Digital Teaching and Student Learning

Teaching over the years has become increasingly digital. Students are almost always expected to have some sort of device or internet access at school and at home. As teachers, it is important that we grow with technology and understand the different ways we can use technology while also still including students in their own education.

Over the time of this course, I have tried to create lessons or activities that allow students to participate in their learning at their own pace or ability. It is important that students are a part of their own learning because it allows the teacher and students to work together in a warm environment wherein students are actually excited to learn and do different learning activities.

Over the time of this course, I have tried to create lessons or activities that allow students to participate in their learning at their own pace or ability. It is important that students are a part of their own learning because it allows the teacher and students to work together in a warm environment wherein students are actually excited to learn and do different learning activities.

This course has also showed me the value of adaptability of different lessons. Teaching is never static; there is constant reworking of lessons or information. My lessons and activities posts include different ways that the lesson/activity can be adapted by teachers to fit whatever situation they may want to use the lesson/activity for. It is important for teachers to go with the flow and adapt their lessons to fit the students they are teaching, especially in an increasingly digital world where students have varying degrees of knowledge of technology use.

Below, I’ve included some lessons and activities that I feel show this type of work I have done with technology:

The activity for this lesson allows students the opportunity to choose if they would like to be tested on Sparta or Athens. Differentiated learning is important to me because students should be allowed to share what they have learn in a way that does not reflect on what they may have missed on during lessons. The quiz allows students to have agency over what they want to show me what they can do which helps to create an environment where students are actually a part of their own learning. This lesson, of course, can be adapted differently and the quiz can be changed to fit whatever may be necessary for a teacher in the moment. The test sections themselves can be divided and one can be made into extra credit for students that really want to show the teacher what they have learned.
This lesson provides students space to explore land acquisition in the United States in the nineteenth century. Students can use a google map activity, designed my myself, to see how the United States changed over the course of 50 years. Like with my other posts, the lesson can be adapted differently to include project elements wherein students add information to the map based off their research.
This lesson allows students to explore the topic at their own pace. Students learn differently from one another and it is important that students be allowed to learn at their own reasonable pace. The website I created for this activity allows for students to go through different components of the lesson at their own pace and it includes different review sections for students before a small quiz that students take to show their comprehension.

Photo Citations

Featured Image By Sophia Winland

Photo by Robo Wunderkind on Unsplash

Book It!

This activity is for middle school or high school history students. The purpose of this activity is to assess students’ research skills as well as creativity and critical thinking.

The activity asks students to choose a historical figure to create their own book about on Book Creator. Students are given a list of possible historical figures but are encouraged to pick their own if they desire to present a book on someone not listed. Giving students room to choose their own historical figure allows students to explore what people in history interest them, but having a set list allows for some students who may not be comfortable looking for someone on their own, to have options to explore.

The assignment asks students to critically engage with different sources they come across in their research, and the final section of the project asks students to think about the historical figure and share their own perception of the figure.

The book I created in Book Creator is meant to be a guide for students on their projects. It includes information on citations, research, and the requirements for the student to follow with their own books. This is a source that students can continue to go back to as they work on their projects. Check it out below:

Photo Citations

Featured Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Screen/Scene Sharing

Hey everyone! This video specifically for a history class learning about Ancient Egypt, but I mainly wanted to share something I learned doing this screencast.

Using the Loom extension on the Chrome browser, I was able to make a screencast of a scene from a documentary on Hulu. I’ve looked at several other streaming services and Loom works very well recording those as well!

This can allow you to share scenes and documentaries with your students without having to worry if students have access to Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime outside of the classroom especially if you want to assign students scenes to view as homework. This also allows students more time to process the information from the scene you’re sharing when they’re viewing the video individually.

With Loom, you can still pause the documentary, as I did in the end of my screencast video, and address your students. This gives you time to ask students to jot down notes real quick or ponder certain themes you want them to.

So the screen is smaller in the video because I did not have the documentary itself in fullscreen (I had other windows open), but if you fullscreen the documentary, that box in your Loom screencast will get bigger.

Loom also allows viewers to leave emojis and comments, so your students can watch the videos and leave comments on questions they might have or concerns.


Photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

Women of the Italian Renaissance

Hello everyone!

This lesson is for high school world history students. This lesson can be part of the larger unit on Italian society during the Renaissance. The female artists section on the site also works for an art history class, and the female writers section can be used for a literary class!

The purpose of this lesson is to examine both the role of women in society and some women artists and writers of the Italian Renaissance. The site includes information on the role of women in Renaissance Italy and different female artists and authors of the Italian Renaissance.

This image is linked to the website!

Photo Citations

Featured Image Photo by Shobha La Porta on Unsplash

Photo of Google Site by Sophia Winland

This Land is Your Land, But Now It’s My Land

This lesson is made for middle school or high school history students. This lesson can be included in discussions of Westward Expansion.

In this lesson, students will look at a map and explore how the United States pushed west over the course of about fifty years.

Question to Ask Students Before the Lesson:

What were some reasons that the United States expanded west?

This discussion can include the concept of Manifest Destiny, the California Gold Rush, the railroads, etc. This discussion is important because it engages students in questioning the reasons for westward expansion.

This also is an opportunity to discuss the effects the push west had on native populations. After all, the land was not uninhabited when America pushed west. This allows students to engage in critical reflection of certain actions taken by America while also acknowledging a history that is often ignored.

The Map

The map below has different areas that the United States gained as the nation expanded west.

Students can click through the different layers of the map to see the land America gained along with a small explanation on how the land was acquired. This activity can be done individually or as a class with discussion happening on each layer of the map. As a possible group activity, the teacher could have students examine the different lands gained and have students research and add more information to the map as class collaboration.

To see the different layers, click on the icon in the top left corner below:

Here is the link to the map:

Image Citation

Featured Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

It’s All Greek to Me

This lesson is designed for World History high school students to discuss Athens and Sparta. Students should come into the lesson with a background of the two. The purpose of this lesson is to refresh students on the differences and similarities between the two before giving them a Google Form quiz.


Questions to ask students:

-What struck you about Spartan society? The military, the role of women, the society itself?

-What were some certain goals of Sparta in wartime? Especially during the Peloponnesian War?

The instructor should reinforce the idea of Sparta as a militaristic Greek state and ask what this might mean and how it affected the Spartan way of life.


Questions to ask students:

-What struck you about Athenian society perhaps compared to Spartan society? The military, the role of women, citizenship, etc?

-What are some accomplishments of the Athenians that we still see today?

-Do you believe the Athenians were truly a democracy? Ask students to consider the class system and the power Athens held over their allies in the Delian League.

The instructor can take the opportunity to discuss the decline of Athens in relation to the rise of Rome which, depending on the curriculum, would be a topic the class discusses in the near future.

The Google Form Quiz

This quiz is designed in a way that allows students to chose which Greek society they want to be quizzed on. Students pick either Sparta or Athens and answer 5 questions on a certain society; each question is worth 2 points to a total of 10 points for each quiz.

Allowing students the choice of what they are quizzed on takes pressure of them, and it allows you as the instructor to see which society students may have liked. This type of testing also allows the instructor to see which society that students may need more instruction on depending on which society students pick overall. The instructor could even challenge students to take both or even have the second section be extra credit for students that may need it.

Here is the link for the form:

Currently, this quiz gives the feedback right away, but I would personally go over answers manually because some of the questions are designed with multiple answers and partial credit is not given manually by Google Forms. For the purpose of this post though, feedback is given right away.

To get the full experience of the quiz, it has been edited so that the end of the Athens section goes back to the beginning of the quiz so that you can get an idea of both tests while also getting a score for both sections.

Photo Citations

Featured Photo by Enric Domas on Unsplash

Spartan Cover Photo by gancheva on Pixaby

Athens Cover Photo by rygrech on Pixaby

The Only Party is a Political Party (Sadly)

This lesson is designed for 8th grade social studies students.

The purpose of this lesson is for students to demonstrate that they know the differences between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. This lesson also helps set up the two-party system that students will see grow in the following lessons.

Some Knowledge Students Should Have Before This Lesson:

>What the Articles of Confederation are.

> The different powers the Articles of the Confederation gave to states and the central government.

>The limitations of the Articles of Confederation.

>Some compromises that were done to create the new Constitution.

The Lesson Notes:

This lesson can be presented by the teacher in any format or order the teacher sees fit for their classroom discussion.

The new Constitution faced different roadblocks to ratification. From the last lesson, we saw the the Great Compromise between to Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan which divided the Congress into two institutions: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Now, we will look at the different camps that debated over the ratification of the Constitution with highlights of their beliefs.

Anti-Federalists: These were the small farmers, frontiersmen, debtors, shopkeepers, and state government officials; opposed the Constitution; wanted strong state governments and a central government with little power; feared that the executive branch (the President) would be too powerful and that the US would become a monarchy; supported a Bill of Rights to protect the individual rights of the people; some leaders of the Anti-Federalists were Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason.

Federalists: These were the property owners, creditors, and merchants; supported the Constitution; wanted to give more powers to the central government over the state governments; proposed a single person for the executive branch; proposed checks and balances system; believed the Bill of Rights was unnecessary; some leaders of the Federalists were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

Some Comprehension question to ask for discussion:

Why were the Anti-Federalists concerned about having a President?

Why do you think the Federalists wanted a strong central government?

The political factions that grew from this debate had a lasting impact on our nation, can you say what that impact was?

Activity Time!

This activity can be given to students as an in-class activity.

The goal for is for students to interpret the images on the Google Drawing as some different highlights between Anti-Federalists and Federalists which were discusses above.

Students drag the images to the corresponding box that they believe fits a belief of one of the two groups.

Here is the link for the Google Drawing Activity

A great way to add to this activity and make it creative for students is to challenge students to create their own activity like this or to even add on to the existing activity with other differences between the Anti-Federalists and Federalists.

Image Citations:

Featured Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Photo by Ben Noble on Unsplash

Photo of Google Drawing by Sophia Winland

The Name is Lines…Time Lines…

This activity is designed for middle school or early high school level students learning about the American Revolution. This activity in particular follows discussions on the causes of the American Revolution and some background on the battles (for two of the activity options, the third does not necessarily require any background knowledge of the battles). The end goal of this activity is for students to build a timeline of important battles during the American Revolution.

This activity starts with a Braindump; this is an activity where students brainstorm about a topic they learned about recently. For this activity, students will leave post-its on causes for the war that they can remember from class discussions.

The Braindump allows for students to recall previous information and present it back to the teacher. It also allows for a refresher on causes of the war that some students may have forgotten. The Braindump can be modified to fit whatever the teacher may want their students to recall before this activity.

For timeline building, the Jamboard has three different ways a teacher could do it.

All three options can be done in a collaborative group setting. Duplicates can be made of the slides and students can work in pairs or larger groups to build timelines. The different options allows for more flexibility depending on the teacher’s curriculum schedule.

Image Citations:

Featured Image: Photo by airfocus on Unsplash

Jamboard Images: Photos by Sophia Winland

Soulja Boy Was Ahead of His Time

I was to start off by first acknowledging that technology certainly has its problems and downsides. There is a lot of nuance in the role technology can play in our lives. In this post, I want to focus on the positives that technology has played in my life especially during the times of COVID-19.

For me, above all, technology has been a tool for connection and enrichment. When I first got access to the internet, I found myself with multiple ways of accessing information that would not have been obtainable for me to learn. Like many, I went down these “rabbit-holes” of info diving learning about as many things as possible. Did you know that Europeans ate mummies? They also had “undressing” parties for the mummies. There is a website where you can listen to radio stations around the world! There are many other facts I’ve learned and interesting sites I’ve found while deep-diving for information, but at the risk of rambling about useless information I’ve found, I’ll turn to technology and connection.

As a child of a military parent, we moved around a lot. Technology helped me keep in contact with the people I met as we moved which was pretty important to me. The song Kiss Me Thru The Phone by Soulja Boy came out in 2008 and it pretty much served as my anthem. I mean not being able to see someone you loved in person was very personal for me, and as it would happen, this theme would be the norm as COVID-19 spread throughout the world.

Like Soulja Boy, we were all forced to convey our emotions and best wishes to our loved ones through the phone…and zoom…and facetime…

As everyone found themselves separated from friends and family, technology increasingly became vital for me. Through many different platforms, I was able to stay connected with the people closest to me. We facetimed, had Netflix parties, shared stories, and played games all from our homes across the United States. Like Soulja Boy, we were all sending kisses through our phones (and iPads, computers, TVs, etc.).

Without the technology we have available to us, it would have been impossible for me to maintain my sanity. Obviously, quarantine was incredibly difficult, but I realize that my circumstances were incredibly privileged because I had access to technology that allowed me to maintain my contacts with those outside of my household. Who would have known that a song from 2008 would tell us how are relationships in 2020 would be playing out with technology?

Image Citations:

Featured Image: Photo by Shane on Unsplash

Reduce, Reuse and….Cartography?

Recycling Lesson

This lesson is designed for elementary and middle school students to build a better understanding of what recycling means and the importance of it.

Questions to ask before the lesson:

Do your families recycle?

What are some items we recycle?

Why is recycling important?

Recycling is the process of turning waste into a reusable material. The main purpose of recycling is to reduce the amount of waste being put back into the environment. It can take over 450 years for plastic to completely decompose which means we will be living with it for a long time. That means we need to make sure that plastic is properly disposed of or reused to limit the amount of plastic going into ecosystems like the ocean.

Items That Can Be Recycled….

Bring the classroom environment into the conversation: what in the classroom can be recycled? Instead of throwing things in the classroom away, can the items be reused?

What’s an easy way to see if something is recyclable?

This is the most common sign of recycling. Most recyclable items have this symbol on the packaging, and garbage cans with this symbol are where you can place your recyclables..

Questions to ask students:

Do you think our school/classroom could do better with recycling? How could we improve?

What are ways you might recycle certain items? How might you reuse a glass bottle or a cardboard box?

Cartography Lesson

This lesson is designed for middle school history and/or geography students to build an understanding of maps and to help students read maps for future lessons.

Questions to ask before lesson:

What are common things we see on a map?

What can maps be used for?

Where is North, South, East and West?

Cartography is the study of map making or the practice of map drawing. Maps are very useful tools. They can show us where we are; they can show us where we want to go, and they can show us places we have never been to. Maps are very useful for us to see where we are in relation to others or other countries.

Most maps need to have….

Activity: Have students try and draw a map of their school, classroom, or community using the basics most maps have (listed above).

A bigger project could be students creating their own countries by mapping it out using the basics most maps have (listed above).

Questions to ask students:

How are maps on our phones different from maps on paper? Do we see the same things on these two types of maps?

How might a map show mountains, plateaus or other elevated surfaces on a landscape?

Do you think maps can go out of date? Why or why not?

Photo Links and Credits

Featured Image: Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Recycling Lesson: Cartography Lesson:

Photo by Patricia Valério on Unsplash Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash Photo by Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash

Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

Photo by tanvi sharma on Unsplash Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Photo by Joe Dudeck on Unsplash Photo by British Library on Unsplash

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash Photo by Jay Heike on Unsplash

It’s The Final Braincell: Things That Kept Me Sane in 2020 Quarantine

I never thought I was going to spend 2020 with my family in a global pandemic where we could not leave our house. To be fair, no one did. Quarantine during 2020 was pretty nerve-wracking and time-warpy. I lost track of time; seriously I thought it Tuesday for like 4 days straight and I ate pizza rolls for almost all of those days.

Anyways, here’s what kept me sane during quarantine in 2020. From things that made me laugh, things I repeatedly did and just simple movement around the house while trying not to annoy the rest of my family at 2am.

Movement in a Small Home in Hawaii

For those who may not know, homes in Hawaii are not that big (except the size of the fancy ones). With less than 1300 square feet and 4 other people in the house 24/7, movement or any type of physical activity was hard.

Some Things That Made Me Laugh Uncontrollably

Some Music and Shows I Found During Quarantine That I Love

I cannot recommend music without mentioning Tyler Childers. I’m not a big fan of modern country but he is one of the few exceptions. This particular song came was released at the height of Black Lives Matter protests last year. Childers challenges the notion of what it means to be a rural white Appalachian (mostly his entire fanbase) and asks them to show compassion and empathy for marginalized communities.

Conclusions and Some Serotonin

I will admit, there are many more I can add to these categories but most are not appropriate to write in this blog post to be honest. That and I cannot embed pictures yet but feel free to message me if you wanna see some cardboard surfing we did by a ditch across from our house. I also have funnier videos to share if you’re comfortable with swearing.

In conclusion, though, quarantine was absolutely the worst and I could not form any intelligent thoughts. Please wear a mask and have some serotonin posted below: