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Teaching Grade 4-12 Social Studies Using Digital Libraries & Primary Sources Fields, Erin; Musser, Peter 2018

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32457-Fields_E_et_al_Digital_primary_sources_SLAIS_poster 2018.pdf [ 369.71kB ]
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Teaching Grade 4-12 Social Studies UsingDigital Libraries & Primary SourcesErin Fields & Peter MusserUBC Library -, Our aim with this research project is to understand grade4-12 teachers' attitudes & practices toward the usage ofdigital primary sources in the classroom, and thebarriers that prevent this.By focusing on digital primary source tools provided byacademic institutions, we hope to identify possibledesign improvements that make the tools moreappropriate for use in social studies classrooms byaddressing teachers’ wants and needs.We assessed educators’ knowledge and usage of existingonline tools in the classroom through surveys, tasksimulations, and interviews. We also evaluated anumber of tools that already exist online to identifystrong and weak points. We found generally positiveattitudes toward the tools, and a willingness to put toolsto greater use to enhance students’ abilities to engage inhistorical thinking.SummaryHow can grade 4-12 teachers use digital primary sourcesto engage students in Historical Thinking (1)?Because UBC Library itself offers Open Collections, aplatform that allows free access to the University’s digitalholdings, we believe this study can help UBC Libraryenhance Open Collections in ways that advance UBC'svalues of Advancing and Sharing Knowledge andsupporting Public Interest.UBC Library offers over 200,000 digitized items, many ofwhich are primary sources, and which have majorpotential to support students in developing skills inHistorical Inquiry (2).The Motivation1 Seixas, P. (2015). A model of historical thinking. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(6), 593-605. 10.1080/00131857.2015.1101363 2 Hicks, D., Doolittle, P. E., & Ewing, E. T. (2004). The SCIM-C strategy: Expert historians, historical inquiry, and multimedia. Arlington: National Science Teachers Association. Available online: Bates, T. (2015) Teaching in a Digital Age. Chapter 8. Available online: ReferencesAn Adapted SECTIONS ModelThrough surveys, interviews, and literature reviews, weidentified eighteen online digital library and primary-source tools designed for use in schools.We used a modified version of the SECTIONS model (3) toassess the tools. While the model was originally developedto aid in the selection of media for educational use, wemodified the criteria for tool evaluation, as follows:• Students – Does this develop transferrable skills? Open to communities outside of class?• Ease of Use – Is this easy to learn for students? Is this easy to learn for teachers?• Cost – Are the costs minimal or do the benefits outweigh the costs?• Teaching – Does this support Historical Thinking? Does this facilitate assessment?• Interactivity – Does this facilitate interactions between peers?• Organizational Value – Does this create new  burdens on the organization?• Novelty – Does this provide a new experience? Has it been used in education before?• Speed/Security – Is it stable? Is it secure? Does it protect students’ privacy?Tool EvaluationA Multi-Modal ApproachWe engaged with Grade 4-12 teachers through a survey,a simulated task scenario (STS), and a post-scenariointerview. While the survey allowed revealed currentattitudes and behaviours toward teaching with digitalprimary sources, the STS and interview processesallowed us to observe and interrogate teachers’information-seeking behaviours and are highlightedbelow.Simulated Task ScenarioFollowing an electronic survey sent to teachers acrossBritish Columbia, ten teachers volunteered to participatein the STS. They were provided with a scenario thatinstructed them to use UBC’s Open Collections todevelop a lesson plan related to British Columbia’shistory. All participants were active Social Studiesteachers for grades 8 through 12 located in BritishColumbia. Screen capturing software was used to recordtheir completion of the task, and participants wereencouraged to provide their trains of thought whileparticipating.InterviewsFollowing the STS, participants were asked to give theirimpressions on using the platform:- to develop lesson plans and activities- to locate and select primary sources- as a tool for education development generallyParticipants were also asked what changes they feltwould help make Open Collections an appropriate toolfor the classroom, rather than as a research tool for anacademic institution.Teacher FeedbackWe would like to thank UBC Library’s Digital Initiatives formaking this possible & all of the teachers whoparticipated.Our work takes place on the traditional,ancestral, and unceded territory of theMusqueam people.Acknowledgements“If students are really into a lesson, they start asking questions and I need to find answers. I want to find them quickly and easily. ”“With more exposure to Open Collections, I'd be more likely to come back. Knowing that these resources are there can lead to finding other materials to use in the classroom as well.”“When you're teaching four classes & have 120 students' work to mark, you're just surviving.Good-quality lessons come when you have time to develop them.I wish the powers that be would understand that.”Although the data-gathering portion of our study iscomplete, we are still analyzing the data. There are anumber of preliminary findings worth mentioning,however:Teacher FeedbackThe teachers who participated in the STS and interviewswere consistently excited about using Open Collections.Although they were concerned that the interface is notvery teacher- or student-friendly, they feel thatProfessional Development opportunities could addressthose shortcomings.The quotes across the bottom of this poster are taken from our interviews with teachers, and are representative of  the views expressed.  Tool Evaluation- Out of the 18 tools identified, all but one were free.- Most tools were easy to use, but lacked significantinteractivity.- 8 tools had a major privacy or security flaw.Initial FindingsUBC Library


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