Thanks to “at your fingertips” knowledge made possible by technology, many schools are either doing away with hard copy textbooks or relying on them a lot less. With the abundance of learning tools now available on the Web, textbooks are taking a back seat, in some cases, to educational web sites and hands-on activities.
Cram Stoppers and Go Social Studies Go! are two FREE educational websites that encourage learning as opposed to memorizing. Cram Stoppers, a test creation site for grades 8th through college, allows users to design their own tests, using study guide information and notes, and take tests as many times as needed. Go Social Studies Go!, a history resource site that went live in July 2011, is bursting at the seams with history/social studies content, including engaging videos, colorful photos, and links that bring history to life.
Cram Stoppers and Go Social Studies Go! partnered in October because the founders share the same vision regarding how students learn. “When students key in their own test questions, and then take the tests they’ve created, they’ve already learned the material,” says Julie Wilson, a Cumming, Georgia business woman and founder of Cram Stoppers. “This is much different than when I was in school, when you spent your time cramming, only to forget what you memorized shortly after your test was over.”
Ken Uhde, a tenured history teacher in Birmingham, Michigan, and founder of Go Social Studies Go!, is on the same page. “A teacher’s biggest challenge is getting kids to engage and truly learn the material, and when it comes to history, textbooks either only touch on a topic or bore students because they’re content heavy. After 10 years of searching for comprehensive history materials and not finding what I needed, I created Go Social Studies Go!,” explains Uhde, who expects to spend about two years tweaking and perfecting the site. He describes social studies as the ‘locked up stepchild,’ because little emphasis is placed on social studies and history on standardized tests. “That’
Uhde describes Go Social Studies Go! as an ‘electronic village,’ because it’s comprehensive and links to other reliable history resources, becoming a one-stop destination for teachers and students, much like Cram Stoppers. Uhde linked Go Social Studies Go! to Cram Stoppers because he feels the two work in tandem to help students actually learn.
“Cram Stoppers is all about preparation. We’d like to see the ‘all nighters’ go away, so students can enjoy a more well-rounded life. And our experience with Cram Stoppers has shown that students who create and take their own tests score higher on classroom tests,” shares Wilson. And what if students don’t have time to create their own tests? Cram Stoppers offers a ‘Community Library,’ which provides them with a place to locate quizzes designed by peers -- across the street or across the country. Any Cram Stoppers user can contribute a quiz to the Library or copy a quiz for personal use. And by using the “edit” function, any quiz from the Library can be tailored to a student’s satisfaction.
“I like Cram Stoppers because, as a teacher, I don’t have to retype a test every time I need one. I can keep a library, to be used over and over, and I can share with my colleagues,”
Those interested in picking up a few more facts about the Civil War – and other historical matters -- can do so by visiting Go Social Studies Go!, and then linking directly to Cram Stoppers to create original tests. Let the learning begin!
For more information on Cram Stoppers, please visit www.cramstoppers.com or contact Julie Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Go Social Studies Go!, visit www.gosocialstudiesgo.com or email Ken Uhde at gohistorygo@
About Cram Stoppers
Cram Stoppers is an online study site designed for high school and college students. Created to alleviate test taking anxiety and build confidence, Cram Stoppers allows students to craft custom quizzes from current classroom study materials. Quizzes can be created in five different formats — multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-
About Go Social Studies Go!
Go Social Studies Go! is an online resource that is taking social studies and history education into the 21st century. Rather than trying to absorb content and memorize dates and names from a textbook, Go Social Studies Go! combines interesting content, written with the student in mind, with the best games, videos, songs, news articles and activities from all over the web - with one easy-to-use ‘Virtual Book.’ Social studies and history come alive on Go Social Studies Go! The site is free to use, so give it a go! www.gosocialstudiesgo.com