Students in Greg Leonard’s Social Studies class are currently exploring the Industrial Revolution, its root in technological innovations, its economic impact, as well as its social and political effects.
As a way to combine online research skills with 21st century communication skills, students collaborated on the creation of a website devoted to the subject. In addition to print materials and links curated by Leonard in Google Classroom in advance of the assignment, students used their district-issued Chromebooks to conduct independent research, evaluate sources, synthesize information, and write text for web pages on a shared website.
“It is important that we provide a venue for students to practice these essential skills in the classroom,” Leonard said. “These digital research and communication skills are what students will need in their futures, whether in college, career, or military service.”
“All too often, computers are being viewed as sources of entertainment through gaming or video streaming,” Leonard continued. “We seek to model the purposeful use of electronic devices as instruments of learning. We want to open up students to the endless opportunities to become content creators, not just content consumers.”
The online service that was used for the creation of the website is Google Sites, part of the Google suite for Education that includes the learning management system Google Classroom as well as the productivity components Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.