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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Zoom In - US History Lessons Based on Primary Sources

Zoom In is a new resource that US History teachers will like. After reading Glenn Wiebe's and Larry Ferlazzo's glowing reviews of it, I had to try it out too. Zoom In provides units of lesson plans built around primary source documents. The collection of lesson units is organized into six eras of US History.

Zoom In is more than just a collection of lesson plans and documents. Zoom In provides an online classroom environment. As a teacher you can manage multiple classrooms within your Zoom In account. Students join your class by using a class code (email addresses not required). Once students have joined your class, you can begin distributing assignments to them from the lesson plan database. You can track which students have started the assignments, read their responses to questions within the assignments, and give students feedback on the assignments all within your Zoom In classroom.

Applications for Education
It took me some time to fully understand all of the features of Zoom In's user interface. Likewise, I think that students will need to some time to understand how the user interface works. All that said, once I figured out how all of the parts worked together, I saw that it will be a great tool for helping students analyze and learn through reading primary source documents.