A. Instruction - 6.3
B. Design - 7.3
C. Engagement - 7.3
Today’s Documents: A Must-Have App for Social Studies
Summary : Primary Sources Galore
Today’s Documents by National Archives contains a primary source document for each day of the year. After launching the app, users are shown a historical document that was signed or dated on a specific calendar day or an image of a historical event that happened on that day. For example, on March 22nd, users are shown an offer by Dr. King inviting people to march with them for justice and jobs. On March 23rd, users are shown the original 26th Amendment to the Constitution signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. Users are able to zoom in and out of the document by pinching their fingers. Users can also tap the “I” button on the top right of the screen to learn more about the document they are viewing. Finally, users can enter search terms in the field below the document to find for other original documents.
Please Note: At the time of this review, there were additional options for sharing and bookmarking information that were buggy. However, without those features, this app still offers users high-quality content.
- Teachers can begin class each day using this app as a bellringer activity. To do so, teachers can connect their iPad to a projector and show students an original document, which includes viewing the document and tapping the “I” button to read additional information about it. Next, students can then research the document on the Internet, with the goal of finding 1-3 new facts about it. Students can record these facts on a daily log, which can be kept in the UX Write, Office Offiline, or WPS Office app. Students can then share their facts orally or by posting them to a class website.
- When teaching about a specific topic, teachers can include primary sources that relate directly to the topic being taught. These documents can add authenticity and engagement to their lesson.
- When conducting a research project, teachers can have students enter key search terms in this app to find primary documents related to their project’s topic. These documents can be cited and referenced in their project.
- To preview an upcoming unit, teachers can have students enter in different key terms related to the unit and see what primary resources they find. For example, when studying the Constitution, teachers can write a word bank of search terms related to the Constitution on the board and let students use these terms to search this app. Example search terms include the names of the individuals who signed the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, and different articles of the Constitution among others. Students can then summarize their findings by writing the name of the original source they found and explanation stating why that source is significant.
- To help students understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, teachers can have students view a primary source in this app. Next, teachers can require students to find 3-5 secondary sources related to that primary source. For each secondary source found, students can write an explanation of why the source is in fact a secondary source for the primary source document they were assigned.
|A2. 21st Century Skills|
|A3. Conn. to Future Learning|
|A4. Value of Errors|
|A5. Feedback to Teacher|
|A6. Level of Material|
|A7. Cooperative Learning|
|A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.|
|B1. Ability to Save Progress|
|B2. Platform Integration|
|B3. Screen Design|
|B4. Ease of Use|
|B6. Goal Orientation|
|B7. Information Presentation|
|B8. Media Integration|
|B9. Cultural Sensitivity|
|C1. Learner Control|