Digital tools are reshaping how history is taught. Technology is becoming more accessible to everyone. With these developments in technology it opens new ways for teachers to teach history. With the current advances in technology many old ways of teaching are going out of date. There are many new platforms for taking notes, assessments, and doing in-class work. It is important to help students become fluent in using this digital tools as the world becomes more digital. Digital tools are not only a great teaching resource but a valuable skill to leave students with.

In this Ted Talk Thomas Ketchell explains how using technology brings a new life to history. He talks about how by using digital tools it helps to bring history to life, it makes history more interesting and students are more engaged. In his Ted Talk he talks about using social media and video games to engage students. He also mentions that how the use of social media helps shy students to have a voice and speak up. lastly he talks about the struggle facing teaching history with new technology. Ketchell talks about how schools need to adapt to this change in teaching.

Implementing these tools

One way to implement digital tools in my future classroom is to destigmatize cellphone usage. Cellphones can be a great tool to use in a classroom. It helps students access digital tools but it also opens a door to teach them how to stay responsible on the internet. Many schools and classrooms ban cellphones and say that they have no place in school. I think that with this change in technology use they have their place to be used. By banning phones you are only creating more of a want/need for students to be on them. As talked about in the 4 Things You’ll Miss by Banning Cellphones in Your Classroom when you ban cellphones you lose out on an important conversation. You miss out on the opportunity to teach students digital responsibility. As the world becomes more digital and social media becomes more prevalent it is important to teach people about their digital footprint. It is important to teach students that once they post something on social media it does not go away.

A digital tools that I want to implement in my classroom is digital story telling. Digital story tellings helps to bring these really old stories to life and makes them more engaging. Some digital tools that I learned about and think would be good to implement is StoryMapjs and Sutori. Another way to do digital story telling is through narrated videos.

In this TedTalk Emily Bailin talks about the importance of digital story telling. A point that she made that I really liked was that digital storytelling can take away from the power dynamic of teacher and student. By having students tell the story it puts more responsibility of their learning in their hands. It makes students active learners. By making students the active learner they have a sense of accountability with their education. It also makes them more likely to take away more from the lesson than if they had sat and listened to a teacher lecture at them for 90 minutes.

This graphic shows that students were able to retain more information when there was a visual element to the lesson. This further proves that digital storytelling is an effective way to teach. By using digital tools and making students more accountable for their education you are doing them a better service as their teacher. When students are able to sit and memorize information and passively learn it does not help them or benefit them. With always changing mediums for education it is important to stay well educated on them. Digital tools helps students to become active learners and they retain more information than if they had listened to a teacher lecture at them. I think that implementing digital tools into my future classroom is something I will do. Seeing the benefits it gives to students and their role as learners the benefits will always out way any negatives. Digitizing history became a way for students to be involved in their own education and take a front seat role.


Guest Author, “6 Steps to Persuasive Data Storytelling (+Examples) | [Site:Name],” WordStream (blog), accessed May 9, 2023,

Julie de Chantal, Digital Storytelling: A Beneficial Tool for Large Survey Courses in HistoryThe History Teacher 54, no.4 (August 2021): 709-729.

Rob Sterner, “4 Things You’ll Miss by Banning Cellphones in Your Classroom,” @ CTQ – (February 24, 2015).