Civic engagement has been a foundational element of our nation since its inception. But it is undeniable that the rapid shifts in our world have also shifted what civic engagement means and looks like. These changes have created exciting new opportunities to learn, connect and engage with others, yet have also surfaced new challenges in navigating our complex, hyperconnected and rapidly changing world.
Innovation in education has accelerated, in large part, due to the tremendous changes in digital technologies. Each one of these innovations have, in various degrees, shifted teaching practices in schools across the nation. But as we navigate the current wave of emerging educational technology tools and practices, we need to discuss what the end result of these innovations actually are, or at least aim to be. In other words, what is the end game for these innovations?
As next-generation assessments and instructional data can help educators gain a deeper understanding of students, the sheer amount of information available can prove challenging. As discussed in a prior post, educational technologies can amplify the impact of proven formative assessment strategies. But in doing so, educators must often navigate various platforms and other sources of student information that, in many cases, do not seamlessly align or integrate together.
We all strive to help history come alive for our students. One proven strategy is to have students engage in experiences that put them right in the action, whether it’s ancient ruins of great civilizations or those more aligned with modern historical developments. The constraint that we face, however, is the ability to have students actually travel to these places. Virtual tours make that possible. Teachers have never before had the opportunity for students to engage in virtual tours like they do today. Not only can students visit historically relevant locations, but also enter and explore many of the world's most exclusive museum and cultural centers, right from a device! Let’s take a close look at practical ways that history teachers can help foster student engagement through virtual tours.