A Social Studies Teacher Explains How She’s Using Learnist

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By now you’ve heard of Learnist.

Last month TeachThought introduced you to Learnist, a digital learning platform that allows educators to “curate digital resources–videos, blogs, podcasts, books, infographics, documents, images–that help facilitate learning, and these resources are placed on “boards” for sharing. An available bookmarklet even allows you to “pluck” content from across the web as you browse.”

Using Learnist in the classroom is a natural progression of why it was built–to let people share what they know for the benefit of others. So what does it look like in a Social Studies classroom?

Dawn Casey-Rowe teaches high school Social Studies and was thrilled to find Learnist this summer. “When I first saw Learnist, I knew that it would be excellent for all of my classes. I would be able to use Learnboards on my smartboard, or assign students to work with them at home.”

Dawn is also a huge fan of the boards covering trending topics in the news.

“Learnist is a great tool for my classroom because it lets me create material aligned to the Common Cores, but there is so much there already that I won’t have to recreate the wheel. I’m teaching Civics, and the minute-by-minute political commentary and political learnboards are making the election exciting.  The experts on the boards make the students feel that they are one step away from great people–it makes them feel important.  A textbook can’t do that. ”

Dawn even built a learn board on Using Learnist in the High School Classroom.  Besides pointing out how Learnist can help overcome common classroom challenges Dawn also gives some advice to other teachers. “Using Learnist in the classroom will save me time!  The beauty of Learnist is that there is an entire community of people adding material constantly. Take advantage of this!”

She recently introduced Learnist to her classes.

“Students loved the material from the moment I introduced the boards. The first board I showed was a political board–students picked out the perspective of the author and the commenters. They then began to discuss similarities and differences on their own.  I told them they would be using the boards, but eventually they would be able to comment and participate in them too.”

You can follow Dawn’s Learnist boards here.