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Social studies without walls: engaging students in online collaboration across district lines

Eric B. Freedman (Farrington College of Education, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)
Lauren Willigan (Farrington College of Education, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)
Randall Glading (Farrington College of Education, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)
Kristin N. Rainville (Farrington College of Education, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 10 September 2018

177

Abstract

Purpose

Intercultural dialogue and collaboration are critical to social studies education. Yet over the past 30 years, schools in the USA have grown increasingly segregated by race and class. The purpose of this paper is to offer a possible response based in digital technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors describe a project called Classes Without Walls that links elementary schools in wealthy suburbs with those in impoverished urban centers. Students at the two schools engage in collaborative activities through online video conferencing.

Findings

The authors explore two sample lessons in depth: a virtual town tour and a social demographics scavenger hunt.

Originality/value

Such activities, they argue, can contribute toward cultural understanding and civic dialogue.

Keywords

Citation

Freedman, E.B., Willigan, L., Glading, R. and Rainville, K.N. (2018), "Social studies without walls: engaging students in online collaboration across district lines", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 254-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/SSRP-11-2017-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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