Monday, April 29, 2013

Changing America: To Be Free App



On January 1, 1863, The Emancipation Proclamation changed the lives of everyone in our nation. Regardless of our race, age, or gender, all of us can connect with this historic American event. Changing America: To Be Free is a free App to correspond with the Smithsonian exhibit in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

I really like the fact that this App provides users with the ability to personalize their experience. As educators, we need to find new ways to engage our students. In the "Make a Connection" section, students can personalize their experience by making connections with historical figures who are similar in age, race, or gender.

There are a variety of known and little-known historical figures available for students to explore. Each historical figure's profile contains a short bio and quote. Students can browse through all historical figures at once or filter by age and/or race.

Finally, there is a social media component built into the App, where students can join a much larger discussion by Tweeting their feedback in the "Share Your Thoughts" section.

How would I use this? 

This App could be used in a variety of ways. If I were a History teacher, I may assign each of my students a historical figure to research and present to the class.

If I were a Language Arts teacher, I would search the "Make a Connection" section and find someone similar in age to my students. As a writing prompt, I would have my students read their short bio and write a short story about what they may have been experiencing during this time.

I feel that it is important for our students to connect with history in different ways. This App would be a great tool to do so!

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