There is a new generation of students entering our school systems called "Digital Natives"; students who are more technologically inclined than their teachers. With the new cohort of students, it is becoming problematic for teachers to implement engaging lessons. Because social studies is not a state tested subject, teachers and administrators find it very difficult to retrieve the time and the passion for the subject in the everyday classroom. One new Google application called Google Lit Trips is an appealing way to teach social studies for the new generation of students. Prior research on Google Lit Trips showed that this application is well suited for creating lessons that can satisfy standards for a multitude of subjects, and in a way that catches the students' attentions. After I completed research on the 21st century learner, how teachers can integrate social studies into their classroom, and Google Literature Trips; I studied many virtual field trips of various books or novels. These Google Literature Trips allows teachers to utilize Google Earth to pin locations of importance for students in order to gain a visual, while simultaneously exploring educational activities. Then, I created my own Google Lit Trip. Before teachers participated in exploring the Google Lit Trip I created, a survey was conducted on the five teachers; getting their perceptions of technology, social studies education, and Google Lit Trips. They were then asked to read the picture book The Story of Ruby Bridges (Coles, 1995). The computer application was then shown to teachers to get their opinions on its perceived effectiveness. A post-survey was then conducted on the teachers' perceptions of the Google Literature Trip. The results of the teachers' discernments of the teaching tool proved it to be an effective application to use in the classroom to enhance cross-curricular education from technology, art, reading, and most importantly for this thesis, social studies. Future research should be conducted on students' perceptions, and whether or not it sustains engagement, and whether or not their knowledge of the subject matter improves.
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Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Bider, Kristin, "Exploring Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Teaching Social Studies Through Historical Fiction Using Google Lit Trips" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1489.