Archive for October, 2010

Our school district has an extensive collection of VHS educational videos that are being retired.  With the incredible online video resources that exist, it was only a matter of time before we began the move to digital video resources.  Nevertheless, it takes time to discover quality online video that embeds into one’s curriculum.  The following are a few sites that I have found to be very useful.  Of course, the best videos would be the one’s you let your students make!!!

Sixty Symbols:  If you are looking for great science videos, you will find them here!  The University of Nottingham has all kinds of great videos on many subjects including this language arts gem – Words of the World.

Khan Academy:  Especially great Math and Science videos!

National Writing Project (YouTube site):  “The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners.”

Snag Learning:  “SnagLearning is dedicated to presenting high-quality documentary films as educational tools to ignite meaningful discussion within the learning community.”

WatchKnow:  “Hundreds of thousands of great short videos, and other media, explaining every topic taught to school kids,” with a handy age filter.


Why I don’t have an iPhone…

Posted: October 21, 2010 in iPhone, Technology

No AT&T service.

A few weeks ago I “retired” my iPod Touch G1 (my oldest son will help it to live on) and purchased the new iPod Touch G4.  Obviously I noticed quite a leap ahead in features, and I am discovering some very useful and fun apps that I would like to share.

Dragon Dictation Free:  This tool allows me to dictate a few notes via voice and it does a fair job of getting most of what I say into text.  If I speak clearly and avoid my Wyoming twang it works!

SimpleMind $6.99:  This is a mind mapping tool that I have begun to find useful in taking quick notes.

Skype Free:  VOIP calls on my iPod Touch are nice, very nice (must have a wifi connection).

WordPress Free:  Create a new post right from your iPod Touch.

Delicious Bookmarks Free:  Round up your Delicious links.

iMovie $4.99:  I haven’t had a chance to edit much video yet, but what I have been able to do is amazing!

See This $0.99:  An interesting photo app that allows you to take multiple shots and combines them into a sort of collage.

Comic Touch $2.99:  Add captions to your photos.

StoryKit Free:  Create your own story books.

Video Physics Free:  Shoot a movie and track objects.

RedLaser Free:  A barcode scanner (the one I’ve been able to get to work!)

“This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.”

As I glance over previous posts I notice that my forays into digital citizenship and internet safety are quite popular.  A few years ago I actually put together a resource site on the topics for my school district, and a Google search for these topics together find that resource at or near the top of the list.  I will soon retire that resource as it is too difficult to keep updated in its current form.  I have put together a new version of those resources:  Hokanson’s Cyber Smart Corner.

Finding good resources on the web can be a tedious task, and finding the time to do so as a teacher is a challenge.  One of my goals is to provide resources I find useful for the classroom to as many people that I can, and sometimes I’m good at it and most times I am in need of improvement.  There is obviously a demand for digital citizenship and internet safety resources; so, I hope my new Cyber Smart Corner fills those needs better.

The main purpose for the resources I share are to provide lesson plans for teachers and online activities for students to practice these valuable skills necessary to navigate this digital world.  Countless others have created these utilities, and I am simply gathering them in to one useful space.  I am always interested in finding new resources; so, please share items you find valuable that can be added for everyone to utilize.


Discovered this great resource from the University of Indiana today called Virtual Congress.  After signing up for a FREE account and downloading the software, I was able to wander the grounds and begin exploring the inner chambers of the virtual version of the United States Congress.

Link here:  Virtual Congress

If you are familiar with Quest Atlantis, another wonderful virtual learning world, you will find Virtual Congress familiar in respect to how the world is set up and the movements you can make.  You do have the ability to register students into the world and to set up your class(es) so that you can visit and do a variety of activities from creating a bill to attending hearings and sessions of Virtual Congress.  At the time of my visit there was nothing scheduled and no other “people” around, but I plan to explore this resource in the future.

Give it a try!