Saturday, October 6, 2012

OCSS Conference

I spent a few days this past week at the Ohio Council for Social Studies Convention in Columbus.  The conference delved into the present and future of SS teaching in the state.

Conference Highlights/Sources:  It's a really neat visual representation of geographic and social data at a world level throughout history. This came out of a session on integrating math and science in Social Studies.

National Geographic's Map Machine  really cool maps that can be fully edited to include labels, latitude and logitude, or any other features you want to include or not.  I'll be using this for sure.  This was from a presentation by the Ohio Geography Alliance.

A quote from presenter David Staley, "We can not longer teach with a focus on answers.  We need to focus on thinking."  His analogy about this tech-driven world was, "We're only five years away from Siri and Watson (of Jeopardy super-computer fame) getting married."  School should not be about accessing a data bank of knowledge.  Amen!

Have you heard of the PBS show History Detectives?  I really want to start watching it.  They are doing the work of  making theories, organizing and uncovering evidence, interpreting, writing historical narratives, and engaging in discussion and debate.  This is history "as a verb" as one presenter explained it.

Mostly I realized my district is already doing a lot of things right, which is always a good thing to take away.  All in all, it was a great way to feel up to date with current social studies pedagogy and a good time bonding with a few colleagues who attended.

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