Integrating History and Literacy Instruction through Technology

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Integrating History and Literacy Instruction through Technology. Cindy Okolo ( okolo@msu.edu ) Carol Sue Englert Janet Alleman Maryl Randel Michigan State University East Lansing MI USA. Literacy Is a Critical Educational Goal. Learning to read versus reading to learn - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Integrating History and Literacy Instruction through Technology

Integrating History and Literacy Instruction through TechnologyCindy Okolo (okolo@msu.edu)Carol Sue EnglertJanet AllemanMaryl RandelMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing MI USALiteracy Is a Critical Educational GoalLearning to read versus reading to learnPlateau in literacy achievement in the middle gradesLiteracy demands become more complexContent demands become more sophisticatedConceptsVocabularyDifferent representations of informationDisciplinary literacy plays an increasingly important roleNature and purpose of knowledgeType of knowledge that is valuableHow that knowledge is created and supported

Role of History Instruction in the CurriculumHistory in United States taught as set of facts, already knownHistory instruction/education largely ignored in US educational reformNot testedNot fundedHistory critical domain in its own rightHistory instruction laboratory for other critical instructional skills and behaviorsIll-structured problemsAcquisition and application of literacy

Intersection of History and Literacy InstructionReading primary and secondary sourcesAdapted to source and contextInterpretationSynthesisCritical readingUnderstanding evidence and biasCoordination of multiple sources and perspectivesDifferent authors/periods of time/opinionsSupporting and communicating findings Using appropriate evidence and standardsWriting, reporting, representing

History, Literacy and Students with DisabilitiesOur work focuses on students with learning disabilitiesDiscrepancy between aptitude and achievementStudents who do not benefit from effective instructional practices in the general education classroomStudents who learn history in the general education classroomFocus for these students is on literacyPerform extremely poorly on test of historical informationLimited knowledge and understandingBut, also limited instructional opportunities

Virtual History MuseumOngoing program of research and developmentDesigned to help all students learn and enjoy historyTakes advantage of digital historyWealth of resources on the webOrganized into collections (personal) and searchable databases (researcher-created)Provides tools for supporting students with disabilitiesText to speechSupported activitiesFeatures of the VHMExhibitsArtifactsActivities: writing, representing (maps, charts)Historians notebookAuthoring toolsEasy to use interface for teachersSupports all media typesTemplates for creating activitiesInstructional organization toolsAssignmentEvaluationGradebook

Features of the VHMSharingGlobalLimitedPrivateDifferentiationNon-supported activitiesSupported activitiesSearchable databases of exhibits and activitiesResearch with VHMThree years of studies with middle school studentsUrban, suburban, and rural schoolsProgressed from pilot study in three classrooms to samples of over 300 studentsAll in classrooms that include students with LD; including LD and non-LD comparisonsUsed with a variety of teacher-selected topics (but mostly US history)Teachers choose, based on mandatory curriculum requirements VHM used as a supplement to the curriculumIn addition to traditional history instruction

Key FindingsVHM improves students content knowledgeCompared to traditional instruction, students who use the VHM knowStudents with LD learn as much as those without LD Sometimes students with LD learn at a higher rate than those without LDBut VHM still doesnt close the gap in content knowledge between students with and without LDStudents and teacher have highly positive attitudes toward VHMStudents with LD more engaged while using VHMKey FindingsHistorical understanding improves moderatelyAs measured by written responses and interviewsFindings stronger for students without disabilitiesApplication of historical knowledge not evident in writing about historyNarrative writing is preferred genre among student historiansFanciful elaborations and inaccuraciesWriting as a list of factsKnowledge moderately correlated with historical reasoning demonstrated in students writing

Key FindingsStudents do not know how to interpret imagesSuperficial analysisOften on irrelevant dimensionsForeground, not backgroundIgnored multiple actors/conflicting evidenceLittle sense of perspectiveSocial studies/history teachers are not comfortable teaching historical thinking or writing strategiesStudents with disabilities who use VHM only a few times perform worse in the VHM conditions than in traditional instruction

VHM IICurrent research and development projectFocus on better integration of historical thinking strategies and contentHistorical thinking strategies link to disciplinary literacy strategiesContinued support for students with LDVocabularyBackground knowledgeScaffolded activitiesDesign team of MSU researchers and eight middle school teachersTechnology-based environmentAll features of VHM plus lessons and tools (e.g., notetaking, concept mapping, reference)

VHM IIThree strands of Historical Thinking StrategiesFrameworks for Understanding HistoryWorking with EvidenceCommunicating HistoryInteractive lesson plans for each strategyVides of students using each strategyEach strategy learned in the context of topic of immigrationTeachers develop VHM exhibits that are content-specific to apply each strategyStrand One: Frameworks for Understanding HistoryWhat does a historian do?Understanding history through cultural universalsUnderstanding history through problem-solution-effect analysisUnderstanding history through chronologyUnderstanding history through compare-contrast analysisUnderstanding history through personal narrativeWorking with EvidenceSourcingInterpreting visual evidenceMultiple perspectives on historyDetecting biasCorroborationHypothesizingCommunicating HistoryPersuasionArgumentationNarrativeResearch reportDebateThanks!Current site of the VHM: Vhm.msu.eduProject staff:Andrew AlexanderEmily BouckSarah CormacJJ ChandlerCarrie Anna CourtadAnne HeutscheMena KanthakumarDonna KregelkaBen PinedaKumar PongaliurNate StevensonThis work has been supported by grants from the Office of Special Education Programs, United States Department of Education, Steppingstones of Technology Innovations. Project officers: Dave Malouf, Terry Jackson. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government

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