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.

The Creation – Consumption Continuum

http://prezi.com/4dxykmcolwa9/the-creation-continuum/

I have been contemplating my personal learning network (PLN) as of late, and I have shared my off and on dealings with such tools as Facebook, Twitter, and the like.  As an educator, a PLN is vital in gaining new ideas, sharing, seeking support, and maintaining all sorts of human relationships that get one through the days, weeks, and years.  I have never been a good giver over my digital PLN, but living as a taker has helped me to survive.

Sometimes people come along and give you a good shot in the arm when you least expect it, and two gentlemen did just that for me many months ago.  Dale and Jarred were two new teachers, just finishing up their programs of study at university.  Last year was their first year in the classroom, and now they march along in the second.  I had followed these teachers, and visited with them on rare occasion, but I lost them for a bit (my fault).  I backed away from my digital PLN to gain some perspective, that I never quite found, and added them back today.  Hopefully they will take me back.

Chances are good they didn’t know I was gone, and that would be my fault for being a taker.  That’s okay.  I need to take from them, I need their enthusiasm, I need to hear of their struggles and triumphs, and I need to be ready to offer encouragement when I think they need it.  That encouragement makes me a giver.  Support is one of the great benefits of a PLN.  It comes from strangers, those you least expect, but they become familiar:  they become family through one’s PLN.

We come to the end of a calendar year.  This is a time of reflection for many, and a time to set new goals.  I’ve been thinking about goals, been taking stock of the past, and wondering how to navigate the future.  I have been looking for perspective.  I was referring to my PLN via my RSS feeder to find some wisdom, and Dale provided just the perspective I needed in the following video (Dale and Jarred:  Thanks for finding me many months ago even though you didn’t realize I needed to be found!):

You can follow Dale and Jarred on Twitter:  @DaleHolt and @JarredRowe and learn from them at “Not Your Average Teacherhttp://notyouraverageteacher.com/

They truly are not average, they are great!!!

Differentiated instruction (sometimes referred to as differentiated learning) involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching materials so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability (Tomlinson, Carol 2001).

Identifying differences in ability is a key step in gathering technology resources for students to utilize.  We can easily identify students that have differences in ability via pupils that have an IEP.  Often, we can access resources that we have used for these students and modify them to meet the needs of other students.  This really is a good foundation to draw upon; however, we want to focus our attention on student strengths and constructing knowledge when it comes to differentiation, and multiple intelligences are another good place to start.

Howard Gardner is a leading researcher on the topic of multiple intelligences and is an excellent resource to draw from when focusing on differentiated instruction.

http://www.howardgardner.com/MI/mi.html

Gardner has extensive research and resources that can be found at the above link, and I highly recommend reading through his information on multimedia and technology and their relationship to multiple intelligences.  Some other good Gardner resources can be found at the following links:

What are my learning strengths?  (Inventory)
http://mail.nppsd.org:8080/~nhokanson/MI/MI_Inventory.pdf

Products for Multiple Intelligences
http://mail.nppsd.org:8080/~nhokanson/MI/MI_Product_Grid.pdf

Utilizing Gardeners inventory is a quick way to identify learner’s strengths, and the product lists provide teachers with ideas on what various students might create in a project based environment to show what they know.  Most of these products can be produced via technology tools.  This product list can provide a reference point to work from in order to create lessons that will build a foundation for varied learners to construct knowledge and reach their project goal.

As a former building intervention team chairperson I found myself faced with researching various strategies to provide accommodations for students that were struggling in various subject areas.  I found technology to be one tool that met many students’ needs.  The following web site and tutorial page is an older example of online activities that shared similar information in a variety of ways.  The strengths and needs of particular students in my classroom guided my efforts to assist students in gaining the basic information in my geography classroom, and not all students completed all of the online activities.  The activities helped me to differentiate instruction, practice, assessment, and re-teaching based on particular students’ abilities.  After those basic skills were in place I could then draw upon Gardner’s multiple intelligences product ideas to expand student opportunities where they could construct knowledge via projects to show what they knew.

Hokanson’s World Geography
http://homepage.mac.com/nhokanson/Sites/socialstudies/geography/index.html

Hokanson’s World Geography Tutorials
http://homepage.mac.com/nhokanson/Sites/socialstudies/geography/tutorials.html

Most of the activities in the above links were created, over time, by my students and I via an online “quiz maker” called Quia or a program called Hot Potatoes.  I also utilized a program called Game Show Presenter to do whole class review over basic information that students needed in my geography classes.  These activities served as scaffolding exercises to build knowledge toward student created projects.

Quia:  http://www.quia.com

Hot Potatoes (Installed on all NPPSD district computers since 2007!):  http://hotpot.uvic.ca/

Game Show Presenter:  http://www.almorale.com/

Now, with today’s World Wide Web there are many online resources that serve the purpose of many of the initial activities I created years ago (See links below).  Teachers also have access to technology based resources via subject area textbooks especially online.

Example web site (blog) with links to resources for differentiation:  http://oxpower.wordpress.com/

Textbook Resources:   http://www.glencoe.com/sec/socialstudies/ushistory/taj2005/index.php4

Secondary Online Resources:  http://mail.nppsd.org:8080/~nhokanson/online_resources_hs/index.html

Elementary Online Resources:  http://mail.nppsd.org:8080/~nhokanson/online_resources/index.html

All of these resources are simply tools to assist students as they construct knowledge, but each tool and resource allows for deeper understanding of content and provides a foundation for students to build upon their strengths as they piece together information.  Remember, technology is one vehicle toward learning, it is not the focus, and it cannot be an event.  Technology is a tool that can be utilized to differentiate instruction and ultimately support individualized learning.

Other “quiz” makers to explore:

http://yacapaca.com/

http://testmoz.com/

http://www.contentgenerator.net/

http://www.curriculumbits.com/prodimages/details/misc/quizscorer.swf

http://www.quiz-creator.com/blog/2009/09/free-online-quiz-creator-tools-create-online-quizzes/

I have been reading Steve Wheeler’s Learning with ‘e’s blog series on Digital Literacy.  It is quite a good read and continues to offer salient information.  The following are links to parts in the series and I’m sure it is to be continued:

Digital literacy 1: What digital literacies?
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-digital-literacies.html

Digital literacy 2: Reach out and connect
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/11/reach-out-and-connect.html

Digital literacy 3: Crossing the divide
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/11/crossing-divide.html

Digital literacy 4: Watch your back!
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/11/watch-your-back.html

Digital literacy 5: Making an impression
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/11/making-impression.html

Digital literacy 6: Content creation
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/12/content-creation.html

Digital literacy 7: Organising and sharing content
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/12/digital-literacy-6-organising-and.html

Digital literacy 8: Repurposing content
http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2010/12/digital-literacy-8-repurposing-content.html

I put together the following short video to show some teachers how they could extend information found on bulletin boards outside their classrooms.  It is my tribute to all veterans on this upcoming Veteran’s Day…

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.