This website is a comprehensive resource for teaching and learning social studies. Social studies disciplines found on the site include World History, United States History, American Government, and Economics. The site includes links to visuals, videos, lesson plans, and primary source documents. The resources are presented in an outline format in chronological order.
Type of Material:
• In class, homework, or part of a blended learning environment
• Reference material
• Individual activity to supplement a lecture
• K-12 lesson planning
We used Internet Explorer 11, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari successfully on this site.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
As stated on the site, some of the learning goals include:
• Students will develop a deeper understanding of the historical and intellectual origins of the United States during the Revolutionary War and Constitutional eras.
• Students will identify key economic factors that contributed to the outbreak of the U.S. Revolutionary War
•Students will gain a deeper understanding of the framework of American democracy and concepts of America government such as popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights. Students study America’s westward expansion, the establishment of political parties, and economic and social change.
Target Student Population:
• K-12 social studies teachers
• K-12 students
• Undergraduate history students
• History fans aged 10 and over
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
There are no prerequisites needed to use the website and learning materials.
The learning objects present valid history concepts. The site is regularly edited and changes can be tracked by clicking on the recent changes tab. Citations are provided for the materials posted. The Massachusetts state teaching standards can easily be adapted to meet the requirements of other state standards.
•Some pages include images that do not load (for example, image of Boston City on the US History I page and the image of Heddy Lamar on the Influential Women in World History page)
•Some pages have incomplete information(for example, on the page for Influential Women in American History, the information on Annie Oakley stops mid-sentence)
•Some pages include tables that are not consistent in size, which interferes with the flow o the page (for example, the Hidden Histories & Untold Stories Page
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The learning objectives and standards indicators are placed on all of the materials. The site should be used after an introductory lesson on the topic. The material provides visual aids and guiding questions which should improve faculty and students abilities to teach and learn the material. The learning material can be readily integrated into the curriculum and pedagogy of a history class especially if the school is located in Massachusetts. Learning assignments can easily be written using the material.
Younger students may need some guidance when using the site.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
•Site is neatly organized according to grade level and subject
•The two-column page layout allows users to navigate links easily
•The homepage is easy to read and provides a clear purpose for the page
•The site includes visuals on every page (photos, paintings, maps, etc.)
•References are included for all materials on the site
The homepage is a little overwhelming due to the amount of information posted there. The text in blue font has the same color font for linked documents which was confusing because all the blue text was not hyperlinked. There are also animated objects on the homepage. One of the them looked liked a jumble of colors. The site is text heavy but there are pictures posted throughout the learning materials. Links open in the same tab, which requires users to use the back button to return to the site. Headings on some pages are not easily distinguished from remaining text (the font is too close in size). Text alignment is not consistent on same pages which interferes with the flow of the page.
Other Issues and Comments:
Some of the links were dead. For example, the link, Conrad Model of Empire located under the AP World History and Key Concept 2.2 was dead.
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