Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 6.59.25 AMIt has been quite some time since I last posted here at HIT.  Since returning to the classroom last fall I have been busy educating the youth of America, at least those that set foot in Room 100 at Adams Middle School.  Our journey together is almost finished in terms of the school year, and we have some evidence to show for it online.  Our American History site can be found at oxpower.org in all its glory.  There are several student projects shared on the home page for your viewing pleasure.  The resources that we use on a daily basis are found mostly via the “Agenda” links in the right hand column, and here you can see all sorts of practice that has been going on on a daily basis.  I hope my students are ready to go to the high school.  I feel like they are getting there, but I also know it will be a whole new “ballgame” for them.  I think they are ready for high school social studies…

Five years ago I moved to North Platte, Nebraska to take a position as the educational technology director for the North Platte Public Schools.  I had taught for 13 years prior to that as a high school and middle school social studies teacher.  Upon my arrival in North Platte I soon found a lot of opposition to embedding technology into the learning process.  One of the first school board meetings I attended I heard one gentleman accuse me of being “only a teacher.”

What a great compliment!  That phrase sticks in my mind, and I couldn’t be more proud to be called such a name.  My career as a teacher has led me to many places and on adventures with many great educators and students.  I now go back to the classroom to teach, to work with students, to feel like what I am doing is worth something.  Worth more than gold or riches.  Teaching is a profession that literally reaches into the future.

I am a teacher, a great teacher.  If only everyone would be…

The Big History Project

Inference – Online Resources

Simply put, an inference is also known as reading between the lines.  The reader must put together the information the author provides and the information that the reader already knows to come up with the answer.

Lesson Plans (K-12):

http://www.liketoread.com/read_strats_infer.php

http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/71905.aspx

http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1666

http://eduscapes.com/sessions/pilot/pilotinference.htm

http://www.lessonplanet.com/search?_kk=making+inferences+lesson+plans&_kt=864f8932-f3fa-4ec6-9cb6-e018e6b72567&gclid=CInAv4iPraUCFVVi2godAireYw&keywords=Making+Inferences&media=lesson&rating=4

Ideas (K-12):

http://www.edutopia.org/comic-books-teaching-literacy

Science (6-12):

http://www.teacherlink.org/content/science/class_examples/Bflypages/nos.htm

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/articles/bahcall/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/neutrino/

Logic Problems (K-12):

http://www.nationalmathtrail.org/il4a.html

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/

Elementary Activities:

http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1675

http://www.gamequarium.com/readquarium/skillsi-p.html

http://www.brainpopjr.com/readingandwriting/comprehension/makeinferences/preview.weml

Middle School Activities:

http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/848

http://www.gamequarium.com/readquarium/skillsi-p.html

http://www.tv411.org/lessons/cfm/reading.cfm?str=reading&num=11&act=2&que=1

http://www.quia.com/pop/43335.html

High School Activities:

http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/40409.aspx

Resources (K-12):

http://www.brocktonpublicschools.com/page.cfm?p=2097

http://www.englishcompanion.com/pdfDocs/inferencenotes.pdf

Speech-Language:

http://www.angelfire.com/nj/speechlanguage/Onlineactivities.html

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.

Over three years ago I began collecting internet safety and digital citizenship resources to share with staff in my school district.  I have created a new blog that brings these resources together for all to use:  Cyber Smart Corner.  The information is divided by grade level, and includes secondary resources appropriate for middle and high school aged students (UPDATE 9/21/2010 I have now added a specific “high school” category).  Please add additional resources to the “Comments” post on the site.

Enjoy!

I have been thinking about ways to entice the old guard into the digital world in a meaningful way that gets them to look at their strategies for teaching in a new light.  As I’ve contemplated this challenge I have tried to take a list of benchmarks (I know, I know!!!) as a baseline to build an online course (based on an open courseware approach).

In a matter of roughly five hours I have created the following framework for a project-based learning approach.  The projects/assessments are not there specifically as I would have students piece that together based on their needs (see student resources).  It is a work in progress, but I am considering some sort of professional development that follows this approach.

Hokanson’s American History

My high school typing teacher recently passed away.  Miss Parsons taught me to type way back during the 1982-83 school year.  I’m still typing thanks to her!  Some things we learn become so entrenched, so natural, so valuable, that we forget the person or persons that deserve all the thanks.  Miss Parsons deserves all the thanks for much of my success in life due to a simple skill that she patiently taught to countless students over the years.  I can honestly say I think of her often as I put together reports, presentations, type blog posts and the like.  She made it all possible, and many others benefit from what she taught me.  I will be forever grateful.  Thank you Miss Parsons.  Until we meet again.

Diigo Elementary Level Links

Diigo Secondary Level Links

What is Diigo?

The following is an article I posted on our district website detailing our recent netbook deployment.  North Platte Public Schools in North Platte, Nebraska has roughly 4200 students:  1 high school, 2 middle schools, and 10 elementary schools.

Netbooks: A Cost Effective Digital Learning Solution

by Neil Hokanson, Educational Technology Director North Platte Public Schools

December 21, 2009

During the fall of 2008, the North Platte Public School Technology Department began to evaluate netbooks as a digital device solution. Netbooks are small laptop computers (with 10 inch screens) that have all the computing power of a regular laptop without a DVD or CD drive. The cost is roughly 1/3 that of a regular laptop and much cheaper than a desktop computer. Best of all the devices are portable opening up use anywhere, anytime. Pilot projects were tried in the North Platte High School Science Department and at Adams Middle School to see how the devices held up and met the needs of teachers and students.

In the spring it was determined, from building level technology plans developed by teaching staff and administrators, that a netbook would be a priority solution to increasing the number of digital devices throughout the school district. Plans were made to identify the number of devices that the district could purchase within the parameters of the technology budget, along with identifying stimulus funding as an additional source, to get devices in the hands of students. Three deployments were developed and the technology department has been facilitating that process since the summer months.

The first deployment brought 150 HP mini devices to Madison Middle School in August. Staff and especially students have been using these learning tools in a variety of ways to provide students new methods and experiences in practice, research, notes, developing presentations, creating art, for communication via email, creating brochures, and photo editing. Furthermore, the initial deployment at Madison has enabled the sharing of a wealth of information concerning the deployment, maintenance, use, and overall value of netbook computing that now spans many schools in the district and benefits other schools as netbooks are deployed elsewhere.

After the Madison deployment, and following budget approval in September 2009 and a meeting with the school board technology subcommittee, the second deployment was started and has been recently completed. 300 netbooks were placed in North Platte High School, 150 at Adams Middle School, and 30 each were deployed to Eisenhower, Hall, Lake, and Osgood elementary schools. Older computers from the high school were redeployed to McDonald, Washington, Eisenhower, Hall, and Osgood to provide equity with a thin client classroom solution that was done in most of the other elementary schools last school year. Since the middle of December 2009, including existing digital devices (laptops and desktops), computing has gone from as much as 12:1 to at least 3:1 digital devices per student in many schools.

The third deployment is well under way and will bring 120 netbooks to Jefferson, 90 each to Lincoln, Washington, and Cody, and 60 of the devices will arrive at Buffalo in the coming weeks. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year there will be at least 3:1 computing, with Web 2.0 capable devices in every school in the district. Schools that are at 3:1 will be identified as “next in line” to receive any new devices in the future and a replacement cycle is now in place to keep digital devices updated and renewed over the coming years.

Netbooks have facilitated a cost effective solution for the North Platte Public Schools in getting as many updated digital devices in the hands of students that we can in an equitable, wise, and fiscally responsible manner. Along with an updated network and server backbone over the past couple of years, teachers and students are reaping the rewards of 21st Century digital learning right now in the North Platte Public Schools, and the future will build upon the use of these devices to increase learning, facilitate collaboration, break down walls by opening up connections to others outside the classroom, and by developing a thinking culture that will prepare our students to be successful in an ever changing world and global economy.

NPPSD Netbooks Slideshow!!!

NPHS Jazz Ensemble Concert 12/15/2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “NPHS Jazz Ensemble Concert 12/15/2009“, posted with vodpod

 

NPHS Symphonic Band concert 12/15/2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “NPHS Symphonic Band concert 12/15/2009“, posted with vodpod

 

school_tech_toolsThe following is a list of sites that have been shared with me over the past several days.  Generally, you will see all kinds of findings in my Delicious links on the top right hand side of this blog.  Enjoy!

What to read?

Library Thing Suggest

What Should I Read Next?

BookLamp

WhichBook?

Math

That Quiz Math Test Activities (Science & Geography too!)

Social Studies/Current Events

Know Thy Congressman

NewsMap

National Geographic Little Kids

Science/Health

NSF Scrub Club

iSpecies

Digital Citizenship

Creative Thinking Home

World Languages

Foreign Internet Radio

Virtual Field Trips (All Subjects)

SimpleK12

music_bandThe following are two interesting articles from Science Daily:

Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills

Social Skills, Extracurricular Activities In High School Pay Off Later In Life

As educators we already know this, but it is always good to have research to help back it up!