Archive for the ‘School 2.0’ Category

I was recently reviewing my list of instructional technology trainings, etc. from my years serving as an instructional technology director. The list of resources can be found here https://nhokanson.wordpress.com/training-resources/ although, some of the links to resources within are no longer available with my current school district abandoning a server that was utilized to feed this info. I have most of the information; so, I plan to reconstruct as much of those resources that I can over the next few weeks in order to have it serve as a historical record of my past work, but also to serve as a resource to those that can benefit from the information.

In the meantime, as I continue to teach again in a classroom setting, I am constantly constructing online resources that enable my students to work anywhere they have a device and internet connection as we flip the classroom and continue on our adventure in learning about modern American history. You can visit our journey at http://oxpower.org.

Enjoy!

Any subject area teacher can and should create curriculum tools that can help students that require accommodations in their learning.  This is key to differentiated learning and instruction.  When I think of my content area of social studies I know that it can require a lot of reading.  Vocabulary is an important piece of knowledge that can help students make their way through the content, and I try to create or find activities that support vocabulary acquisition.

In the past I have utilized sites like Quia to create activities that build and reinforce vocabulary knowledge.  Quia activities like flashcards, matching, concentration, word search, and hangman are a few that present vocabulary in a fun way.  You can also create cloze reading activities with Quia that enable a user to read passages of text and identify key terms that complete a paragraph.  Online textbook resources also often have ready made vocabulary activities that can make it much easier for students to navigate text or take an active part in classroom discussions and projects.  Online textbooks are also interactive and most have an audio or read-aloud feature built into the text.

The following are several examples of vocabulary and reading activities that I have created or found and linked to that assist all students and especially those that may struggle with reading (especially see the flashcards, matching, concentration, word search, hangman, jumbled words, pop ups, and cloze activities).

American History Vocabulary and Reading Activities

World Geography Activities

Hokanson’s American History Quia Class Page

Help your students gain a better understanding of the content by accessing the reading tools that are all around you or create some today.  Technology makes for better and more complete learning, and your students deserve to utilize these tools.

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

 

iPads vs. Textbooks
Created by: Online Teaching Degree

History of ed tech
Courtesy of: OnlineSchools.com

After a fun filled July I am back at the business of learning and helping to get ready for the new school year.  We have finally upgraded many of our computers to Windows 7 ($ held us back!), and the 300 additional netbooks that we’ve been waiting to get to the high school are in the building ready for use (600 netbooks at NPHS now!).  Exciting times indeed.

Several trainings are in store for support staff, administrators, and new teachers the beginning of this week.  This is my fifth year in this district and I feel like we have made some great progress over that time.  Access to digital devices is much improved, our network and storage space has been upgraded (a continual process), and I hope to see more of a focus on use, integration, and embedding technology in the classroom this year.

We have a 1:1 initiative at our smallest middle school with about 200 netbooks in the system.  It is not a full fledged take home program, but students have access during the day.  We hope to get to the 3/4 stage of 1:1 at our high school with only 300 devices left for next year to bring online 1200 netbooks for students to use at NPHS.  This year will be a preparation for that goal, and I hope we can have some progressive discussions and preparation as we move closer to that end.

It has been a few years since I heard Ian Jukes speak at the T+L Conference in Nashville (October 19, 2007).  However, his words continue to ring in my ears, and I want to share some of them with you as I reflect on where our school district is with embedding technology in learning.

Ian Jukes said:

“We have access to some new technologies but their use is generally optional not integral and certainly not required of all teachers – and the technologies are often used to reinforce old practices and assumptions about teaching and learning and assessment and do not require the teacher to change their current instructional practices.”

“Ask yourself this very important question – would your students be there in your classrooms if they didn’t have to be? Are they there because they want to be there? Or are they there because they have no other choice? And if they’re there only because they have to, what can we begin to do differently to help more students want to be in our classes?”

“…Our emphasis as professional educators has to be on more than just LOTS.”

“The starting point for making the necessary changes is that as educators we have to understand how truly different our students are.”

“This shift is so fundamental – the gap between them and us is so wide – that there’s no going back to the basics. There’s no going back to the way things were when we were kids.”

“The problem is that many educators just don’t get that there is a digital divide. Many of us pay lip service to the notion that this generation is different. We knowingly nod our heads but then we shut the door to the classroom and go back to business as usual where it could just as easily be 1960 all over again.”

“Most teachers know very little if anything about the digital world of their students – from online gaming to their means of exchanging, sharing, meeting, evaluating, coordinating, programming, searching, customizing, and socializing.”

“The bottom line is that we really don’t understand their digital world and we never will until we take the time to honor and respect where they come from. But to do this we have to be willing to acknowledge their world and start to educate ourselves about that world.”

“If we truly want to make a difference in the lives of our children, schools must become a place where students are actively engaged in constructing their own knowledge and know how…”

“The context of a significant event provides a frame of reference and relevance for remembering the specific information about what you were doing long after the event. By providing a context for the new information teachers are actually helping students with long-term memory.”

My summary and challenge to myself and others that continues today:  As educators it is time that we take responsibility for our own learning.  If we want to create self-directed learners, we must become one.  We must model self-directed, independent learning, and we need to discover how our students learn in the 21st Century.