The final rule from Lee Formwalt’s 2002 list titled “Seven Rules for Effective History Teaching or Bringing Life to the History Class.”

Rule Seven: Become more computer literate

The world is very different today than it was when I first starting teaching way back in 1987. And because the world is different, kids are different, parents are different, expectations are different, brain research is different – shouldn’t we be different?

A few suggestions of how we can be better teachers because we are more computer literate:

Start using RSS feeds

RSS is basically a system that allows you to arrange for web sites to automatically send you updated information. This could be news, blogs, primary sources, photos, just about anything.  Seven Things You Should Know About RSS is a good place to start. I started using an RSS reader (the software that displays all of the automatically generated information is a reader) called My Yahoo in 1995 and have gotten very used to it. Update web browsers have built-in RSS readers and other software is out there now:

Read history and history related blogs

I hope that you continue reading History Tech but there are tons of other stuff out there that you should be reading and commenting on. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Create, tag and share Delicious links

Delicious is an online bookmarking site that allows you to store and share favorites in all kinds of ways. This quick video clip is a great overview and this is what my Delicious account looks like.

Use social media

The research seems pretty clear – when teachers talk with other teachers about professional issues, they become better teachers. One way to do that is by connecting with other social studies teachers through social media networks such as Plurk, Twitter and Classroom 2.0. These are wonderful places to ask questions, share expertise and exchange resources.

My hope for you? Pick at least one of these tools and become so comfortable with it that, by December, you recruit a fellow teacher to use it!

Quick recap of the Seven Rules:

What would you add?