Integrating Technology in Teaching about the Underground Railroad

Technology Integration




Technology should be used in multiple ways in teaching.  Students can use technology to gain knowledge through the use of websites, videos.  It is also important to provided opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of knowledge using technology.  


In this third lesson, you select a topic about the Underground Railroad and consider how you can integrate technology into the way that you teach it and how you have students explore the topic and show you what they understand. Today's students must be effective communicators, which includes choosing appropriate technologies and use various mediums to communicate ideas to a variety of audiences (ISTE, Student Technology Standards).




The Seeking Freedom Through the Underground Railroad WebQuest link opens in new window is an example of best practices using technology for student learning. Throughout the WebQuest are examples of how students can use technology to demonstrate their learning. Additionally these activities are useful as alternative assessments by teachers. Students use a variety of technologies depending on their content knowledge and technical capabilities.


Examples include mapping (Inspiration/Kidspiration, GoogleMaps, Google Earth, etc.), multimedia presentations (PowerPoint, Prezi, Video, Vimeo, YouTube, & SchoolTube), communication and collaboration (email, wiki, Google Docs, Weebly/Google Sites web page), writing (Google Docs), audio (Vocaroo, AudioPal), and more.



Review specific examples by exploring the the different team roles that are part of the WebQuest process link opens in new windowcategory.


Student Learning with Technology Examples


In addition to integrating technology for learning, the WebQuest also using technology for instruction.  For example, the lessons in the WebQuest are differentiated by readiness according to  the experiences students have with content and technology and are separated into three levels – Big Dipper, Banjo Player, and Cotton Picker .  Teachers are able to direct students the appropriate activities according to their needs and what they are ready to learn.


WebQuest Team Roles




Additional Lesson Plans





Revisit the lesson plans that you have created in the previous topics. Have you incorporated technology in ways that allow students to be creators? If not, review the practice activities and assessments in your lessons and include opportunities for students to use technology to demonstrate their learning.



Self Assessment


Use this Technology Checklist to self-assess the lesson plans that you created.





Creating quality multicultural lessons requires an understanding of multiple perspectives, questioning in ways that lead to higher level thinking and activities that are meaningful to students.  Teachers must go beyond the textbook to inform themselves about content including perspectives that have been omitted and distorted. Materials need to be accurate and authentic. Student activities need to be engaging leading to problem solving and the opportunity to be creative. Technology makes all of these tasks possible.



Course Summary


Congratulations! You have reached the final component of Teaching the Underground Railroad course.


The purpose of this course is twofold in providing an opportunity for teachers to explore the Underground Railroad through authentic and accurate materials and resources and to guide teachers in developing high quality multicultural lessons to teach the Underground Railroad.  Understanding and viewing the Underground Railroad through a holistic view reveals how this often overlooked historical event evolved and continues to impact the USA today. 


Gaining an understanding of multicultural education and the tools used in developing multicultural curriculum allows teachers to teach in ways that are inclusive and affirming of all students.  Exploring how technology can facilitate all aspects of curriculum development, instruction, and assessment leads to a better appreciation of technology as a major tool in teaching.  The hope is that this course will result in teachers creating mirrors and windows within the curriculum for their students  – mirrors where students see themselves in what they are learning and windows to see and learn about others.


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