Monday, December 10, 2012

DocTeach and iPad Apps

Do you use iPads in your classroom? If so, Scobey teacher Bryan Pechtl recommends you check out Docs Teach, put out by the National Archives.

According to Bryan, it “has pre-made activities using primary sources from the Archives. Teachers can also create activities specifically for their classes at the Archives website, then distribute the activity code to students. If teachers don't have iPads, the website also lets teachers and students conduct the same activities on a standard PC, too.”

I’m old-school, so I had to check out Docs Teach via my PC. I found a Lewis and Clark exercise I liked and one on the impact of westward expansion on Indian tribes that I didn’t—because it seemed to me you could complete the exercise without actually examining any of the documents in detail.

I also discovered that DocsTeach has an entire section devoted to National History Day, including teaching activities relating to the NHD theme of “Turning Points.” It has also posted document collections around specific turning points, from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency to the Spanish-American War. (I can’t help but put in another plug for NHD. It’s a great program and there’s still time to involve your classes in this year’s contests. Learn more here.)

Anyone else have a favorite app to recommend? 

P.S. Don’t forget our Top Ten Events in Montana History challenge. Response has been so great, I’m adding a fourth prize—for the 75th person to complete the survey. The survey closes December 16.

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