Building Understanding: Best Practice in Elementary Social Studies

My research project will be focused on best practice and appropriate use of technology to promote understanding of Aboriginal issues in elementary schools.  The grade 4/5 Social Studies curriculum is focused on Aboriginal and European contact and there are certainly a great many internet sites such as http://lone-eagles.com/na-ed.htm,  a repository of useful K-12 lessons and links.  Part of the question that I want to answer pertains to the validity of using technology to explore Aboriginal issues and how best to achieve the balance between virtual learning and real-life experiential learning.  There are so many engaging resources available online but does that actually build understanding in the way contact and lessons with Elders would?  I will also be interviewing Aboriginal educators in my district regarding their current use of technology in the classroom and in their programs.  Ultimately, I hope to be able to learn from their experience and to share my own findings with them.  It will take the form of a traditional paper but also with links and visuals to demonstrate my findings.

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