When teaching with technology, an obstacle for many teachers is time. Time is a scarcity for teachers anyway, but with the added time required to learn and implement new technology, teachers suddenly have even less time. Now, add the burden of constantly learning new tech tools because some of the topics covered in social studies, such as economics and politics, are constantly changing and teaching with technology becomes even more of an obstacle.
Finding quality resources relating to specific social studies topics is another obstacle. “Despite their obvious value and and relevance to future citizens, social studies themes and topics are not usually among those included in statewide assessments.” (Roblyer, 2016)
Because assessment drives instruction, money is usually spent on other subjects, leaving social studies instructors to find free or inexpensive materials. I had personal experience with this during our course of study this semester. It was difficult to find apps, websites, and software that relate to the specific topics of study I was seeking to create lessons for, such as, Symbols of the State of Idaho, Native Americans, and Citizenship.
The solutions I see to both of these obstacles are two fold. First, immerse yourself, as much as possible, into an online social studies culture. Teachers could follow blogs and subscribe to RSS feeds in order to stay as up to date as possible on the development of social studies technology. Making connections with several teachers who use technology in their social studies classroom and sharing ideas with each other would also be an effective way to combat the constantly changing, limited technology resources in social studies. Second, apply for grants to purchase your own social studies resources. Money is often available to those willing to work hard enough to find and then secure it. With some proactivity, the obstacles of teaching social studies with technology can be overcome.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology Into Teaching [eText]. Retrieved from www.pearsonhighered.com/etextbooks.
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