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21st Century Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies Classroom**
 
Course Description
    

Participants in this course will be introduced to 21st Century skills and tools and how they can be used in the social studies classroom.  The content of this course is appropriate for K-12 teachers with resources focusing on multiple grade levels.  Participants in this course will complete an instructional plan that includes 21st Century skills and tools.

**Participants in this course must be employed to teach social studies content/classes at the middle school or high school or as a multi-grades K-8 teacher.

 
Course Syllabus
    

21st Century Teaching and Learning in Social Studies

Course Syllabus

Catalog Description
21st Century Teaching and Learning in Social Studies begins with an Orientation Session followed by six individual content sessions emphasizing integrating 21st Century teaching and learning skills in social studies. Participants in this course will be introduced to 21st Century skills and tools and how they can be used in the social studies classroom.   

Prerequisites: 
This is a workshop for K-12 social studies teachers, technology specialists, and curriculum specialists. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.  Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience.  Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating through computer files.  Access to Microsoft Office is recommended.  Participants who do not have access to Microsoft Office should download Open Office documents (a free download from Microsoft) to enable them to read and send word documents throughout this course. 

Goals

This online course will enable participants to:

  • understand how 21st Century communication and collaboration skills foster higher order thinking skills in the social studies classroom,
  • understand how 21st Century thinking skills promote a deeper understanding of concepts in the social studies classroom,
  • understand how 21st Century assessments evaluate the learning styles of all students in the social studies classroom,
  • understand how 21st Century instructional models address the learning styles of all students in the social studies classroom,
  • recognize how 21st Century tools and resources enhance the learning process for digital learners in the social studies classroom and
  • understand the role of the teacher as a facilitator of 21st Century thinking and learning.

Assessment and Course Requirements

Each session includes readings, activities and a discussion assignment which are to be completed by participants.  Additionally, participants will complete portions of the Final Project during each session and submit a mid-course check-up during Session Three.  Participants should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours per week meeting weekly requirements of course readings, activities and discussions.  A minimum of 21 additional hours will be required to satisfy the course project requirement. The total workshop requirements represent a minimum of 45 hours.

Course Products
During the course, participants will develop a lesson using a template that they can download from the course site.  Participants may either use a lesson already taught and add 21st Century skills to the plan or develop a new lesson.  Each session will focus on a specific part of the lesson template to be completed.  A mid-course check will be a partial lesson template, submitted at the end of session three.  At the end of session six, the completed lesson template will be submitted.  The template will be assessed using a rubric that is found on the course site.

Discussion Participation: 
Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum.  Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and two that respond to existing threads.  Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.  Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance and the degree to which they extend the discussion.  Participants are to read all original messages by course colleagues and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. 

Sessions Overview:
Session One: Promoting Communication Skills in the 21st Century Social Studies Classroom
In this session, participants will investigate 21st Century communication and collaboration skills, and how they can enrich teaching and learning in the K-12 social studies classroom.  The readings will give participants information of the global nature of our classrooms.  Participants will explore and search for collaborative skills used in the 21st Century social studies units developed by Intel. 

Session Two: Enhancing Thinking Skills to Promote Deeper Understanding in the 21st Century Social Studies Classroom
In this session, participants will explore how 21st Century thinking skills can be incorporated into the teaching and learning of social studies in the K-12 classroom.  The readings will allow participants to understand the concepts of higher order thinking, and the need and use of open ended questioning in the classroom.  After reading the selections, participants will have a choice of exploring two of three activities.  The first activity is an example that could be used with students that promotes higher order thinking.  The second example is a demonstration of a tool that is available to teachers to use with their students.  The third example is a tech-torial that will allow participants to explore even farther the aspect of higher order thinking.

Session Three: Assessing for Learning, Promoting Social Studies Comprehension through Balanced Assessments
In this session, participants will analyze the impact of balanced assessments on 21st Century teaching and learning in social studies. (formative classroom, summative, benchmark) The readings will help participants understand the role of assessment from the viewpoint of both teachers and students.  After reading the selections, participants will be guided through an Intel activity that will help them develop a 21st Century assessment for their social studies unit.

Session Four: Evaluating and Applying Instructional Models for the 21st Century Social Studies Classroom
In this session, participants will evaluate instructional models for evidence of 21st Century teaching and learning.  The readings will bring out educational points that strengthen class units for the 21st Century.  Participants will then review social studies lessons for their grade level; participants will use a check sheet to help evaluate the strengths of the lessons in 21st Century skills.

Session Five: Utilizing 21st Century Tools and Resources in the Social Studies Classroom
In this session, participants will review the 21st Century Learning Skills and Technology Tools Standards for West Virginia Schools and explore examples of 21st Century tools and resources as they apply to the social studies (citizenship, civics/government, economics, geography, history, and reading) classroom.  Participants will then discuss and reflect as to how the resources and tools could be used, adapted or improved upon for use in their own lesson plan. 

Session Six: Leading the 21st Century Classroom:  Evolving Roles for Social Studies Teachers
In this session, participants will examine the evolving role of the teacher in the 21st Century social studies classroom.  Readings include the underlying principles of the learner-active, technology-infused classroom and what it should look like as well as technology management techniques that include scheduling, record keeping, and group work.   After reading the given selections, participants will incorporate what they have learned to complete their project template.