Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Because SweetSearch2Day isn't updated regularly, its learning value varies. Teachers and students might find resources to help them investigate social studies topics or build content-area knowledge, or they may find nothing new. Content quality may also be an issue. For instance, a quick read-through of the 2Day in History entry for Wangari Muta Maathai -- the Nobel Prize winner behind the Green Belt initiative -- mentions the 2002 Kenyan election as "the country's first democratic elections." This lacks some nuance, since Kenya had democratic elections prior to 2002, but they weren't thought of as completely uncorrupt. Of course, this is a small thing -- and just one article -- but it does mean teachers should help students do a bit more digging on the information they find on SweetSearch2Day. Even so, the site's example content might be a jumping-off point for a whole-class project where students write their own articles about historical figures or events that coincide with a specific day or week.
Also, if students do find something on the site that they wish to research further, the search engine built into the site is hosted by SweetSearch2Day's companion site, SweetSearch. This is a customized search engine designed for students, and it offers more robust resources.Continue reading Show less
SweetSearch2Day is a social studies reference site offering learning resources, many of which are articles with a "this day in history" theme. The six sections on the site include:
- Netcetera: Curated lists of resources for learning about things like country or state names
- 2Day in History: Short articles about important events related to a day or week
- 2Day's Biographies: Articles and collections of student-facing resources about notable people
- Web Guides: Resources to help guide students' research on social studies topics
- Research Skills: Tips and ideas for improving student research abilities
- Changing the World: Articles about student efforts to change the world
In style and depth, the content is intended for students in elementary through middle school; however, in rigor and variety, it varies greatly from section to section.
SweetSearch2Day could be an amazing resource for teachers, but without daily (or even weekly) updates -- which a lot of the sections are meant to offer -- it'll be challenging to implement. Moreover, the idea of social studies research guides -- curated lists of resources on specific topics -- would be a teacher's dream. Unfortunately, the Web Guides section, like much of the the site, feels like it's in draft form. That is, there's a good idea there with an initial small batch of content but not a large enough library to serve every teacher's needs. Some sections even have dead links or lead to less rigorous sources. New content does come sporadically, so there's a chance you'll find something relevant, but you won't be able to depend on SweetSearch2Day as, for instance, a weekly foundation for class discussion.
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