may be able to travel through the Northwest Passage or over the North Pole, they found. Even if more is done to reduce emissions, "[t]he ice will thin sufficiently," Smith said. NBC News/Science blog (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pa. school accepts 26 Acts of Kindness Challenge
    Students from Mechanicsburg Area Middle School in Pennsylvania returned to school after the shooting in Newtown, Conn., poised to take action on behalf of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The middle school eventually decided to take on NBC correspondent Ann Curry's 26 Acts of Kindness Challenge. So far, students have been making changes in their school and community by donating to a food bank, plus donating toys and other items for patients at a children's hospital and even carrying out personal acts of kindness within families. The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NCSS Updates 
  • Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act
    Geography is the only one of the nine core subjects recognized under No Child Left Behind not to have received dedicated federal funding since the law went into effect in 2002. The recently introduced "Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act" would expand geographic literacy among American students by authorizing $15 million over each of the next five fiscal years to improve the teaching of geography at the K-12 level. Learn more about the legislation and how you can show your support. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Link social studies standards with the Common Core State Standards
    "Teaching Reading with the Social Studies Standards: Elementary Units that Integrate Great Books, Social Studies, and the Common Core Standards," the latest bulletin from NCSS Publications is now available. This new publication includes class activities that help teachers to achieve learning expectations of the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies as well as specific objectives outlined in the Common Core Standards for Reading Literature. Learn more and order online. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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Hope never abandons you, you abandon it."
--George Weinberg,
American psychologist, writer and activist

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